Posts Tagged ‘Old Letters’

A Letter to Colin McDonald, July 13, 1967

February 3, 2015

2014-11-20 11.55.14

July 13, 1967

Colin McDonald

Flat 5, “Chevron”

122 Maine Parade


Western Australia

Dear Mr. McDonald:

In reviewing some papers, I ran across a copy

of my letter to you of July 25, 1965, which led me to

wonder if you had ever received the letter. In case

it went astray, another copy is enclosed. It would be

most interesting to hear from you.

I hope this find you in good health.

Very truly yours,

Cousin Douglas

There’s something I love about all this letter-writing back and forth, and maybe you love the same thing. Years went by without reply, yet they kept holding out a little candle in the darkness, that someone, someday, was going to answer them.

A Letter from Colin McDonald, September 12, 1968

February 3, 2015

Can you see that I’ve stopped with the chatty commentary in my haste to get this stuff posted? Because I’m got more old photos and letters waiting in the wings.

The transcription follows, but sadly, this letter is faded in spots so the transcription is likewise spotty. Perhaps you can figure out what some of the missing words are, and you’ll give me a clue.

2014-11-20 11.53.12

2014-11-20 11.54.12


Colin McDonald.

The Bank of Adelaide,

11, Leadenhall Street,

London, E.C.3.

September 12, 1968.

Dear Remote Cousin,

Owing to trouble with

first one eye and then the other (now on the

mend at last) I have never thanked you

for your letter about family history.

After a long period during which he

would not let me read or write at times

my eye doctor in Perth suddenly gave me

the all-clear to travel.

For personal reasons I wanted to come

straight to London and so was not able to

accept your very kind invitation to stay

with you in your home on Long Island.

(?) I am in London I hope to follow

up some of my lines of inquiry into family

history and I shall be glad to let you what

I may be able to find out.

Please do not expect any dramatic results

because I have just turned 69, my eye still

gives me a bit of trouble at times, and I

have a limited amount to spend on research.

Through the good offices of a friend I have

been given a reader’s ticket to the British

Museum and I hope to do some research there

into my period in China.

I must apologize for writing this letter

by hand; my typewriter has not yet been

unpacked! Don’t hesitate to type or dictate

if you wish to reply.

For a long time I have been hoping to

send you notes on the material I have in

hand and will try to do this if only in tentative

form as my eye improves.

Since all my families came out to Australia

in sailing ships I have not given up hope of

(?) some (?) in which the

dates and (?)

In the meantime I am enclosing a photo

maybe some of your Bateson relations would

(?) please accept for your (?)

(?) as a token of my (?)

Charles Edward

Bateson about 1872

Yours sincerely,

Colin McDonald



A Letter from Colin McDonald: December 1, 1970

February 1, 2015

A letter from the package of Diamonds in Sugar’s Mailbox…

The transcription follows.

2014-11-20 11.48.34

2014-11-20 11.49.42


G.P.O. BOX B54,
23 2416


c/o Ms. D. Moore,
3 Lindsey Flats,
Jameson Avenue East
Salisbury, Rhodesia.
December 1, 1970.
Dear Cousin Douglas,
Owing to the trouble
with my eyes I have not yet sent you
the promised details about the Batesons
in Australia.
I am now on my way back to
Australia by air by way of South Africa
after visiting England.
At the moment I am staying with
Bateson cousins in Rhodesia and will
be flying down to Johannesburg in a couple
of days’ time to stay with cousins there.
From Johannesburg I fly back to
Australia by way of Mauritius arriving
at Perth on Friday December 11.
On my arrival in Salisbury I
received a letter from cousin Walter
in Ontario asking for details about
the Batesons in Africa and Australia.
After my visit to Johannesburg I
shall be able to tell you both more about
the Batesons in both places.
It may take a little time to collate
all the facts but I shall let you have
them as soon as I can.
When I get home I shall also let
you have a note on the Batesons past
and present in Australia.
In the meantime as I have told
Walter I am being kept pretty busy – at 41 years
of age! – seeing the varied sights of Africa!
The most magnificent sight of all
of course has been the truly wonderful
Victoria Falls.
With best wishes to you and
your family for Christmas and the
New Year.
Yours sincerely,
Colin McDonald
Colin McDonald.
Please address letters to me at the
Weld Club where I now live
when I am in Perth.

A Letter to Colin McDonald: July 25, 1965

February 1, 2015

Another letter from the package of letters and items that Sugar received from his cousin.

The transcription follows. Make a cup of tea and sit down.

The transcription errors are mine, and mine alone. I usually post a transcription after review and correction, but on this one, I keep finding errors on my part. Note to self: Do not transcribe while talking to Sugar on the phone.

2014-11-20 11.42.50

2014-11-20 11.44.12

2014-11-20 11.45.14

2014-11-20 11.46.26

2014-11-20 11.47.30


July 25, 1965

Mr. Colin McDonald

122 Marine Parade


Western Australia

Dear. Mr. McDonald:

Mrs. E. Farrar Bateson has shown my mother, Lucinda

Bateson More, your letters of May 12 and June 1. My mother, in

turn, has asked me, as the unofficial ( and I fear inefficient)

family genealogist, to write you, which I do with pleasure.

My grandfather, Charles Edward Bateson, apparently was

not a communicative man and was regrettably uninformative about

his family. Accordingly, I have much less information on the

Bateson family than on the families of my other grandparents.

