Posts Tagged ‘Bonaventure’

FlowerFest 2016: On To Bonaventure 

February 1, 2017

Annnnd our yearly hello to Dr. and Mrs. Tucker. Dr. Tucker christened Sugar at Christ Church years ago. 

Dr. and Mrs. Tucker are buried in the same lot as Albert Sidney Lawton. We don’t know the connection. 

I have no clue where the minister who christened me is buried. Now, that is devotion on Sugar’s part. 

Albert Sidney Lawton and his wife Tayloe Corbin Lawton.

Further along, we stop at the Basinger plot, which is across from the Starr plot. 

Y’all know these people. I’ve written about them every year, plus there are all the Civil War letters that William Starr Basinger wrote home to Savannah. 

Across the lane are the older generations of the Basinger family: the Starrs, more Basingers, and Anne Pearson who married William Starr. (Her sister “Polly” Densler is buried in Laurel Grove.) Connections surround us. 

See the “caution” tape along the left rear of the photo? The tape marks out hurricane damage still in evidence.

Our last stop at Bonaventure is the final resting place of Alexander Robert Lawton, his wife Sarah, and their descendants. 

A popular monument is Corinne Elliott Lawton. I talked, months ago, to a tour guide over the phone about some of the false stories that are still being told about these families. When I mentioned that Sugar and I feel like we have a special connection to this family, and that we’ve placed flowers for close to a decade, she said that she had wondered who was doing that. 

There’s an enormous old Sago palm which almost prevents my obtaining a photo. 

FlowerFesting is hard work. Pilgrims need food and drink. So off to The Distillery. 

We’re done for the day, but we are not done with the FlowerFest. There’s still more to be done in Robertville, which will have to happen the following week…

More SugarCousins: Maude Constance Tilton, 1876-1937

May 1, 2016

And another thing…

A nice lady found my blog. She is a SugarCousin, and she wonders what we can find out about her grandmother from Savannah, a certain Maude Constance Tilton who married Joseph Maner Lawton. 

Before you gasp and exclaim *That’s my Joseph Maner Lawton*, well, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. There were several. Regardless of which one, you’re a cousin. 

I poked around the Internet and made a little tree. I added Maude’s parents and husband. 

Then I added Maude’s siblings… 

Then one generation back. 

Then I checked the City of Savannah’s Cemetery database. 

Aaa n d we’re off to the cemetery. 

The first stop is Laurel Grove. 

We are looking for lot 1874, which is where Mrs. Rosa M. Tilton, Clifton Mills Tilton, and Nathaniel O. Tilton are buried. We turn down a lane that we’ve never traveled before, near the front of the cemetery, and SugarSpotter spotted a stone that he needed to see. Demanded I take a photo, he did. 


William Maner Bostwick, 1875-1947

Sugar thinks that this Bostwick person to be a derivation of Bostick, especially because it is coupled with “Maner”. And who am I to argue about local names with a local? I have learned to pick only the fights I can win. 

On to 1874. The lot, not the year. 

Nothing. No markers. This is not the first, nor the second, nor the third time we have encountered this, right here in Laurel Grove. 

There *IS* a simply wonderful Sago Palm that surely was planted long ago. It’s HUGE. 

Sorry for my poor planning and lack of forethought for not having a Sugary frame of reference to show you how big this Sago is. I think I was unnerved that there were no markers. 

 There were a couple of outlined graves. If you read a recent post about the Bateson plot at #322, you’ll remember that we can talk to he nice cemetery conservator who has the marvelous database that shows who is where. 

We know that the Bateson brothers have not had their markers installed yet, so we bypass a visit there because we still have much to see across town at Bonaventure. Plus lunch. A girl’s gotta have priorities. 

Now at Bonaventure. We’re at the sign at the entrance, looking for Section F, lot 46. Sorry for the reflection on the map. 

