Archive for the ‘Cemetery’ Category

Andrew Marshall, a Free Man of Color in Savannah

January 13, 2020


Chatham County

In the name of God, Amen: I Andrew Marshall a free man of color of the City of Savannah, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make and publish this my last Will and Testament.

Item First. I commit my soul unto God, hoping for happiness in the world to come, and desire that my body be buried in my family vault in the graveyard in Savannah.

Item Second. I give devise and bequeath to my wife Sarah Marshall, the Southern half of lot number nineteen (19) Farm and Bryant Streets in the City of Savannah, with the improvements thereon; also my household and kitchen furniture, my four wheeled carriage and one horse to have and to hold the same for and during the term of her natural life, and after her death, to be equally divided between my sons Joseph and George , their heirs executors & administrators forever. (Grand children to represent their parents and take per Stirpes and not per Capita) and after the death of either of them without child or children, or representatives of children, then to the survivor his heirs, executors Administrators and assigns forever.

Item Third: I give devise and bequeath unto my son George Marshall the Northern Half of said lot number nineteen (19) containing a double stone building on Farm Street and a wooden building back of it in the lane, with all the improvements thereon to have and to hold the same to him his heirs executors Administrators and assigns forever. But should my said son George depart this life without leaving a child or children or representatives of children living at the time of his death, then immediately after his death to my wife Sarah Marshall, and to my son Joseph, so long as they both shall live, and after the death of my said wife Sarah, to my son, Joseph, his heirs executors Administrators and assigns forever —

Item Fourth – I give devise and bequeath to Georgiana the daughter of Cripy Houston Four shares of stock in the Marine and Fire Insurance Bank of the State of Georgia

Item Fifth – I give devise and bequeath unto my son Joseph Marshall Lot number Eleven (11) in that part of the City of Savannah, known as the village of St Gall with the improvements thereon, to have and to hold the same to him his heirs, executors Administrators and assigns forever.

Item Sixth. I give devise and bequeath  my silver watch, with all my wearing apparel unto my cousin Andrew, a slave now owned by Dr. Kollock.

Item Seventh. All the rest and residue of my property, not herein specifically bequeathed (and out of which I desire that all my debts may be paid) after the payment of my debts, I give devise and bequeath unto my wife Sarah, and to my sons Joseph and George to be equally divided between them their Heirs Executors Administrators and assigns forever, But should either of them die, without leaving a child or children or representatives of children, living at the time of their death then to the survivors or survivor of them, their and his heirs executors Administrators and assigns forever.

Item Eighth. I nominate constitute and appoint Frederick A. Tupper, John W. Anderson and Wylly Woodbrige Esqrs, Executors of this my last Will and Testament

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Thirtieth day of July in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and fifty two.

Andrew Marshall  L S

Joseph Felt and Wylly Woodbridge vouched that they were each witnesses to the signature of Andrew Marshall on the will on April 6, 1857.

His residence was at Perry and Whitaker Streets. He died of consumption.



Buried in Laurel Grove South


From New York

From GenealogyBank, Augusta Chronicle, December 17, 1856:


A Black Man’s Funeral.

We announced some days ago the death, at Richmond, Virginia, of Andrew Marshall, the colored preacher, who had been ministering in holy things to the slave population of Savannah for nearly forth years. His remains, encased in a neat metalic coffin, were brought from Richmond, at the expense of his congregation, and yesterday was set apart at the First African Baptist Church for the funeral ceremonies of the lamented dead. Long before the hour appointed for the services, an immense throng without respect to color or condition, collected at the Church, the floor, aisles, galleries, and even steps and windows of which were densely packed. Hundreds, unable to gain admittance, were assembled in front and around the Church, while the street was completely blocked up with vehicles of every description.

At the appointed hour the body was taken from the residence of the deceased to the Church, and placed in front of the altar. After prayer, singing, and the reading of appropriate lessons from the scriptures, an eloquent and impressive discourse was preached by the Rev. Mr. Rambaut, formerly of the First Baptist Church, now on a visit to the city.

The services in the church having been concluded the body was returned to the hearse and the immense congregation formed in procession, the deacons and other officers of the various churches in front; next came the remains of the deceased, followed by the Colored Benevolent and Temperance Societies, and after them a long line of carriages, some fifty in number, and a multitude of pedestrians. The procession was a most solemn and imposing spectacle, and attracted much attention as it passed through the city. It moved up West Broad street and thence to Laurel Grove Cemetery, where the body was deposited in the family vault, with the usual ceremonies of the Baptist Church.