I will give you below what I know, and hope, in turn, that you

will favor me with some additional information:

Richard H. Bateson:

While having no information, except that he was still

alive in the late 1880’s and that his wife was then dead, I do

have pictures. I also have a picture of a pretty but wistful

young woman which appears to have been taken about a hundred years

ago and may well be his wife, Susannah Wagstaffe. (I note you

spell this Wagstaff. Have you an authoritative source?) Would

you be able to identify the picture? I should be happy to send

you copies of these or any of the other pictures noted below

which would interest you. Getting copies made takes some time,

and, not wishing to delay this letter any longer, I am not sending

any now, but as stated, would be delighted to do so. As to

Richard’s children:

  1. Richard Henry:

I would very much like to have a chart of his descendants

(including yourself) showing dates of birth and death, dates of


marriage, names and dates of birth and death of their spouses,

and any other items of particular interest. Unfortunately, until

hearing from you, we have no facts at all about your grandfather.

  1. Clara Beatrice:

She died about 1925, never having married. I am told

she was very game and was travelling about on then primitive air-

planes and what-not right up to the end. She visited this country

but was resident in England. I have a picture taken about 1878.


  1. Charles Edward:

According to an advertisement received from “Burke’s

Landed Gentry” in 1937, he was from the West Riding of Yorkshire

and came to this country in 1871. I do not know the ship.

He was the first to come over. As you will see below, a brother and

a sister came later. He settled in New Orleans, La., and there

married (June 21, 1877) my grandmother, Mary McLaughlin Stamps

(born March 22, 1861, died on her birthday in 1950). They moved

to St. Louis, Mo. after the birth of their first child. From

there, they moved in the late 1880’s to New Rochelle, N.Y., where

my mother was born in 1889. In the mid 1890’s, they moved to

New York City and remained there. He died June 13, 1918 and is

buried in Tarrytown, N.Y. next to his wife, three of their children

and one grandchild. As to their children and descendants, please

refer to the enclosed page of a chart I prepared some years ago,

and which I have updated as legibly as I can. The remainder of

the chart related to the family of Mary McLaughlin Stamps and

presumably would be of scant interest to you. It is this kind of

chart which I would like to prepare for the Bateson family, given

sufficient information. I have pictures of Charles Edward Bateson,

mostly in later life. He was quite successful, with reverses, in

the textile business.

  1. Florence Amelia:

She married Francis Humphreys and had three children:

Dorothy (I think the oldest), Francis and Brian. I have no informa-

tion on Francis (“Frank”) or Brian, except that Francis was the

older. I have a picture of Brian as an English Army officer in

  1. Dorothy (“Dolly”) married John Talbot, an English Army

officer (who I think became a general), and had two pretty daughters,


Althea and Vivian. Shortly after World War I, the Talbots moved

to Vancouver, B. C. with the young girls. Vancouver was then

wilderness, and they lived there seemingly as pioneers. My

mother believes they later returned to England. I have pictures

of Florence in 1878 and with her infant granddaughters, and

various portraits and snapshots of Dolly and her family in England

and Vancouver, as well as pictures of the handsome Talbot family

place “Rack Leage” (sp?) in Gloucestershire.

  1. Walter:

My mother thinks he died young. She is not aware that

he married, as indicated in your May 12 letter. Further informa-

tion would be appreciated. He was a great favorite of my gran-

mother, his sister-in-law. I have a picture of him taken in

Leipzig, apparently about 1878.

  1. Susan Ada:

According to my mother, she was an invalid and never

married. She was still alive about 1920, living in England, but

there the trail ceases.

  1. Horace:

Your date of birth is incorrect, as I have it in Horace’s

own handwriting as August 23, 1857. He came to this country

perhaps ten years after Charles Edward Bateson, or about 1880, and

settled in St. Louis, Mo., where he married Sophie H. of that city

(born May 15, 1858). They had issue, but we know little of them.

Relations between the two families were, I am told, quite cool.

I have pictures of Horace at 18 and of him and his wife on his

fiftieth birthday.

8. “Polly” (Correct name and birthday unknown)

She was the youngest of Richard H. Bateson’s children

and was still living about 1918. She married Arthur Widdows

(Widows?), who was dead by about 1918, and had two sons, Manley

and “Jeff”. When last heard of, Manley, the elder, was a lawyer

in Oklahoma City. It seems that Arthur Widdows was at one point

an English Army major. In the late 1890’s they came to this

country and settled in Isle of Pines, Fla. I have a picture of

Polly in about 1878, and picture of her husband and two sons

when the latter were perhaps six to eight years old.


It was over six years ago that I started collecting

family information and trying to put it together, but then a

change in jobs put me off the project, unfortunately before much

was done about the Bateson side. There are, however, sources of

information, aside from you. First, there are, of course, the

Bateson papers mentioned in your June 1 letter. I had not


previously heard of these and would be must interested to know

more of them. It would be particularly interesting to have a

copy of the pedigree you mention. If you could give me the

address of the Society of Genealogist, I might try to get a copy

and make one available to you. The second source is Mrs. John H.

Bateson (Madeline), wife of Col. John (“Jack”) Holgate Bateson,

CMG, DSO, who died in 1956, and was, I believe, a cousin of our

grandfathers. After World War II, William Bateson Gaillard (who

an be located on the enclosed chart) became very interested in

the family and obtained much information from Jack. Sadly, most

of William’s records were prepared when he was in the last stages

of tuberculosis contracted in German prison camp, from which he

died, and his family has been reluctant to release the records

for fear of contamination. His brother, however, has indicated

he has available some of the information, and I am writing him

in this regard. I shall also write Jack’s widow, whose address

is 40 Yew Tree Road, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Any-

thing I learn will be passed on to you.

