Bateson Rawnsley Smith
The first of the clan to undertake
the crossing to
He was listed as an engineer in
However, at the 1870 Federal
Census, Bateson and his wife Sarah Ann McNamara (they married in
If so, Bateson must have come back
to collect them, for the entire family, apart from Mary Ann, the eldest child,
was together at
At some point in the 1880s he
There is evidence that the family were familiar with Philadelphia - Bateson was recorded as being naturalised there in September 1886.
A Sarah Smith died there in 1885. Aged 55, she may have been Bateson's wife.
In 1890, a marriage took place in Philadelphia between Bateson Smith and Sarah Ann Bentick. Although the exact date was not specified, the marriage is thought to have taken place after Bateson's return from England. The new wife was from Bradford, born a year or so later than her husband.
By April 1891, the Smith family had returned to take up residence at 123 Briggate, Windhill, a property that was probably owned by Charles Bateson. Bateson had taken a job as a lowly woolwasher and looked as though he was there to stay.
The family is to be found in the
Bateson must have returned to Windhill in 1893 - he was on the Electoral Register, listed as the occupant of 128 Briggate.
In the 1900 US Census, Bateson was
So his second wife had died in the
previous decade, possibly in
Bateson Smith's final piece of paper was issued by the Chautauqua County Almshouse. Aged 90, and unable to look after himself, he was admitted on 2 November 1915. The document does record that he was self-supporting, hinting that none of his family lived near enough to care for him. A memorial plaque in Lake View Cemetery, Jamestown, Chautauqua County records that Bateson died in 1917, when he would have been aged 89.
A family story relates that John Bateson’s cousin (perhaps Bateson Smith - he was a 1st cousin) was involved with the Chartists and was transported to America. On one occasion he is reported to have been so incensed by the rude remarks made by an American about the English that he ‘stuffed him up the chimney’.
The two men are supposed to have met up at some point.
There are several problems with this story: criminals, political agitators and the like may well have been transported in the 19th Century, but not to the USA, an independent country; a number of Chartists did go to America, but they went of their own volition, either to escape arrest or because the American political system seemed more attractive; what’s more, the Chartists were active in the 1830s and early 1840s, when Bateson Smith was just a teenager.
Although the reason he emigrated remains a mystery, it is quite possible that the two cousins met as they were both in New England at the same time.
Next to emigrate was John Bateson.
He was born in
The 1900 Federal Census notes that
his date of immigration to the
In August 1881, he married Clara A
In 1882, the local Fitchburg Daily Sentinel printed two reports that seem hard to comprehend. On September 16, Clara A Bateson sued a John Howarth for $70 non-payment of wages for 7 months’ housekeeping. He countered with a $204 claim for clothing. Evidently the newly married Clara had been housekeeping for her father when an acrimonious dispute arose.
A subsequent hearing on 23 September seems to have concluded the litigation, though it is not clear which party emerged the victor. The report is given in full below in case any lawyers reading it can provide illumination:
On the 23rd at the civil session of police court, the defendant in the case of Clara A Bateson, against John Howarth and trustee withdrew his appeal. John W Briggs appeared as claimant for the funds in the hands of the trustee and his claim was sustained by the court, from which decision the plaintiff [ie Clara] appealed.
Over the next 14 years, the Fitchburg Daily Sentinel carried occasional and sometimes revealing reports of the activities of the Bateson family.
In 1882 it listed John as the opening bat for the Worsted Mill Employees cricket XI (along with his brother Haley, a wicketkeeper).
In 1889 he was elected Worthy
Treasurer of the Shakespeare Lodge No 121 of the Order of the Sons of St.
George. This was an ethnic fraternal benefit society for first- second- and
third-generation Englishmen residing in the
In August 1891 the Sentinel copied
an extraordinary news item from the Boston Globe accusing John Bateson of
deserting his wife and children.
He was said to be in trouble with a girl and “has not since been heard from”.
This was surely printed at the instigation of the redoubtable Clara. The identity of the girl in question was not revealed but may well be deduced from what followed.
Perhaps there was a reconciliation
– in October 1892 Clara wrote a Will that bequeathed her entire estate to her
husband. The Witnesses were Emma and James Keegan. The dying Clara was living
with the Keegans at their
She died shortly afterwards on
By the end of 1892 John had upped
sticks and gone to
The following year the Sentinel
was able to report that his
By 1894, the
In 1896 John cut his ties with
A month’s trip home to
He returned to
Although he was in the bakery business, the 1900 Federal Census gives John’s occupation as Storekeeper. The faded census form also states that he was widowed.
