Posts Tagged ‘Bateson’

The Clue by the Grave

June 16, 2016

Sugar and I are at the grave of Christopher Henry Bateson in Laurel Grove in Savannah, when I notice something in the newly-turned dirt, about 4 inches away from the newly-placed marker. 

I wondered what it was. Sugar thought it was a piece of plastic. 

It wasn’t plastic at all. It was a shard from a piece of china. I took it home. 

I have some scenarios in my head about how a chip of china ended up approximately at the location of the head of a grave. Someone near and dear to Christopher brought a plant in a small pot and used a saucer for the base. His mother? A girl friend? In some old cemeteries, like Old Gray in Knoxville, families went on picnic outings because of the lovely, park-like settings. Did Christopher’s family escape from the congested city to have a picnic dinner in the cemetery?

Perhaps it is because the cemetery workers used this once-empty lot to pile up refuse and debris for later removal. 


The Bateson Brothers: Getting Headstones Because of the Internet

March 5, 2016

Once upon a time, say about 175 years ago, give or take a few, Christopher Remington Bateson moved from Lancashire, England to New York City. He married a woman named Mary. 

They moved to Savannah, Georgia, and operated a toy store. They had 4 children, Christopher Henry, Thomas A., Alice, and Mary Jane. Alice died in 1853 at 8 years and 9 months, while her mother Mary was pregnant with Mary Jane. Mary Jane was born and died at the age of 12 hours, 2 months after Alice. 

The 2 boys Christopher and Thomas were in the Civil War. Christopher died in 1870. Thomas died in 1877. 

The last Bateson person to be buried in this plot was Thomas’s son, Thomas Remington Bateson, who died in 1879 at age 7. 

This plot was unmarked for 135 YEARS until it was located by Julie in Brussels via the Internet. She got in touch with me via the Internet. Sugar determined that he would purchase a marker for the family. 

His cousin Walter in Canada found us through the blog via the Internet. He and his wife visited us last year. This year, I suppose because he is snowed in and has time for research, Walter emailed the President of the Savannah Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, simply to inquire if she had information about these brothers. 

She researched them via the Internet, and determined that they were eligible for government markers. 

She ordered the markers, and after they are placed, she will arrange a formal ceremony to honor these fellows. 

While we wait, Sugar wants to go back to the cemetery and collect the flower pots left over from the poinsettias that we presented at Christmas. 


We pull up to #322, and this is what we see. 

And Sugar, being a good spotter, spots 2 blue flags. 

My heart, be still. 


Christopher H. Bateson


Thomas A. Bateson

I emailed the nice UDC President via the Internet, who let us know that the markers are ordered. She herself placed the blue flags to show the monument company where to place the markers. And I found out that there are still records of whom is buried where. Which means I have to know now. 

I find this all a remarkable chain of events, which would not have been possible. Without. The Internet. 

And if you want to attend the ceremony but can’t? I’ll let you know, via the Internet. 

FlowerFest 2015: at the Basinger Plot

December 12, 2015

Across the sandy lane from the Starr plot is the Basinger plot. The large central marker is for Sugar’s great-grandfather William Starr Basinger and wife Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger. Sugar’s brother, mother, and grandmother are also there, plus other Basinger relatives. 


My back is to the Starr plot.

This is a very shady lot, and I’ve never gotten a bright picture of it. We have been faithful to these people since we started bringing flowers in 2009. We didn’t bring flowers at Easter this year because I had to work that day, and Sugar doesn’t want to come alone. I still regret that we missed Easter, even though this is a self-imposed duty and we’re not winning any prizes. 


He points at his mother’s and brother’s graves off to our left.


FlowerFest 2015: Stops One and Two

December 8, 2015

We’re off on our annual poinsettia-placing to Savannah. 




From SC into GA

Sugar and I head into Laurel Grove first. It’s on the west side of town, so we approach it first once we cross over the bridge. 