Since I hope we shall be corresponding further, a word

about myself. You will find me and my wife and children listed

at the very bottom of the enclosed chart. I graduated from

Harvard College in 1947, after a brief tour of duty as an Ensign

in the Pacific, and from Columbia University Law School in 1950.

I am now General Counsel of one of the larger chemical companies

in this country, Hooker Chemical Corporation, the address shown

above being that of the company’s headquarters. My home address,

and the one I suggest using, is 11 Edgehill Road, Glen Cover,

Long Island, N. Y. In recent years my picture-taking has produced

slides, and so I have no prints lying about. I am, however,

enclosing a snapshot taken by my sister’s husband on Thanksgiving

Day in 1963 at my house, howing (in back, left to right) my

sister, Mary Virginia Anstruther; my wife, Pamela; her brother,

Peter Marr; and (in front, left to right) my daughters, Robin and

Alison; and myself. The tartans draped over Robin and my wife

are bolts I had recently obtained in London. You may recognize

them as MacLachlan.


Should you pass through New York again, it would be a

great pleasure to put you up. It is a pity no one was available

when you visited in 1961.

I am sending copies of this letter to my mother and

Mrs. Bateson, to whom you wrote. Like you, I prefer to type

letters, in my case so that they will be legible.

Finally, by way of miscellaneous information, enclosed

is a copy of a 1952 newspaper article regarding the death of

Cmdr. C. H. Lightoller, said to be a cousin of our grandfather,

who was the last surviving officer of the Titanic. I know

nothing more of the relationship.


Cousin Douglas



A Letter to Walter John Bateson, September 8, 1970

January 30, 2015

Sugar received an envelope of letters and photos in his mailbox a few months back. I scanned them and saved them to my computer and to DropBox. I’ve already posted two of the letters, and now I find that the following letter should have been inserted in between the two just published.


Not perfect, I see, but it’ll have to do.

The gentleman that wrote the following letter is the very same person that mailed it to Sugar, 44 years later, along with all the other letters and photos. I’m not publishing his name here.

The transcription follows the images.

2014-11-10 14.19.15

2014-11-10 14.20.16

2014-11-10 14.21.19


11 Edgehill Road

Glen Cove, N.Y.  11542


September 8, 1970

Mr. Walter John Bateson

16 King Street, North,

Alliston, Ontario


Dear Mr. Bateson:

                My aunt-in-law, Mrs. E. Farrar Bateson, has asked me to

reply to your letter of June 23 regarding the Bateson family,

inasmuch as she is a Bateson only by marriage, whereas my mother

(a sister of the late Mr. E. Farrar Bateson) is a Bateson by

birth. Also, I have been interested in the genealogy of the

various branches of my family and seem to be a chief repository

of available information, memorabilia and photographs.

                It is I, not Mrs. Bateson, who has been dilatory in re-

gard to your letter, which she gave me in July. Be assured that

it has been extreme pressure of business and other matters, not

lack of interest, that has delayed me so long in responding.

                As I am writing with but limited time, I think I can

most easily give you all the information I have in the follow-

ing manner:

  1. Enclosed is a copy of a letter dated July 25,

1965 which I wrote to Mr. Colin McDonald, a

Bateson relative in Western Australia, to-

gether with all enclosures to that letter

except the photograph (now sadly out of date)

mentioned at the bottom of page 4. The page

of a chart prepared by me (referred to under

item 3 on page 2) has not been updated to re-

flect changes since mid-1965.


Also enclosed are copies of Mr. McDonald’s let-

ters of May 12 and June 1, 1965 to which my letter

refers, and which I am sure Mr. McDonald would

have no objection to your seeing.


Mr. McDonald has not proved to be a very active

correspondent. It was three years before I heard

from him about my 1965 letter. At that writing,

he was in London, and a copy of his letter, dated

September 12, 1968, is enclosed. I have been

hardly more active than he, and thus have not yet

answered that letter. I shall do so, however,

and shall inquire as to the notes mentioned in

his letter and as to the results of his researches

in England. On the assumption you will have no

objection, I intend also to send him copies of

your letter under reply and of the very useful

materials enclosed therewith.


On the first page of my 1965 letter to Mr. McDonald,

I offered to send him copies of any of the photo-

graphs mentioned in the letter which might inter-

est him particularly. The same offer is extended

to you.


  1. On page 4 of my letter to Mr. McDonald, I stated

that I would try to get some information which

one William Bateson Gaillard (deceased) obtained

from Col. John Holgate Bateson. I did in fact get

in touch with William Bateson Gaillard’s brother,

who produced three sheets of notes headed “Richard

Bateson – Susannah Wagstaff”, “Henry Bateson” and

“Sundry Batesons before 1600”, as well as a two-

page genealogical chart of the descendants of

Henry Bateson, of Cragg Hall, who died in 1671. I

am further enclosing a copy of each of these four



I have not followed up on the subject of the Bateson papers

mentioned by Mr. McDonald in his June 1, 1965 letter; nor did

I ever get around to writing Col. Bateson’s widow, as I told

Mr. McDonald I would. Insofar as I am aware, she is still alive.

I hope you will be more vigorous in following through on these

leads than, thus far, I have been.

                With the enclosures to this letter, you have about all

I know of Bateson genealogy. While lack of time again has pre-

vented my correlating the details of the information in these

enclosures with the carefully prepared and comprehensive enclo-

sures to your letter, it is evident that your information will

add considerably to mine (and that mine to some extent will cor-

rect yours). I am certainly most pleased to have your contri-

butions to my small knowledge of the family.