The Tiltons that I can identify as being part of this group are Jane C. Tilton, Major N. O. Tilton, O. L. Tilton, Rosa A. Tilton, and Mrs. Rosa B. Tilton. 

Of course. the SugarSpotter find a Lawton next door. 

Now, back to the true reason of our visit. 






Because I did a little homework before we set off for the cemetery, I found these documents about Nathaniel on ancestrydotcom. 

That wraps up our cemetery tour. I’m guessing that there are lots more documents online about this family. When I find more, I’ll edit this post and add them. 

Good night, Tilton people. We’re thinking of you.   

FlowerFest 2015: The Woodwards

December 20, 2015

Sugar decided that he wanted to put a Christmas poinsettia at the family plot for his children’s mother’s grandparents. He hadn’t been there in years, even though we pass fairly near to get to his people in Bonaventure. 

We had a hard time finding it. He knew the general area, and said that there was a bench there. After driving up and down every little lane, I finally convinced his that we needed to go to the map at the entrance. We knew that it was 262 in section M, but many individual plot markers were missing, and the signs at the end of each aisle didn’t include 262. 

We found it! In spite of the fact that there is no longer a bench. 


Then something happened to us that has never happened before. 

We ran out of time and daylight with two more cemeteries to visit.

Stay tuned for FlowerFest 2015: Part 2. 

Goodbye, Woodwards. We’ll see you next year. 

FlowerFest 2015: a Visit with the A. R. Lawton Family

December 14, 2015

Sugar and I had already driven by the plot of the Alexander Robert Lawton family, and there were tourists there. We weren’t ready to visit unless we weren’t on display. Even though I always want to shout at people, “See that guy?! He’s a Lawton!”

Because I am cool like that. 


Hey Corinne, I’ve got your back.


Our friend Sarah Alexander Cunningham, who was Corinne’s niece, and the keeper and donater of Lawton artifacts


  • To live in the hearts of our loved ones is not to die. 


Nora is Corinne’s sister.


Henry is Nora’s husband.

There is a Sago Palm in the left front corner of the Lawton plot that is enormous. A couple of close-ups are necessary.  

Let’s go see some new folks, at least new to you and me. They are another connection of Sugar’s. 

Surprised? I know I am. I thought we’d met them all…

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: On to Bonaventure 

December 10, 2015

Sugar and I are out and about to the cemeteries taking the poinsettias for his people. 

I don’t have any people here, although I have been made an honorary Lawton and an honorary Bateson. I’m along for the ride, because the stories, oh, the stories are fascinating. 

We’ve finished up at our first two stops at Laurel Grove and on 36th Street West. Lunch!


the Sentient Bean

We’ve been eating here for years. I can probably count on one hand the other restaurants we’e eaten in here in Savannah.  Be prepared, though. It’s vegetarian. Seriously, you don’t even miss the meat. Their main premise is as a coffee shop. For a long time we didn’t go in here. We were afraid we weren’t cool enough. We’re probably still not cool, but nobody seems to care about our chill factor. 
Then next door to Brighter Day Health Food store. 

It’s time to go to Bonaventure, and on the way, we see the Lawton memorial on our right. It was built in memory of General Alexander Robert Lawton and his daughter Corinne Elliott Lawton by A. R.’s wife, Sarah Alexander Lawton. 


It’s a church now.


Our first top in Bonaventure is at the Corbin plot. Sugar honors the memory of Dr. Tucker and his wife. Dr. Tucker baptized Sugar. Strangely, the Tuckers are buried in the Corbin plot along with Albert Sidney Lawton and his wife Tayloe Corbin. 

The sun is behind us, and we make shadows on the stones. I resolve this by standing on the other side of the stone.

What’s this? We still have lots of flowers, because this day is not over. 

Batesons United By Death: Basingers at Bonaventure 

May 29, 2015

Sugar and I are on a tour of Savannah with his Bateson cousins from Canada. Have I told you how we met them?

The blog, of course.