Andrew Marshall was, in many respects, a remarkable man. We are but little informed as to his early history, but learn that he was originally a slave, and having accumulated a considerable amount of money — his earnings in his own time, as the more industrious of our slaves seldom fail to do, purchased his freedom. His secular pursuit was that of a drayman, which he followed with energy and thrift, and laid up a comfortable support for himself and family, in his old age. His chief employment, however, for nearly a half century, was the Christian ministry, in which he acquired a large fund of scriptural lore, and exercised almost unbounded influence among his race by the truth and power of his sermons, and the piety of his life. He was, as before stated, the Pastor of the First African Baptist Church in this city, and though over a century in age, he continued his labors among his flock with unabated zeal up to the day of his death. He was greatly respected by all our citizens, and an idol among the large congregation of his own color so long under his pastoral care — a fact which no one can double who witnessed the deep solemnity and unfeigned grief that characterized the obsequies of yesterday. — Savannah Republican.


Good night, Marshall family. We’re thinking of you.


More About Michael Densler: Part 2

January 2, 2020

Where there’s a will…

There’s probate.

All court document images are from Ancestry.


Estate of Michael Densler deceased

No 128


Admors Bond filed and Admor qualified this 6th July 1835



To all whom it may concern:

WHEREAS, William Readick, has applied to the Honorable the Court of Ordinary of Chatham County, for letters of administration on the estate and effects of Michael Densler, late of Chatham County, deceased.

These are therefore to cite and admonish, all and singular the kindred and creditors of the said deceased, to file their objections (if any they have) to the granting of the administration of the estate of the deceased to the applicant in the Clerk’s Office of the said Court, on or before the 20th day of June next; otherwise letters of administration will be granted.

Witness, the Honorable John Cumming, one of the justices of the said Court, the 18th day of may, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and thirty-five.

ROBT. W. POOLER, CL’k. C. O. C. C.

I do hereby certify that the foregoing Citation has been published in the Sav’h Republican for Thirty Days.

E. Dedunotta


July 6th 1835



To the honourable the Court of Ordinary of Chatham County

The petition of David R. Densler of Chatham County planter, respectfully sheweth

That your petitioner & Ann Densler, widow of Michael Densler & John Densler, and Ann Margaret Densler (a minor) are the only heirs & legatees of Michael Densler, late of the County aforesaid planter, deceased, that by the will of the deceased his Estate was directed to be kept together for the benefit of his heirs until the youngest child should arrive at eighteen years of Age. That Ann Margaret Densler, the youngest child of the deceased is now eighteen years of age, and your petitioner is desirous of obtaining a distributive share or proportion of the Estate both real & personal of the said Michael Densler decd to which by law he is entitled, so that the proportion or share

of the said real & personal Estate to which your petitioner may be entitled may be held in severalty by him, and that each of the other heirs may likewise enjoy & hold their respective proportions or shares then of in severalty. Your petitioner therefore prays that a writ of partition be issued for that purpose to be directed to William Davies, Patrick Houston, David E Adams, Peter Dowell & John Poullen or any three or more of them requiring them or any three or more of them to make a division & partition of the said Estates both real & personal among the persons entitled to receive the same and to cause the share or proportion thereof to which each of the said heirs are or may be entitled to, to be delivered to him or her respectively, to be had & held by them in severally.

And your petitioner etc.

David R. Densler

29 Dec’r. 1820

Tilla $270

Cash pd Owen Stromge, Sophia’s Coffin $10

Cash pd for Coffin for Tilla $3

I certify that the above Citation has been published once a week for Six months.

R. Olmstead

Sav’ah 3 Jan’y 1823

An old wench Tilla $25

July ran away and never returned, in spite of advertisements in the local papers advertising that he was a runaway. From GenealogyBank, “Georgian”, 12/1/1821:

Georgian_1821-12-01 DenslerJohnA runaway slave July

Fifty Dollars Reward!

RANAWAY from the subscriber at White Bluff, a Negro Man by the name of JULY, about five feet high, slim made, and of a yellow complexion. He usually had a wife on Skidaway Island, at a plantation of Mr. Milledge. It is supposed he will make the aforesaid island his final resort. Any person therefore who shall take up the said negro, or apprehend him and confine him in the gaol in Savannah, shall receive the above reward.


nov 15

Michael’s wife Ann Densler died later. Let’s look for her will.