                Some details about myself are given at the bottom of

page 4 of my 1965 letter to Mr. McDonald. Nothing has changed,

except that the address of Hooker Chemical Corporation’s head-

quarters is now 1515 Summer Street, Stamford, Connecticut 06905.

                I would be delighted to hear from you again and to be of

whatever further assistance I can.

                I am sending Mrs. E. F. Bateson a copy of this letter.

                                Very truly yours,



cc: Mrs. E. F. Bateson

26 East Gate Rd., Lloyd Harbor

Huntington, N. Y. 11743

Mr. Colin McDonald

A Diamond in the Mailbox: A Letter from Walter John Bateson, November 29, 1970

January 27, 2015

2014-11-10 14.12.31


16 King Street, North,

Alliston, Ontario


November 29, 1970

Dear Cousin Douglas:

I hope that this finds you and your family all in good health.

Since the time of my last letter to you, I have taken steps to

locate the cousins in South Africa. Through an advertisement in

the Johannesburg Daily Star I received a tremendous response from

the families of the three sons and four daughters of Liston Richard

Bateson. The letters revealed a very close and warm friendly

family. I wrote to Serbe when about ten years old. He is on his

way to London for an eye  wrote to my daughter Lynda

who is in Coventry to take time to visit Serbe at the hospital.

I hope that I will receive word from her this week.

Cousin Bess sent me Colin MacDonald’s address in Australia,

c/o The Weld Club, GPO Box 354, Perth, Australia. Apparently he

was visiting in England, phoned her and said that he was leaving

for home by way of South Africa. At the time that he was on the

way the cousins in SA wrote and said that they were expecting him.

He is supposed to be there for a month. Did’nt get word on the

whereabouts of his sister.

My son Walter left a few weeks ago for the west coast, is

visiting my brother Richard and seeing British Columbia before

leaving fo Australia. Think that I told you that before.

I would appreciate hearing from you Douglas. How are you

doing with the sheets I sent requesting further information?

Could I please have an answer to the questions I broached in my

last letter. I hate to impose on your time, but I am extremely

interested in moving forward in recording our family history.

I found addresses to Widdows families in Cleveland but as

yet no answer. I’m also waiting to hear from Philip and Farrar.

We are all busy people with so many commitments, that I feel

guilty when I ask or make demands on someone elses time.

Write soon.

Our kindest regards

Cousin Walter


He would have loved the internet.

And social media!

Diamonds in the Mailbox: A Letter From Walter John Bateson, 18 September, 1970

January 26, 2015

A few months back, Sugar received a packet of family letters and information from a cousin in Connecticut. And even though I haven’t finished with the Gold Mine in the Closet, it’s time for a Diamond from the Mailbox.

(Don’t strain your eyes. The transcription follows the images.)

2014-11-10 14.13.52

2014-11-10 14.15.08

2014-11-10 14.16.10


16 King Street, North,

Alliston, Ontario


18 September, 1970

Dear Cousin Douglas:

I was delighted to receive your letter with the enclosed charts

and correspondence. Due to my enthusiasm with the project of gathering

information on the Bateson family, and contacting relatives; I was

anxious to hear from you. I was not concerned because I was assured by

Mrs. Rosina Bateson that I would be hearing from you in the near future.

No apology required, and I thank you sincerely.

In my second letter to Mrs. Bateson, I enclosed sheets with

information similar to the attached sheets, on your immediate family.

I requested that if she felt so inclined would she attempt to fill in

the necessary information relating to your grandparents (Charles E.),

her husband and herself. I was sure that she would be in a better

position to give dates, places, etc. As I have not heard further from

her, perhaps you can assist in obtaining the information that I requested

from her. I would also appreciate if you would take the time to correct

my mistakes in the attached sheets of your family, add in the missing

information, and return one copy please.

I wrote to Farrar Jr. and Philip Briscoe Bateson. They acknowledged

my letters and will be forwarding similar information on their immediate

families. I, in turn, will complete and compile the information and will

send copies to you and other interested members of the family.

I am also enclosing my latest information on great aunt Florence

Amelia and her family. Florence’s daughter, Dorothy Talbot, age 95,

passed away on the 16th July 1970, in Victoria. She was cremated. I

have been corresponding with our cousin, Althea (Mrs. Hugh Aylmer) who is

Dorothy’s daughter.

I have some more requests to make from you:

(1) Would you please forward to me, Cousin Richard Humphrey’s

address – if available.

(2) Can you obtain more information for me on great uncle Horace’s

family. Did he have sons and daughters? Where are they living?

What are their names? From the chart you sent, there are two

names that are not legible to me. The first, Great uncle

Horace’s wife Sophia H. LAMEROUX. Is that correct? Second,

Great uncle Richard Henry’s son, FREDRICK __________? I

could not make out his second name.

(3) Our great aunt Polly (Mary Jane) who married Arthur Widdows

and had two sons; I believe the father and one of the sons

were lawyers. If this is so, through you Law connections,

perhaps you could attempt to trace their family without too

much difficulty. Hope that you will be able to pursue this



I have a lead on information relating to two of our great-great

uncles who went to the USA from England before the Civil War. Like

yourself, the gentleman is very busy and is unable to devote too much

time to this project; but he informed me that I should be hearing from

him soon.