We’ve been to Laurel Grove Cemetery to visit the newly marked plot of the Christopher R. Bateson family, if you understand by “newly marked” that I mean last summer, because this plot was never marked for the any of the burials which occurred from 1853-1879. We also went to find the plot of William Ebbs, who was a guardian for the youngest Bateson child Thomas Remington Bateson after his parents Thomas and Martha Mann Bateson died. This plot is also unmarked.

Right now we’re in Bonaventure for a quick tour which always, always means we visit Sugar’s mother, grandmother, and great-grandparents at the Basinger plot.

 We know that William Epps and William Spears were affiliated with the Bateson family somehow. They were hucksters and vegetable sellers in the Thunderbolt area east of Savannah, so…

We’re off to Thunderbolt!

Batesons United by Death: On to Bonaventure!

May 27, 2015

Because Sugar and I are good citizens and try to be outstanding hosts, we take our guests to the cemetery.

If you are a new visitor to the blog, you might feel disinclined to read any more. The cemetery?

In an old city, like Savannah, there is great history and beauty in the cemetery. The foliage, the plantings, the grand trees, the view, and the memorials make for time well spent.

I don’t hang out in cemeteries in general. I go with Sugar to visit his people. When we took the Bonaventure cemetery tour, we were led into an area where we had never been. That’s right, even Sugar had never been there, and he’s been going to this cemetery for more than 50 years. It’s just that it’s a big cemetery, and our paths are small and sure. We had no reason to vary our path.

On this day, our paths are sure. We’re going to stop at Bonaventure with Sugar’s visiting Bateson cousins to visit Sugar’s people buried there.

It was on this trip that I thought I had found the spot where a photo was taken in the early 1900s. I wrote about that here. I’m pretty sure I’m right, and blog readers confirm that my eyes don’t deceive me.

A left-turn off the main lane takes us to the Basinger plot.

The guys are a little ways off from me, because I’ve been across the way taking photos of an entirely unrelated plot. Ah, distraction, how have I ever finished a single project in my entire life? (Purely rhetorical.)


I’m using both the digital camera and the iPhone for picture-taking enjoyment today, but at this point in time I don’t know how to blend the iPhone photos into the blog along with the camera photos. I *do* know how to write a blog post using just the iPhone photos, and can go into the post using the laptop to edit and add the camera photos that have been saved to the laptop. But I can’t figure out how to write a blog post on the laptop and add the iPhone photos after. Because I’m figuring out stuff as I go along.  There’s probably a tutorial out there that will resolve my issue, but clearly it’s not important enough for me to worry about that now.

We’ve got cemetery photos to view.

Which will be the next post,

Because they’re on the iPhone.

FlowerFest 2014: Poinsettias for Bonaventure and Laurel Grove

December 28, 2014

It started very simply.

Sugar wanted to continue a tradition whereby his mother would take flowers to her family’s gravesite at Christmas and Easter.

We started in 2009. That’s when we took poinsettias to his mother in Bonaventure and his cousin in Laurel Grove.

Then over time, we found more of Sugar’s relatives buried in both places. He bought more and more flowers every year.

This Christmas we were up to eight poinsettias, which represented not individual people, but individual plots with multiple relatives.

We asked a SugarCousin if she wanted to join us on our crazy train, and she did.


We three stop first at Bonaventure at the Corbin plot. Here’s a mystery: why is Dr. Francis Bland Tucker buried in the Corbin plot?

Albert Sidney Lawton, who knew Miz Florrie in Garnett, South Carolina, married Elizabeth Tayloe Corbin, a Savannah girl. Miz Florrie’s father, Walter Gant, worked for Albert Sidney Lawton, and when Albert Sidney moved to the Jacksonville area, Walter moved, too.








Leaving the Corbin plot, we drive further along the lane, and circle back on another lane so that Sugar can inspect some headstones. He thinks he knows these Lee people from when he was growing up.



