Posts Tagged ‘Laurel Grove’

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…

FlowerFest 2016: Visiting the Batesons at Laurel Grove

January 21, 2017

The first stop of the day is at Laurel Grove to see the Batesons. You might remember that Thomas and Christopher had their graves marked in June 2016. 

The Densler Mausoleum is not far away, so we stroll over to see Aunt Polly and her people, who are not related to the Bateson people at all. 

It is always dark at the Denslers because of the huge old trees. So dark today, that the reflective markers on Sugar’s shoes show up in the photo in broad daylight. 

We find a large downed cherry laurel with a hollow cavity. This casualty is probably from Hurricane Matthew. 

A good portion of it has been cleared away, and Sugar spots the mistletoe. 

Over the years, the list of poinsettia memorials has changed a little. Today, we realize that we have an extra poinsettia, and we are close to Alexander family. This is a very old family out of Sunbury, Georgia, and the link is Sarah Alexander who married Alexander Robert Lawton. 

Edward Porter Alexander. Look him up. He’s quite famous.

Louisa Porter, a local benefactor.

Dr. Adam Alexander is in the foreground. There are also Houstons, Reads, and Cummings.

Across the lane is Jeremy and Louisa Fredericka Gilmer. 

Now over to the other side of Laurel Grove. 

We’ve always come to the Jones-Lawton Mausoleum to bring flowers. Augustus Seaborn Jones’s daughter Elizabeth married William Seabrook Lawton, and they are Sugar’s great-grandparents. 

We’re in for a surprise today. Sugar sees it first at the back of the mausoleum. 

Our best guess is that the hurricane rain ran behind the veneer and separated it enough that the veneer’s weight went over in one motion. 

The back of several pieces had identifying writing, like “7th course”, which was probably the original writing when the pieces were made in Italy, well over 100 years ago. Grease marker, perhaps?  

The night before had been down to freezing. This accounts for why the poinsettias looked a little bedraggled today. We console ourselves with”it’s the thought that counts”, and we head across Savannah to Bonaventure. 

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. 


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.   

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: 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. 

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. 


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: William Ebbes a/k/a Another Mystery

May 27, 2015

Because we’re in Laurel Grove Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia, with Sugar’s Bateson cousins from Canada, we’re visiting the Bateson plot #322.


And because we know that there is some sort of connection with the Bateson family and William Ebbes and William Spears, we scout around to find the location of lot #1494, which is where William Ebbes should be buried. (We don’t know where William Spears is buried. At least, not yet.)

We find the plot…


No markers of any kind. Nothing.


You can see that the plot is surrounded by other marked plots. There’s the bushes on the left, the fencing along the back, and the curbing on the right.

From the back looking forward…, then from the front again.



And we are yet again confounded by another plot with no marker of any kind. Someone had enough money to purchase the plot, but let’s guess that by the time the plot was used, there was not money enough for a headstone.

What happened to these people?

Batesons United By Death: Camila Lends a Paw

May 21, 2015

Sugar’s little neighbor is Camila the Chihuahua. I’ve written about her before and how she will charge out of her yard to come to see us when we are standing in his driveway. 

Señorita Camila started traveling farther than next door to Sugar’s driveway. We were on the way back to his house after one of our outings, and I spotted a light brown squirrel just before you turn into his driveway. This lively little squirrel was on the grassy side of a two lane highway, but was not attempting to cross the road. Said squirrel appeared to be out and about, enjoying the day. 

I squeaked, “There’s Camila!”, and turned into Sugar’s driveway. 

Insert dilemma. We have to get her. What if she runs away from us, squirrel-like? Into The Road?! 

Sugar slipped out of the van and called to her, and she ran right to him. We took her home, and I explained to her family that it’s been 6 months since she got pregnant with her first litter, and that she was out looking for a boyfriend. (Or boyfriendS.)  I told them I would take her to fix that problem, and the woman agreed No More Babies. 

Surgery went well, and she is staying with me til she heals, but what to do about our Bateson visitors and ensuing excursions? We know that we’ll be gone for hours, so we’ll just take her with us. 

She stays in the crate in the van while we have our lunch. 

Then off to Laurel Grove Cemetery, where thoughtful thinkers think.


It would seem that Camila has joined the ranks of those who love family history.