My daughter, Lynda, went to England for a visit. She left home

on the 3rd Sept and is spending the first couple of weeks in Coventry,

doing volunteer work at Coventry Cathedral. It is an inner city program

and involves youth from all over the world. From there she will visit

friends and relatives, then find work for awhile. She may stay a year.

I hope to have Lynda do some research for me. I would like to confirm

some of the information that we possess. I want to know the birthplace

of our great aunts and uncles; Richard’s family. I saw great aunt Ada

when I was in England in 1940. Aunt Ethel was looking after her at the

time. I am certain that Ada dies in 1940-41 but I am not sure where she

was buried. My father was in England around 1930 and had a picture taken

with great aunt Clara. My sister may have the snap. I may make a trip

to the UK within the year. When in England in 1940, my Aunt Ethel gave

me Farrar Sr.’s and Geoffrey Widdows addresses. Being young and not

interested in genealogy, I did not attempt to write. Now, I regret not

having contacted members of your family because most of the generation

before us have passed on, and so much valuable information that could

have been recorded is lost.

On the 8th July, my wife, we call her Ella (Catherine Isobel) and

I drove to Winstead, Connecticut, to attend the funeral of Mr. Judson

LeGeyt. He was a former member of the General Assembly, State of Conn.,

representative for Barkhamstead County. Time was so short on this

occasion or I would have at least telephoned Mrs. Farrar Bateson Sr. We

were not too far away from your firm’s address in Stamford, as mentioned

in your letter.

My son Walter and daughter Shirley were in England last winter. I

was just getting started in genealogy so could not give them any direction

as to where to look for information on the family. Walter worked and

travelled around England, Scotland, Ireland, Gibralter and Europe. He

came home the end of April and went to work with the Dept. of Lands and

Forests at White River, Ontario. It is over 600 miles from Alliston.

I was up there for a few days on August 1st holiday. He came home a

couple of weeks ago and is getting ready to take off for the West Coast

of Canada, down through the USA to South America, then hopes to fly to

Australia. Last Saturday he went to the Maritimes to visit my Mother

in Dartmouth and his sister Shirley in Escumanic, Quebec. He plans to

return next year and resume his studies. Shirley taught school, and for

two years taught the Eskimos at Pond Inlet, Baffin Island, North West

Territory. She completed a world tour, and arrived home by way of

Vancouver, 8th May. She married the Rev. Ross Routliffe on the 27th

June in Ottawa. I was planning on visiting the newlyweds on our Thanks-

giving weekend, the 12th Oct., but Ella is deeply involved with meetings

at that time, and therefore will have to postpone it until later. The

children have travelled on their own resources without any assistance

from me (the kids).


Colin MacDonald must have been a very sick man between the years

1965-68. In his letter to you he mentioned having eye trouble. I hope

that you are successful in reaching him now.

I would like to know the whereabouts of Liston’s family in South

Africa. As a boy I corresponded with one of the sons, but we do not

possess an address. There were 5 boys and 2 girls, the opposite to my

family. There was Sarrah (Jarrah) Sybil, Seth, Serb, Sewell, Sidney.

I am not sure of all the names. I will have to write to the Registry

Office in Johannesburg, S.A., to try to locate them. Do you have any

suggestions of a quick and sure method of locating these cousins?

In his letters to you, Colin did not amplify on his family. He

did not enlighten you too much. No dates, places, etc. I certainly

wish that he had done so. Colin wrote to my brother Richard, Sardis,

B.C., in 1965. This past May or June Richard wrote to me and said

that Colin wrote to him but that he in turn did not write to Colin

because he misplaced the letter, and when he did find it, was too

embarrassed to write after such a long delay. I wrote to him in June

in care of his Australian address – no response. It appears that the

Batesons are notorious procrastinators when it comes to corresponding

with one another. I am trying to avoid the pitfall, hope that you

will do the same. Poor Colin did not fare too well in 1965. Are there

other relations left in Australia?

At a later date I will accept your kind offer to provide copies

of family pictures. I will make the same offer to you. At present I

do not possess many pictures but with the help of my sister, Dora, will

try to obtain more. She is working on our Mother’s family tree, at the

same time I asked her to do a write up on our Father, so that I can have

it recorded.

One more request before signing off. The sheet of Sundry Batesons

before 1600. If you have time and can make out the writing, would you

mind forwarding a typewritten copy. It will help to make sure that we

have recorded it properly.

Once again I thank you for your assistance; and hope that you will

find the time to correspond at regular intervals. I also hope that one

day we will be able to meet. I expect to have lots of questions to ask,

and you in turn feel free to ask the same from me.

How is your Mother? Is she living near you? I am looking forward

to hearing from you son with the information on you immediate family,

and my questions. In the meantime, my regards to you and your family.


Cousin Walter

The two great uncles that he refers to are Robert Remington Bateson and Christopher Remington Bateson. If you have been reading this blog for longer than 15 minutes, you’ll probably know that Christopher Remington Bateson’s family is buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery, and Sugar had the plot marker made and installed only a few months ago. Robert Remington Bateson is buried in New York in Green-wood Cemetery.


Why is so important that I need to write about Walter John Bateson right now?

Because Sugar and I met his son and daughter-in-law just a few days ago. I’m going to break my self-imposed blog rule now and post our faces, not just side shots or tops of heads or shoes…

But who is whom?

But who is whom?

What Was Tangled Becomes Less Tangled: A Letter From Thomas Bateson, 1873

January 22, 2015

I’ve talked about the Bateson family a lot here on the blog. It started when Sugar and I learned that there was a Bateson family in Savannah, Georgia, that died out 135 years ago.