We notice that Clermont Huger Lee has the same name as the girl that was in Sugar’s mother’s class at Pape School in 1925.

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Clermont Lee is on the front row, all the way on the right.



And just to the right, we find this stone, slightly hidden by the foliage. Perhaps we should add her to our floral list. No husband, no children.




Then on to the Basinger plot. I’ve written about this family a lot.

Back: Garnett, Mag, Will. Front: Leslie, Major Basinger, Walter, Mrs. Basinger, and Tom.

Back: Garnett, Mag, Will.
Front: Leslie, Major Basinger, Walter, Mrs. Basinger, and Tom.

We see that some little animals, chipmunks perhaps, have enjoyed a pre-Christmas acorn meal at the entrance to the plot.







This is James “Garnett” Basinger who married Nannie Screven. They had one daughter.

We step across the lane to the Starr plot. Sugar places the poinsettia in a permanent flower holder in front of his great-great-grandmother’s gravesite. She’s Jane Susan Starr Basinger.

Mary "Leslie", Tom, Elizabeth "Georgia", Jane Susan Starr Basinger, Walter, Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, Major William Starr Basinger, Maggie, and Ate' the dog in Dahlonega, Georgia.

Mary “Leslie”, Tom, Elizabeth “Georgia”, Jane Susan Starr Basinger, Walter, Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, Major William Starr Basinger, Maggie, and Ate’ the dog in Dahlonega, Georgia.

The Family Bible of Thomas and Jane Susan Starr Basinger.

The Family Bible of Thomas and Jane Susan Starr Basinger.




A little further along, we stop to visit Corinne Elliott Lawton.



Corinne Elliott Lawton

Corinne Elliott Lawton






Having finished at Bonaventure, we head across town to Laurel Grove.





The crape myrtles look like they could be cut back yet again.




Mrs. Dr. William Seabrook Lawton, in the late 1800's.

Mrs. Dr. William Seabrook Lawton, in the late 1800’s.



SugarCousin brought poinsettias for her parents and her aunt Mary.





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We’re not done. The Batesons need some poinsettias, too, especially when you stop to consider that this family has been in unmarked graves since 1855. Sugar had their marker made and installed this year after we learned that they were his cousins from Lancashire, England.





A few lanes over is the Densler mausoleum. Mrs. Mary Densler was Aunt Polly to Sugar’s g-g-grandmother Jane Susan Starr Basinger. This family died out. No one to bring flowers, except us.

So we do.







We got these flowers almost a full week before we could put them out. Sugar went back and bought a bonus one just in case we needed it. What to do?



Close by is the Alexander family. Sarah Alexander married Alexander Robert Lawton, and they were Corinne’s parents. These Alexanders were Sarah’s family. There are other collateral folks here: Gilmer, Porter, Houston, Read, Cumming, Van Yeveren…






On the way home, we swing by for one last look at the Jones-Lawton mausoleum. The rain has been misting on and off for a bit, but it’s on the way in earnest now.


Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

In Which There Are Ten

May 7, 2014

(This is the first in a series.)

I started writing this blog in 2009 as a college class assignment.  I didn’t know I’d keep writing.  I didn’t have a clear purpose for the blog.  I don’t even have a fancy name.  I like the fact that the blog name still has the word “blog” in it, because, people, this is just my opinion and random facts knitted together.  If you want hard news and current events, this is not your place to be.

If you want news about cats and yarns and dead people, step right up.  And comment, please, ’cause bloggers are needy and we love comments.  Of course, out of the three, cats cause the most controversy because everyone has an opinion about cats.  Yarns, not so much.  Dead people are in a category by themselves.  If I’m not writing about your particular dead people, you just might not be interested.

Dead people stories are fascinating.  We make up entire stories around the most remote facts and family history.  What I like about my dead people stories is that I have facts in the form of source materials, like birth & marriage & death records, census records, old letters and family collections, and court records.  Sometimes I can find a photo of a person, but mostly, I take photos of headstones and cemetery lots.