The 2017 FlowerFest, Part Two

January 15, 2018

We finished up Part One at Bonaventure and Laurel Grove and ran out of time.

So, two days before Christmas, we head to Robertville for Part Two.

This was at the Robertville Baptist Church, which was formerly known as Blackswamp Baptist Church.


The above photo is of the marker for George and Phoebe Mosse that Sugar had installed earlier in 2017.


I noticed several markers that were in the next plot on the west side of the Lawton plot.




First son of

Dr. J.S. & Mrs S.C



May 16th 1844

Aged 3 months

& 28 days.




Second son of

Dr. J.S. & Mrs S.C.



June 10th 1847

Aged 1 month

& 10 days.




Memory of


who died

25th Sept. 1837

Aged 65 yrs. 6 mos. 7ds.

For many years she lived

a useful member of the

Baptist Church,

And died in strong hope

of a blessed immortality.

“Blessed are the dead who

die in the Lord, they rest

from their labors, and

their works do follow



We think the last name is ROBERT.


Finished here, and we headed to the Robert Cemetery.


The poinsettia is placed across the cemetery between John Robert and his wife Elizabeth Dixon Robert.


Chipmunks? Squirrels? leave signs that they were here.


This panorama shot is another skill that I am working on. This is the entire Robert Cemetery.

Annnd we’re done. See you next year!

More Newspapers: GenealogyBank

October 28, 2017

I’m reading and Chronicling America, if by “reading” you understand that I am lying down poking at the iPhone.

I realize that there are still a lot of papers and time frames that aren’t online. But I’m confused. I’ve seen other folks post things from the Charleston newspaper on a Charleston history FB group. Why can’t I find the same things! It hit me. There must be another online database where I can throw some money.

Let’s ask our friend, Ms. Google. She knows everything.


Friendly reader and historian Lynda  provided the first search terms for John Stoney who died on Hilton Head Island in 1821. His obit is on genealogybank in the Charleston Courier. Plus 5k more search returns.

Let’s try Agnes Mann. I have an obit for her already from the Beaufort paper from 1906.

From the State newspaper in Columbia, SC, July 17, 1906:



Native of Germany Dies at Her Beaufort Home.

Special to The State.

Beaufort, July 16 — Mrs. Agnes Mann died on Saturday in her 78th year after an illness of three months.

The funeral services were held at St. Helena church on Sunday afternoon and were conducted by Rev. J. W. Campbell. The pallbearers were Messrs W. F. Mancher, W. R. Bristol, H. M. Stuart, Jr., W. J. Thomas, R. R. Legare and J. M. Lengnick.

Mrs. Mann, whose maiden name was Agnes Reese, was born in 1828 at Meintz, a German town situated on the banks of the Rhine. There she married Daniel Mann and with him came to Beaufort in 1848. Here she has lived ever since, taking an active part in charitable and church work. For 56 years she has been a member of St. Helena church. Until recently she took part in the beneficent work of the Ladies’ Charitable Aid society. Her cheerful, sweet, benignant personality and influence will be missed by a wide circle of friends.

Mrs. Mann is survived by two daughters, Mrs. L. C. Scheper and Miss Emily Mann, and by one son, Mr. Daniel Mann, and by 23 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Mr. Daniel Mann, her husband, was a Confederate soldier and fought through the war in the B. V. A. He died March 17, 1872.

I knew that she was from Eltville, Germany, from the records at the Laurel Grove Cemetery. Now I have another place to search in Meintz where she married her husband Daniel.

I might have to call out of work.

A Marker for Mosse

April 16, 2017

Sugar had a plan.

We went to the graveyard, and measured an existing marker. Sugar’s plan was to make a matching marker for Mosse.

After surveying the scene, he selected a spot.

After what seemed an interminable wait, which in reality was not, he was rewarded with this.








Now, during the wait between the ordering and the installation of the marker, I found more references to George Mosse online.

Lieut. Col Balfour, commander of Charlestown, Prison ship Torbay, Charlestown harbor, May 18, 1781.