We’re so close to Savannah that we can be there in under an hour.

But what about people that live far away, like Julie in Belgium? She can’t just hop a freighter and pop in to say hello. However, we do have our friend the internet, and we can chat in fragmented pieces, allowing a bit of downtime for sleep and the time difference. It takes a while to discuss things.

Like Batesons. We want to talk about the Batesons. It appears that the earliest Batesons in America were not Sugar’s ancestors. Julie in Belgium figured out last year that it was one generation before, that being the Christopher Remington Bateson family. He was married to Mary, and they came to New York City, and then later moved to Savannah. They had four children, Alice, Christopher H., Mary Jane, and Thomas.

Through the magic of the internet, a Bateson cousin from Canada found the blog, and commented that he had a copy of a letter written by Thomas Bateson to his uncle Henry back home in England. And Henry? Just happened to be Julie’s ancestor. And just to make this all a bit more remarkable, none of these descendants knew of each other before the blog.

And when the Canada Batesons come to town to meet us, do they bring a copy of the letter?








Musical Instruments, fire-works, Confectionery, fruits, Nuts, etc.,


Savannah, Ga.     April 23, 1873

Dear Uncle Henry,

Some years have elapsed since

my last writing to you, and no doubt you may won-

der what it is that now prompts me after such

long silence. At my last writing which I think

was shortly after the close of our late civil

war, my Mother and Brother Christopher was

alive and well. Since which time death has

claimed them. Mother after an illness of

six days died April 10th, 1869 of Typhoid

Pneumonia and Brother Christopher Henry died

Oct. 12th, 1870 of Pulmonary disease.

I am now the only one that is living of your

brother Christopher’s family. I hope that on

your side of the Atlantic that death has

not been so sure a reaper and that your

own family as well as my other Uncles

and Aunts are in the enjoyment of good health.

Respecting myself I will state that I am

now 31 years of age, married, and have three

children named, respectively, Alice, Georgia Agnes,

and Thomas Remington, and am continuing the

business established by Father in 1852 at

the same stand.

Shall be pleased to hear from you; also

from my Aunts.

Your affectionate Nephew,

Thos. Bateson

Original Letter held by Mrs. Bess Blagden (Col William Blagden).

Granddaughter of Henry Bateson, Overdene, Brighton.

Copy given to Walter J. Bateson 15 April 1973.


Goodnight, Bateson people. We’re thinking of you.



Letters From Mrs. Harris E. Willingham To Edward Lawton

June 17, 2014




Willingham 003


Willingham 004

Willingham 005


Willingham 006


Willingham 007


Willingham 008


Mrs. Harris E. Willingham

224 East Hunting Towers

Alexandria, Virginia

Jan. 17, 1965


My dear Mr. Lawton,

Yesterday I

mailed you the picture I

have of Peter Jones Trading

Station and Blandford Church

on Well’s Hill, built between 1734

and 1737, when Peter Jones

was vestryman.  It is now a

Confederate Memorial Chapel.  I

have a copy of “Bravest Surrender”

A Petersburg Patchwork, by Catherine

Copeland with illustrations by

P. Hairston as well (Copyrighted

1961 by P Hairston Seawell, Newport News

which has a prettier picture of

the church and one of

“Folly Castle” built 1768 by Peter

Jones a descendant of Peter Jones

for whom Petersburg named (a bachelor).

I enclosed a little picture

of “Springfield”, where I was born

and where in 1814 my great

grandfather Wood Jones married

Elizabeth Trent Archer, daughter

of Peter Field Archer, son of

John Archer of “Archer’s Hall”, Bermuda

Hundred and Elizabeth Trent.  “Archer’s

Hall” was burned by Arnold on his

way up James against Richmond

and Petersburg.

“Springfield” is falling down.  The

old parlor was panelled and here

the 18th Ga. Battalion officers slept

the night of the evacuation of

“Fort Jones”.  “Springfield” on Powhatan

side.  “Fort Jones” on Amelia Co side

opposite.  Flat bottom boats brought

things down the Appomattox to be

shipped on Richmond & Danville

R. R. to Richmond.  An old map

I have gives a number of buildings

at Mattoax.  Grandfather held

rank of Captain in Confederate army,

detailed during war at Mattoax

as Postmaster & Freight Agent.

After Lee’s army passed over and

Fort evacuated, he had all

the Freight piled on the Iron trus

bridge and set fire to it from

our side, “Springfield” on the

line of march, evacuated by family several times because of raids.  The

armies camped in the yard

burning fences and outbuildings

for their camp fires.  After the

surrender Grandfather was

ploughing a garden with an old

blind mule, all he had.  Union stragglers from Appomattox

coming by started to take this, but

one said, “let the old devil make

a living if he can!”  We were

terribly poor!  Barred by Iron-clad

oath for 2 years, Grandfather

then became Postmaster at Mattoax.

He did active fighting against Kautz’s

raid at Flat Creek, Amelia, where

the Yankees were repulsed

in their effort to destroy Mattoax

bridge.  After this the 18th Ga. Battalion

was stationed at Mattoax.  “The

Oaks” was some distance

from Mattoax.  I wonder if

“Fort Jones” named for Gen. Jones

or for my Grandfather who

was “holding the fort” there before

the Savannah Volunteers came

to help.  The scrap-book made

by Aunt Bernie (Hibernia Lewis Jones)

was made on “Mattoax ticket-book”

(paper so scarce).  They wanted

to run a road through the

fort across the river and a

mile through “Springfield” about

20 yrs ago and sent me

blue prints showing the road by battery

and how it would come through

my land (60 ft wide highway for

a mile)  I refused to give gratis

this mile.  I had a given already

permission to widen roads –

Grandfather right of way for R. R.

and a siding, a mile from Mattoax.