Our goal is to start with the Densler and Bateson plots, then finish up at the Lawton-Jones mausoleum. As we drove along the lane, we got visually side-tracked by a limping dog, who limped along across the lane in front of us and joined another dog. Then a little shepherd mix PUPPY popped out of the underbrush, right by a black dog that might have been his mother. We had no food in the car to give them. It was all disconcerting. 

The dogs melted into the underbrush, but the puppy came out to bark at us. 

There was really nothing we could do about the dogs, except leave them. 

We parked back of the Densler mausoleum and walk around to the front. Mrs. Mary Densler is buried here, and she is William Starr Basinger’s Aunt Polly. More correctly, I believe she is the sister of his mother’s mother Ann Pearson Starr. 

Some of the bricks look clean and repointed. 

We walk over a few lanes to the Bateson plot. This lot is special to us. We discovered in 2014 that there were Batesons right here in Savannah in an unmarked plot, and Sugar ordered a stone for them. There are 10 people buried here in a lot that can hold 12. The last burial was in 1879, that of the child, Thomas Remington Bateson. No one was left to mark the burial place until 135 years later when a Sugar came along. 

I always want to just sit with these people. I wonder what they would think of this: the picture-taking, the blogging, the marking of the plot. And the automobiles, the traffic, the sounds of the interstate nearby, the planes overhead. Every vehicle was pulled by animal power when these folks were alive. I want to talk to them, or actually, simply to listen to what they have to say. This family breaks my heart. 

It’s time to go to Jones-Lawton. 

This crypt is on 4 plots, if I understand it correctly. There are 4 graves buried outside the crypt, Sugar’s aunt Emily Augusta Lawton, and his first cousins Mary Garrard Mackin and her brother William, and William’s wife Alice Knott Garrard. 

Inside are at least 18 people. The story goes that it was built by Augustus Seaborn Jones for himself and his wife Emily Robert Jones. Here’s where things get convoluted. Their daughter Elizabeth “Bessie” Jones married Dr. William Seabrook Lawton (they are Sugar’s great-grandparents).  Their son Edward Percival Lawton (he is Sugar’s grandfather) and daughter Gulielma Lawton Read (she married Abram Carrington Read) are buried there, but not their spouses. Another daughter of Edward Percival is there: Leslie Lawton Read, who married a different branch of the Reads. Leslie’s daughter Margaret Louisa Read is there, and she took the last spot. (Another daughter of Edward Percival’s is Emily Augusta Lawton, already mentioned.)

So many Lawtons, so little time. 


Sugar spots a rainbow effect over Jones-Lawton.


We walk around the grounds, noting that the crepe myrtles could be cut back yet again. 


From the rear

It’s time now to go somewhere we’ve never gone, literally and figuratively. 

The day before, I had an online conversation with another of Sugar’s Lawton cousins who mentioned that his grandfather Jefferson Brown, a Lawton descendant, lived at 1024 36th Street. I offered to go by to see if the house still stood. 
His name is Jordan, and he tested with 23&me. He’s definitely a Lawton. 

You can read his story at the 23&me website. 


FlowerFest 2015:  Off to the Cemetery 

December 8, 2015

It’s that time of year again! We started in 2009, and now we’re up to 10 poinsettias for 10 plots. 


Once again there are excellent poinsettias the Publix grocery store.   

The cashier asked him if we were decorating a hall. He said no, we’re going to the cemetery. She melted slightly and told him that was sweet. I didn’t tell her his name is Sugar.

And we’re off to Savannah!

A BatesonFest Goodbye

November 28, 2015

Sugar and I are sad. It’s time to say goodbye to his Canadian cousins. 

But first a few photos from Walter’s collection…


Richard Bateson of Lancashire. He’s Sugar’s great-great-grandfather, and Walter’s, too.


This old photo is labeled the Bateson home in Oakleigh, Ashton on Mersey, which still stands. We don’t know why it’s a Bateson home. Fascinating history of the home nonetheless.