WE have the honor of enclosing you a copy of a letter from Lieutenant Colonel Balfour, commandant of Charlestown, which was handed us immediately on our being put on board this ship; the letter speaking for itself, needs no comment; your wisdom will beit dictate the notice it merits. We would just beg leave to observe, that should it fall to the lot of all, or any of us, to be made victims, agreeable to the menaces therein contained, we have only to regret that our blood cannot be disposed of more to the accompaniment of the glorious cause to which we have adhered. A separate roll of our names extends this letter.

With the greatest respect, we are, Sir,

Your most obedient and most humble servants,

STEPHEN MOORE, Lt. Col. N. C. militia,

JOHN BARNWELL, Major S. C. militia,

(for ourselves and 130 prisoners.

Major. General Greene.

On board the prison ship Torbay.

William Axon, Samuel Ash, George Arthur, John Anthony, Ralph Atmore, John Baddeley, Peter Bonetheau, Henry Benbridge, Joseph Ball, Joseph Bee, Nathaniel Blundell, James Bricke, Francis Bayle, Wm. Basquin, John Clarke, jun., Tho. Cooke, Norwood Couvers, James Cox, John Dorsius, Joseph Dunlap, Rev. James Edmunds, Thomas Elliott, Joseph Elliott, John Evans, John Eberley, Joseph Glover, Francis Grott, Mitchell Gargle, William Graves, Peter Guerard, Jacob Henry, David Hamilton, Tomas Harris, William Hornby, Daniel Jacoby, Charles Kent,

Samuel Lockhart, Nathaniel Lebby, Thomas Listar, Thomas Legare, John Lersesne, Henry Lybart, John Michael, John Minott, sen., John Moncrief, Charles M’Donald, John Minott, jun, Samuel Miller, Stephen Moore, George Monck, Jonathan Morgan, Abraham Marietto, Solomon Milner, John Netsville, jun., Philip Prioleau, James Poyas, Job Palmer, Joseph Robinson, Daniel Rhody, Joseph Righton, William Snelling, John Setvenson, jun, Paul Snyder, Abraham Seavers, Ripley Singleton, Samuel  Scottowe, Stephen Shrewsbury, John Saunders, James Toussiger, Paul Tayler, Sims White, James Wilkins, Isaac White, George Welch, Benjamin Wheeler, William Wilkie, John Welch, Thomas Yoe.

On board the schooner Pack-Horse.

John Barnwell, Edward Barnwell, Robert Barnwell, William Branford, John Brake, Thomas Cochran, Joseph Cray, Robert Dewar, William Desaussure, Thomas Eveleigh, John Edwards, jun., John W. Edwards, William Elliott, Benjamin Guerard, Thomas Grayson, John Gibbons, Philip Gadsden, John Graves, William H. Hervey, John B. Holmes, William Holmes, Thomas Hughes, James Heyward, George Jones, Henry Kennon, John Kein, Stephen Lee, William Mayer, GEORGE MOSSE, William Neusville, John Owen, Charles Pinkeny, jun, Samuel Smith, William Wigg, Charles Warham, Thomas Waring, sen., Richard Waring, John Waters, David Warhyam, Richard Yeadon

Published by order of Congress,



Married, on Thursday evening, the 2d inst on Black Swamp, by the Rev. Alexander Scott, Mr. ROBERT G. NORTON, to the amiable Miss SARAH MOSSE, daughter of the late Dr. George Mosse, of that place.


George Mosse vs. Henrietta Trezevant – Judgement for the plaintiff ninety dollars & Costs. (From the Savannah court records)

George Mosse vs. Henrietta Trezevant – On the 31st day of May 1805 appeared Charles Harris Esqr. Attorney in fact for the defendant in the above case who paid Costs & produced Alexander Netherclift as her Security for the absolute payment of the debt according to the Judiciary Law on the stay of execution for sixty days.

Henry Schely vs. George Mosse – Judgment for Plaintiff, Forty three Dollars, four cents & Costs.


In the year 1794, Messrs. Jonathan Clarke, George Mosse, Thomas Polhill, and David Adams, proposed the erection of a house of worship for the Baptists, in Savannah. The whole number of Baptists did not exceed eight or ten. About this time the Rev. Mr. Reese, a Baptist minister from Wales, visited Savannah, and encouraged the design.


In 1800 the church formed a constitution for its government, which was signed by H. Holcombe, F. Holcombe, George Mosse, Phebe Mosse, Joseph Hawthorn, Mary Hawthorn, Elias Robert, Mary Robert, Rachel Hamilton, Esther McKenzie, Elisabeth Stoney, and Martha Stephens.