I make family trees for people that ask, or for people that don’t ask but are clearly interested in their family tree.  I have over 50 trees on, and I’ve made them private.  Sometimes I receive messages from people who want to know more about a particular family tree, like this message two weeks ago from Brussels.

I think that the Richard Bateson b 1824 Westhoughton in your Bateson Family Tree is probably the Richard Bateson who married Susannah Wagstaff in 1847 ? This Richard Bateson was a younger brother of my 3xG grandfather, Henry Bateson, and I wondered if/how you are related.

I am particularly trying to find out about descendants of Richard Bateson’s son, Charles Edward Bateson who I think emigrated to the US – but it’s proving somewhat tricky as I only have access to UK records. I have seen his gravestone on the findagrave site and there are various ‘calculated relationships’ to other Bateson family members but it is difficult to know if this information is complete and/or accurate. I think you are probably the same person who created the memorial for Richard Humpreyes Bateson (1947-61) and so I hope that you might be able to give me more information on this Bateson line.

Best regards,

This nice lady is asking about Sugar’s family.  The Charles Edward Bateson who emigrated?  Sugar’s great-grandfather.

She went on to say that there are Batesons buried in Savannah in Laurel Grove Cemetery, and she produced the proof from an online source, the City of Savannah Burial Records.

Sugar didn’t know anything about any Batesons buried in Savannah in the 1800’s.  The most recent burial was 1879.








It appears that these Batesons were in New York City for a while, then moved to Savannah.  This family is in Lot 322, and we were curious to learn more.

I found Christopher H. and Thomas Bateson in 1860 living with Jonathan and Mary Graham.  Who were the Grahams?  Sugar suggested that the boys were living with their mother who had remarried after the death of her husband Christopher R. Bateson in 1855.  And you know what?  He’s right.  I searched the database for Mary Graham, and she’s also buried in Lot 322.


This means a field trip was in order.


We started bright and earlyish for Savannah.  Not many tourists were out and about, and one lone runner traced the lanes in the cemetery, back and forth, his bright yellow jersey a spot of color in all the gray headstones and mausoleums.

We already knew the general area of Lot 322, and as we made our way, Sugar commented on names that he recognized.  I said that we had been this way before, and how had we missed an entire lot of Batesons?  It’s not a common name.

We arrived at the Lot 322.

Sugar:  There it is.

YoursTruly:  There they are!

Sugar:  There’s nothing there.

YoursTruly:  There’s the marker for 322.  There they are!

Sugar:  No, the lot is empty.

We pulled in from of Lot 322, which was.  Empty.  The marker was off to the side, next to the lot next door which did have residents.



Sugar walks the empty lot.



This shot is taken from the back of the lot. There are markers in each lot on either side.


The lot in the foreground in Lot 321. Lot 322 is the strip of green next to the van, and it appears to be the same size as the outlined Lot 321.


Sugar spots something buried in the ground.


He pried it up, and it appears to be a section of fence. Whatever it is, it’s metal.


This concrete piece is next to the curbing that outlines Lot 321. It’s not clear if there was a fence here, but there’s a bit on metal embedded in the concrete.



This is the only other thing remaining on the lot, and it’s also next to the curbing for Lot 321. There appears to be a small hole in the granite.

Well, this was weird, and sad.  I felt like crying.  Eight people, buried right here for over 135 years, and possibly cemetery workers had been piling debris here on this EMPTY lot for later removal.

Why else would there be a piece of decorative metal lying on the ground?

Sugar decided he wants to have a marker put here.  I call the cemetery office for him to find out, just on the outside chance, if there are any other people buried here.

The main office is at Bonaventure, and a nice lady named Earline helped me.  She found that there are TEN people buried here, not the eight we knew about.  This confounds things.  We don’t know how the other two fit into this family.

Curiouser and curiouser.