Susannah Wagstaff Bateson, wife of Richard Bateson, who predeceased him.


This last old photo is YoursTruly, Audrey, Walter, and Leslie. I’m squinting because the darn selfie won’t work.

See you next year! (Anybody want to go to Canada?)

At Honey Horn: the Art of Stanley Meltzoff

November 25, 2015

I don’t know of him. Perhaps you do. 

His works were featured in a temporary exhibit. 

His underwater works have an ethereal quality (that being a good thing and not meaning spacey). Yet why didn’t I photograph any? Perhaps I was too entranced by the real thing. 

There were other objects of interest in the room. Like this chair once belonging to John Holmes, a Gullah fisherman who died in 1972 at the age of 86. 

 We toured a bit longer into the room that displayed local artists’ works. And I couldn’t resist taking one more photo of a storyboard about freedom. 

There are walking trails and a butterfly house, even though it’s too late in the season for butterflies. 

It’s probably mid-afternoon by now, and we walk down to an observation deck into the marsh that overlooks Jarvis Creek. 

Do you see the Bateson cousins?


The talk turns to the time and the tide, the calls of the birds, the smell of the marsh…

Along the walkway to the butterfly house, there’s a memorial section. There’s Sugar’s friend Fred’s parents. 

It caused us to pause in moments of silence while we read their tributes. 

We finished our day here at the butterfly enclosure. All I can say about that is this: now I want a butterfly enclosure…

On to Honey Horn

November 25, 2015

Sugar had considered for a long time how to round out our BatesonFest with his Canadian cousins. 

A trip to Honey Horn Plantation was his answer. It’s not only that it’s the location of the Coastal Discovery Museum, it’s also the former home of his childhood friend Fred. 

The drive winds through the trees to get to the house. We pause outside the house to check out some of the storyboards. 


There are excellent trees on the grounds.  It is thought that the name Honey Horn is a derivation of the name of an early owner, Mr. Hanahan. 
Once inside, there are so many things to see and absorb yourself in. Displays, dioramas, books and gifts and souvenirs, art exhibits, an entire room geared for kids, and storyboards about the history of the people, the plantation, and the island are just waiting for you. 


You can enlarge any photo by clicking on it.






Sugar pointed how the interior had changed. The rooms had been opened up to make the floor plan flow into an airy space. The ceilings have not been lowered. Twelve feet? Fourteen? I don’t know, but tall ceilings aided in cooling a house in this climate. 

We head into an area where the art exhibitions are… 

Bateson, Spears, and Ebbs in the Probate Records

November 15, 2015

Thomas Bateson died young in the 1870s. His brother Christopher Henry Bateson had preceded him in death.

Thomas and Martha Mann Bateson had 3 children: Alice, Georgia Agnes, and Thomas Remington. After Martha died, Thomas relinquished the care of the girls to the Episcopal Orphan Home and the care of young Thomas to William Spears and William Ebbs. Then Thomas the elder and Thomas the younger died, and somehow one of the documents shows Spears and Ebbs to be the guardian of the girls, even though by then the girls were both past age 20.


Can someone please tell me how Bateson, Spears, and Ebbs are connected?!

More Bateson News

August 22, 2015

Because Sugar’s cousin Julie in Brussels is tenacious.  

And life can be tangled and glorious. 

Julie found more of Sugar’s Bateson cousins in South Africa, which was certainly unexpected. Even more unexpected, she found more about 6 hours from us in North Carolina. 

 So Sugar has moremoremore cousins! As luck would have it, we met  up at Edisto Island. 

 Have I mentioned that Sugar is a recluse? Plus toss in some worrying that new cousins won’t like him. I don’t worry so much because they are not my people. 

He also thinks that it is weird that we are meeting people that we’ve never met. He’s at a disadvantage because I’ve already met them on the Internet. Worryworryworry. 

 Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to worry.