(My note: Phebe is Phoebe Norton Mosse, Elias Robert is possibly the brother of Sarah Robert Lawton and John Robert, Esther McKenzie and Elisabeth Stoney are two of the Mosse daughters.)

We wonder what else we will find out about this pioneering family.

Who Was Amanda M. Miller?

February 18, 2017

Sugar is working on a plan.

This plan involves going to a graveyard with a tape measure and a smartphone.

Because a smartphone has a camera.

And said camera takes remarkably clear photos.

These photos which show measurements are needed for a memorial for someone who doesn’t have one. I’ve written about him before.

The following obituary appeared in the newspaper in 1808.

  Died, on the 17th of February, at his usual residence on Black Swamp, Beaufort District, of a lingering illness, which he bore with uncommon patience and Christian resignation, in the 67th year of his age, Doctor GEORGE MOSSE. He was a native of Ireland, but for about 40 years an inhabitant of this state, of which he has been a respectable and useful citizen. To his adopted country he was a firm, constant friend, but his philanthropy embraced all mankind.

The Doctor was particularly known and respected, as the zealous friend and support of Religion; from which he derived his present, and expected his future happiness. In the profession of it he was open, yet unostentatious; in his attachment to it, rational, unshaken and uniform. His religious sentiments were those which are usually stiled evangelical; making the righteousness and atonement of the Redeemer the ground of his hope for pardon and acceptance with God; and considering morality and virtue as the native fruits of faith – the inseparable concomitants of Divine love.

Though not inattentive to other books of usefulness, his reading was principally in those of a religious and devotional kind; but especially in the Sacred Scriptures, to which he gave serious, daily attention. In consequence of which his mind was happily stored with the knowledge of divine subjects. On his hours of devotion, he would not suffer the cares and business of the world to intrude.

In relative life, he was a sincere, candid friend; an affectionate Husband; a fond Father; and an indulgent Master. And it may be truly said of him, that he was the Orphan’s friend; that he made the Widow’s heart sing for joy; and that he did not send the needy, and distressed, empty and mourning from his door.

His last scene presented a grand and pleasing spectacle – just before he closed his eyes in death, he said, in an apparent rapture of joy – “Lord Jesus receive my spirit. Glory! Glory to God, who has given me the Victory!”

A pious Widow, seven Daughters, and many friends lament the loss of this good man.


Dr. George Mosse and his wife Phoebe Norton had SEVEN daughters. Three of these daughters married three Lawton brothers. One set belongs to Sugar.

We were then looking at the tombs of his particular set: Alexander James Lawton and Martha Mosse Lawton. We realized that there was another tomb that we had consistently overlooked.  She’s right there in the line with Alexander and Martha.

She was Amanda M. Miller. But who was she?

No more confined to groveling scenes of night,

No more a tenant pent in mortal clay;

Now should we rather hail thy glorious flight,

And trace thy journey to the realms of day.

She is the daughter of Alexander and Martha, and she died in her early twenties. (Thank you, clever Reader Leo, for confirmation!) Childbirth, perhaps? One on-line tree says she had an infant son that also died. But where is the baby?

Good-night, friends. We are thinking of you.

FlowerFest 2016: On To Robertville 

February 6, 2017

We had too many grave sites to visit to get it all done in one day. For the second year in a row, the FlowerFest needs two weekends.

Sugar and I headed for Robertville.

It was a quiet Sunday, and we thought we’d arrive after church had let out, and all had gone home. Not today, a few cars were still parked at the church.

This is a private time for us, this FlowerFesting gig, even though I photograph and write about it. Sugar is very serious about the ritual. You can probably see how intense he is when he marches across each cemetery, and places each plant *just so*, and tweaks the placement of each pot.

He didn’t want to hang about, so he hustled to get the job done. He can be so hustle-y, I can’t catch up.

So I just zoom in, camera-wise.

We found that last year’s poinsettia pot was still on the ground.

I stopped to photograph Edward Payson Lawton’s marker. He was killed at Fredericksburg.

I’ve been listening to Irish music on Pandora. One song in particular, “Clear the Way”, has a line that always gives me chills.

At Fredericksburg, we rose to meet them,

Though we knew the price we’d pay….

The song is sung from the viewpoint of a man who served with the Irish brigade for the Union.