So I do have a drawing of

battery of “Fort Jones”.  Twenty-three

Yankees were killed at Flat Creek.

Lee sent reinforcement by Burkeville

to help them.  Grandfather cared

for wounded and dead who were

buried at Mattoax.  Many Northern

families came after the war to

thank him for his attention, and

his letters home to let them know.

The dead buried in a trench with

boughs over their faces to protect

them.  Grandfather kept prisoners

at various times in the old

parlor at “Springfield” – Gone with

the wind!  I did not expect you

to use picture of Springfield

and grandfather, but thought it would

interest you.

I don’t know anything about

Miss Boyd now,  but William Mason

daughter Mrs. Norfleet used to

live in Washington.  I can write

my cousin in Richmond, and

see what I find.

My husband descends

from Benjamin Themistocles Dion Lawton

and wife Jane Moss daughter

of Dr. George Moss.  I have a

picture of her and a Christmas

card from Harris’ cousin Mrs.

Broadus Willingham of Macon,

Ga. said, I believe, they had a

picture of Dr. Mosse.  I must write

her.  I have “Our Family Circle”,

and a “Family History”, by Ann

Willingham Willis.  I don’t want

to divert you.  Keep on with

your work!  More power to you!


Lynn Lewis J. Willingham

P.S.  I belong to D.A.R., Colonial Dames

of America, “F.F.Va”, Jamestown

Society, and Nat. Soc. Dau. of Barons

of Runnemede and in last

Vol III, “Living Descendants of Blood Royal”,

so you see I am a foolish old

lady about genealogy.


Willingham 001

Willingham 002





Jan 23, 1965

My dear Mr. Lawton,

I thought

you would like my picture

of Peter Jones’ Trading Station,

and I treasure the Blandford

Church picture as my Peter Jones III

was vestryman when it was

built.  I had these made

36 years ago, and they were

not expensive.  I did not go

to the expense of having them

copied to send you as you

said you could have it done

free down there and I knew

time was important.  I would

like them back soon as you

can have copies made as I

keep them in my “Peter Jones

Genealogy,” by Fothergill and

would hate to lose them.

“Springfield” has about fallen

down.  This was taken many

years ago.  Father died in 1924

and his sister lived there for

a few years afterwards.  It is of

no value except for timber,

played out land!  Sentiment for me!

The Southern has cut out passenger

trains, and all the neighbors

moved away or died, even the old

darkies.  I thought you would be interested

in seeing Grandfather who guarded the bridge

before 18th Ga. Battalion.

I wrote my cousin in

Richmond to find out about Miss

Lizzie Boyd and “The Oaks”.  I will

let you hear.  Copy my notes

on “The Oaks” and send them

back.  How far back have you

gone on Sam Jones family have

you gone?  I infer you descend

on another line from Abram Jones.

I copied my Mallory line

from Va. His. Mag. and it had

picture of Hatton Conyers in it which

I had copied.  This gave Tempest Family

married into Washington family.  Battes

make us eligible for 16 lines in Barons

of Runnemede.  I joined on Randolph.


Lynn Lewis Willingham

(in the left margin)

We are in “Our Family Circle.”  I wrote

Willingham corrections for reprint.

Tom Lawton wrote Lawton corrections.


Willingham 009


Willingham 010


Mrs. Harris E. Willingham

224 East Hunting Towers

Alexandria, Virginia


My dear Mr. Lawton,

I am

flying to Louisville, Ky to spend

a week with Harris Jr.  I had

this little scratched notes on the

Jones Family who lived at “The

Oaks” after the war.  It was a

quaint little place like out

“Springfield” – “Fort Jones”, on a

high bluff overlooking the Apomattox

river at Mattoax, Amelia Co. guarded the

iron-truss bridge of the Richmond

and Danville R.R. which was

the main artery from the South

for Richmond (near Southern R.R.)

I’ll write more when I

get home.  I am 70 and have

cataracts, but going strong and

love history.

I knew Miss Garnet here in Washington

now dead, who was of this branch

of the family.  She belonged to Club of Colonial Dames.

Aunt Anna may have made

mistakes in what she told me

but I put it down thinking I

would write a piece about”The

Oaks” because my family loved

the people there and admired

their struggle.  The girls put cloth

tops to old shoes, but were always

pretty, gay, and popular.  Everyone

was so poor!

Merry Christmas!   I have

wonderful things on the Battes,

Mallorys and Bishop Vaughan.  My

Sarah visited Chester Cathedral

when she an her husband were

in England 7 years ago.  They are now in Geneva

Switzerland Larence Biedenharn

Jr. Prof of Nuclear Physics at Duke,

on a years leave to study and with

grant from Nat. Science Foundation.  I

am in “Living Descendants of Blood

Royal” Vol III on Randolph & Isham lines.

Our Batte line is traced out on pp 589

591 – to King Henry I of France.


Lynn Lewis J. Willingham



Letters From Elizabeth E. Garnett to Edward Lawton

June 16, 2014

Sugar has some old letters that he’s read to me from time to time.  I have a short memory, so I never remember what they contain, until he reads them again.