In the cold grey light of morning,

after the deal had gone down,

I awoke and shook all over –

hoping a dram would bring me round.
Well, I stared at the sight all around me;

busted blue and faded grey.

Men in heaps were scattered;

men who fought and died the other day.
Well, I lived my youth in Connemara,

roving from town to town.

I shipped on board of the Amelia,

to New York City I was bound.
Not for honor, nor for country;

we killed for three square meals a day.

Off the boat and pack on shoulder,

gun in hand we’re here to stay.

At Fredericksburg we rose to meet them,

though we knew the price we’d pay.

But the Irish Brigade will not surrender –

Fag an bealach! Clear the way!
General Meagher, he gave the order,

”Up Mary’s Heights, charge away.”

The hills were rife with blood and murder

as we gouged and tore our way.
McMillan’s rebels, they fired upon us –

shot and shell, buck and ball.

Their green flag rose high above them

as ours fell on the battle wall.
Well, hand to hand and face to face there

a young rebel he charged me in the fray.

I turned around and my blade went through him;

I did the devil’s work that day.
For I saw my face there before me

in the boy that I hew down.

He could have been a friend or brother;

another exile from my town.
Three thousand strong rose to fight them

in Antietam’s ripening corn,

but Fredericksburg was our undoing.

Three hundred left to weep and mourn.


Sadly, our FlowerFest is almost over. We head over to the Robert Cemetery, near Mulberry Grove Plantation, to finish the job.

Elizabeth Dixon Robert and John Robert.

That’s our Christmas FlowerFest 2016! We’ll see you in 2017!

FlowerFest 2016

January 19, 2017

Y’all know what time it is. We had actually planned our FlowerFest for the week prior, but changed our dates when we decided that we needed to see Mama Florrie instead. So glad we did, and got to see her one last time. 

If you have followed along in our past FlowerFests, then seriously, you could probably skip this series of blog posts. It’s pretty much the same, yet each year has its quirks. 

Like this year, we scored some awesome mistletoe from a tree that was blown down by Hurricane Matthew in Laurel Grove. 

Annnnnd we’re off…

The Bateson Brothers: A Final Tribute

July 1, 2016

Sugar and I were asked to deliver a eulogy for Thomas and Christopher Henry Bateson at the Laurel Grove Cemetery with the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Sugar, being a recluse, couldn’t do it. I figured I’d have to say a piece for them. After all, they have been unrecognized since Christopher died in 1870 and Thomas in 1877. Somebody needed to speak. I enlisted help from other family members who contributed remembrances and lists of Thomas’s descendants, and I decided to create a eulogy from that.

Less than 24 hours before the ceremony, Sugar volunteered that he is compelled to give a eulogy.


If you want to discuss states right, this is not the place to do it.

If you want to talk about slavery, this is not your forum.

If you want to debate on the economic impact the the war made upon the South, you’ll want to go somewhere else.

This was a funeral service and a tribute to two brothers, whose two little sisters died young in 1853, whose father died when the brothers were teenagers in 1855, whose mother remarried and tried to hold their father’s business together before she died. Christopher died young, Thomas’s wife Martha Mann died young, Thomas died young, and Thomas’s son Thomas Remington died in 1879 at age 7.


I drove so Sugar could practice his speech on the way. When we pulled into the cemetery gates, he had a mini-meltdown. There were people in re-enactment garb gathering. We didn’t know what was planned, but we weren’t really expecting this. It’s hard for a recluse to be around people.

We convoyed over to Lot 322, where the markers had been draped. The soldiers gathered under the trees across the way.

The decision was made to start a few minutes early. The soldiers were wearing woolen uniforms.

An introduction was made, a prayer was said, we made the Pledge of Allegiance and a salute to the Confederate flag, Sugar said his piece, I read a letter by Thomas in 1873 and a tribute from LaRoy Bateson Dunster. I couldn’t read the tribute by LaRoy’s daughter Liz because it was so beautiful that I kept snotting up and crying when I practiced it.

To the Bateson Brothers

by Leslie Bateson

The brave Bateson family buried here originated in Lancashire, England, came to New York City, and then to Savannah by 1852. For 25 years they ran an import goods store downtown at the southeast corner of Drayton and Congress specializing in children’s toys. Misfortune after misfortune finally extinguished most of this family, and they were forgotten and even unknown by other branches of the family who also moved to North America.