The most recent spark of interest in these letters were caused by a Garnett contact.  You might remember all the Civil War letters by William Starr Basinger?  He married Margaret Roane Garnett, and we’ve traced their path several times, visiting places they lived in Savannah, Athens, & Dahlonega, Georgia, and Amelia County, Virginia.  If you ever want to search the blog, hover your mouse over the main heading “Ruthrawls’s Blog”, left-click, and you’ll go to a new page with a search bar in the right hand column.

Margaret had sisters and brothers.  One brother had a daughter named Elizabeth E. Garnett, and she was an avid researcher.  She corresponded a bit with Sugar’s Uncle Edward.

Garnett 1957 001

Garnett 1957 (02) 001


Garnett 1957 (03) 001


Garnett 1957 (04) 001


2009 EYE STREET, N. W.


July 22 – ‘57


Dear Edward:

It is good to hear

that you are interested in the

family again.  While I have not

had time to do much, I still

get a little done from time to


Everything I had, I

sent Cousin Garnett & he was

busy on several lines when I

heard from him last.

Right now I am busy

working on the Moseley line, also

Hipkins.  If I can find one generation

of Hipkins, I can complete that line from

England to now.  One generation is


The D.A.R. Library here is an ex-

cellent genealogical one & you have

access to the shelves, which I find a

help.  Why don’t you come down in the

fall for a week and do some re-

search.  I have quite a lot of leads.

I have some information on the

Garnetts beyond Thomas who married

Margaret Roane which I hope to

prove before too long.

I plan to spend the next 3 or 4

weeks working at the library as often

as I can.

This is what I have.

I  John1 (of Gloucester) b. about 1660


II  Thos.2 will probated Essex

1743, m Elizabeth —


III John Jr.3 m. Mary Fogg


Joshua4 m. France

Andrews who was dau. of Joyce

Garnett Andrews.  Joshua was a nephew

of Joyce Garnett & therefore married

his 1st cousin.

Va. Hist Mag. Vol 43- p 69

Joyce Garnett m. Thomas Andrews (will

probated Essex Aug 16 1779.

IV  Joshua


V  Thomas who married

Margaret Roane (Harwood)


VI  James Muscoe Garnett

who married Mary Ann Jones.


VII  Margaret who m. Maj. Basinger, etc.

I still have some lines to prove but I think I can

given time.  Love to Betsy & come down to see us.




And next…

Garnett 1958 001 Garnett 1958 002

                Jan. 25 – 58.

Dear Edward:

The record of the

ancestry of the “Branch” that I am

sending you has been checked &

authorized for each generation given.

As I was asked to join the “Nat’l Soc.

Daughters of the Barons of Runnemede”

by a friend who is the present

president & told by her that my

line has been used & passed

upon by Dr. Adams, I looked

it up & found to my amusement

that it was fairly easy as the

English records were all intact.

Some time if you have time look at

the Soc. of Harlein Viretatines Vol 57-

page 74.

If you can’t get Harlein Viretatines

I’ll send you the Bostocks all

the way back to “Alfred the Great”

of England.  Part of this is in a

book by Browning which takes him

back to Alfred the Great.  Also see

“Branch of Abingden”, by James Branch


The Bostock record is quite remarkable.

Some time Daphne may want to join

the Barons – so you might keep it for


Emily tells me you are going to Europe in

April.  Maybe you’ll get the chance

to look into the records over there.

We keep busy and well.  I still have

my students although I have tried to stop

(?) for several years with no success

so I keep them & enjoy them.

Love to Betsie & Daphne – Love,



Garnett 1958 003 Garnett 1958 004 Garnett 1958 005




Feb. 18, 1958


Dear Edward:

The information I am sending

is the Bostock Family from Alfred the Great

down to Christopher1 who came to Va.

While I was working on the Magna Charta

Barons, I decided to copy this at the same

time and complete the Branch Line as far as

I could go.  It wasn’t hard to do once I got into

the lines back to Alfred the Great.

I don’t know that you remember

hearing Cousin Bird saying we were descended

from Alfred the Great but as she never produced

any proof, I decided it was mostly heresay.

I must have been wrong as it was all there.

The Bostocks interested me because

we come down in an unbroken

line from 1066 to 1450 or more under

the same name.  They made history,

the Bostocks.  They were brave men &

a proud race.

There was much about the “Branche”

Family but I’ll have to work on that another

When Daphne grows up & wants to join the

“Soc. of Americans of Royal Descent”, she can

on this & King Ed I.  My cousin Maria Verm

belongs & has urged me to join but so far I

am not interested.  I did join the Magna

Charta Soc. & am proud to have had an-

cestors who signed it.

I’ve been working on this for some

time and am going to tackle the

“Blount” line.  He also was a Magna Charta

Baron on my mother’s side.  It has

been worked out but I want to prove

it for myself.

The Moseley’s have a distinguished

line in England and I want to

work on that this summer if I

can manage it.  They were prominent

here also.

There is not much family news.

Emily keeps fit and goes to work

regularly.  She offered to copy some

of this for me, but it is hard to

follow.  My typewriter is old so I

did it the easiest way – by pencil.

I hope you can make it out & do a

nice job of typing it for your records.

I am going to do it this summer.

Margaret like her job at Interior Dept.

“Indian Affairs”.  She does ½ day and

rests in afternoon.

We had 14” of snow Sat. and very

little has melted – it is very cold.

I spent last week in Phila.  Went to see

“Vanessa”, Tues. night.  Met. Opera gave it.

It was unusual & very interesting.  Also met

the Dean of (?) at a dinner given

by my hostess.  He was very interesting & an

attractive speaker.  I came back in the

snow storm.  Love to you all –




There you have it, Garnett people!  Alfred the Great??