My branch entered in New Orleans, where my great-grandfather, a nephew of this Christopher Remington Bateson, married a great-niece of Jefferson Davis and eventually went to New York City to engage in textiles. My father married a Savannah girl, and here I am.

By chance, two years ago a previously unknown cousin in Belgium contacted my friend Ruth about an search and told us of Batesons in Laurel Grove. Astonished, I felt compelled to place a marker here. Then, a cousin in Canada found Mrs. Piechocinski, and now we must heartily thank the United Daughters of the Confederacy for commemorating the Civil War service of these young Bateson brothers.

Ruth will read a copy of a letter given to us by my Canadian cousin Walter Bateson, from Thomas Bateson in Savannah to his Uncle Henry in England.


(Insert my reading the letter here. It’s already on the blog, so I have to go find it and transfer it.)


From Africa with Love

by LaRoy Bateson Dunster

My father, Roy Liston Bateson was 1 of 7 children. He was the first son of Richard Liston Bateson, who came with his brother from Australia to fight in the Anglo/Boer War in South Africa in the late 1800’s. The family saying goes that his brother fought for the Boers & returned to Australia. My grandfather remained in South Africa. My father and his siblings were all proud of their background and at family gatherings held at our home (called Roybo in Vereeniging) we heard the family history. My father died rather young (1913 -1966), which caused a split. He would be so delighted to know about these developments.

Thank You to everyone involved.

LaRoy Dunster (born Bateson), June 25, 2016

Westville, near Durban, South Africa


(Now Liz Dunster’s tribute, which I could not read during the ceremony and had to read to the brothers after the ceremony.)

25 June 2016

To the Bateson Brothers

Dear Christopher and Thomas:

Growing up as a little girl outside of Durban, South Africa, I remember seeing the Bateson family tree – and remember seeing your names in “Savannah, USA”. I had no idea where that might be, and I was curious as to what had happened to you – and where “Savannah” might be.

Fast forward to early 2015. Now living in Wilson, North Carolina, I and my husband and son were less than a month away from our American Citizenship being granted when I discovered that I had Bateson relatives in South Carolina, Canada, and Belgium – and they wanted to know me (you would like them too). That discovery led also to knowing that the Batesons of Savannah USA that I had seen on the old family tree as a child – was in fact your family – from Savannah, Georgia. All of this was an incredible gift at that time – because I felt the , that I truly did have roots in my new country – because they are here, and you were so long ago.

I think that you would be happy to know that although your Bateson family is scattered around the globe – on virtually every continent now – remarkably many of us – nearly 150 years later – are delighted to be in contact with one another. We are honored also to be thinking of you, and honoring you today. Though time and space might separate us, the family bond remains.

Rest in peace.

With love,

Liz Dunster

A wreath was placed at the family marker that Sugar had commissioned two years ago.

The markers are revealed.

The flags are placed on their graves.

The flag known as theStars and Bars is placed on the family marker.

Did I say that the predicted weather was a high temperature of 99*F. and storms? It was perhaps only 95 with a slight breeze. We stood in the shade of a mausoleum across the lane.


Mrs. Piechocinski, Sugar’s cousin Emily, and Sugar

A rifle tribute by the soldiers.

There was a total of 3 shots fired. I have a video that I will attempt to load. If I am unsuccessful, just know that now I understand why the soldiers stood so far away. It was a loud tribute. I can’t even imagine how loud an actual battle would be.

Well done, everyone. It was an honor to be present.

I wonder if this Bateson chapter is over.

More Than One Hundred and Thirty-Eight Years Later: the Bateson Brothers at Laurel Grove

June 12, 2016

I’ve written about Christopher Henry Bateson and his brother Thomas quite a bit. They both served together during the Civil War. They lived to return to Savannah, but both died young. 

And a strange turn of events happened. 

Julie in Brussels found their death records in the City of Savannah Cemetery database. She contacted me online using the messaging system. 

I contacted Sugar, and we went to Laurel Grove where we found that the graves were not marked. Sugar ordered a marker for the whole family which was placed in 2014. 

Another cousin found the blog, and he and his wife came to see us and visit the Bateson plot in January of 2015. Almost a year later, that same cousin contacted the president of the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy to see if she had any info about these brothers.

She located their records, and ordered a military marked for each man. 

This past week, those stones were set. 

Today we find…

I’m actually quite speechless.