But not for long! On 24 December 1900 he married Emma Keegan, the widow of his business partner James Keegan, who had died earlier in the year.
John must have returned to
Windhill alone at some point in the next five years, because on
In the 1910 Census, he was alone in
John probably made one more trip
He married Annie Wilson, an
Englishwoman 16 years his junior, in
In the 1920 Census, John was alone
with Annie in
The 1921 Central Falls Tax Book records that John and his family owned six properties in Central Falls, adding up to a tax bill of $583.
John’s last record in the
According to the records of
Annie travelled back to
Her last listing at
John and Clara’s first son, John
Charles Bateson, married a divorcee called Florence Sloane and died in
Their second son, Henry Briggs
Bateson married Edith Sutcliffe and had a daughter, Clare, who also died in
infancy. He last appears in the
An infant boy, born on 15 July 1888, died the same day.
George Horatio Bateson
The eldest brother now put in an
George William Bateson
It is not known how long George
Horatio stayed but he must have put in an encouraging report when he got home
George William must have liked
what he saw and stayed on in
In 1911 he was listed as a
blacksmith but by 1912 he was back to being a milk dealer, at
In June 1913, Mary Elizabeth sailed
In the 1920 Federal Census the
family was in the
The last reference in
Shortly afterwards, he and his
wife moved to
Mary Elizabeth’s movements are not known but she died in 1961 in Lansdale PA.
George William’s descendants
Clifford Swain Bateson was born in
1911 and married twice. He had two sons, George Edwin and Paul. The former
married but probably had no children and died in
Mildred Bateson was born in 1917
and married David Douglas. It is not known if she had children. She died in
In April 1904, George Horatio’s
daughter Hannah (Annie) Jefferson was onboard the SS Ivernia, travelling to
join her husband Albert at
The family had left
By the time of the 1910 Census,
they had moved to
In fact, she was listed at an address 60 miles to the northwest of Lincoln across the state border in Palmer, Massachusetts (see below).
At some point in the next 18 months she sailed back to England.
On 9 November 1911, Annie returned to America, arriving in Boston onboard the SS Franconia on her way to rejoin her husband Albert at Reservoir Ave, Saylesville RI.
That, at least, is what she told
the purser who compiled the passenger manifest.
But things were not quite what they seemed.
There is good evidence that she spent the years to March 1918 living with another man, a certain Mr George Parr.
George Henry Parr was born
in April 1870 in Rhode Island. Like his father Enoch he was a shoemaker.
But by 1900 he had become a fireman in a woolen mill, living in
He was living with Nancy Rowley, whom he married in 1896.
The couple had just one child, Jeanette, who survived for a mere 3 months in 1900.
1895 and 1899 he was listed in the
By 1910 he had disappeared from Rhode Island. A 1910 street directory for Blanchardville, Palmer in Massachusetts lists a George H Parr working as a fireman at an electrical plant.
The 1910 Census for Palmer confirms that he and Annie Jefferson had set up home together,
well away from the wagging tongues of Rhode Island. They were listed as married.
If they were married, then they had both committed bigamy:
George's wife Nancy was still living in Providence RI; she did not die until November 1911.
Annie's husband Albert was in Lincoln RI; he was noted in the census as "M1", meaning he was on his first and only marriage.
However, no Parr/Bateson marriage has been found in the Massachusetts records.
This may explain why the couple were coy about how long they had been married: the census gave no figure for this - the enumerator simply wrote 'Un', meaning 'unknown', in the appropriate column.
If George Parr had really married his bidie-in (cohabitee), their families
must surely have found themselves in an unusual and rather difficult position.
Annie's mother, on her way to visit her daughter in November 1912, declared on the passenger manifest that she was going to join her son-in-law Geo Parr.
If she believed they were married she must have overlooked her daughter's bigamy.
If she knew they were not really married, she must have colluded with everyone else involved to deceive officialdom - a more acceptable and therefore likely scenario, one would assume.
The Parr's stay in Palmer was short-lived.
Between 1913 and 1917, the Cambridge MA city directories list him as a resident. Most notably, he was at 102 Auburn St in 1913, this being the address given by Mary Jane Bateson on the passenger manifest the year before.
In 1917, he was at nearby 10 Cottage St, living with his wife Annie. The last listing was in 1917 in Lowell MA.
Two years later, in March 1919, Lily Bateson (Annie's sister) referred to George as her brother-in-law when she sailed to Ellis Island on the SS Orduna. He was noted as living in George St, Lowell.
Annie, unfortunately, was dead by this time.
She died in Boston on 19 March 1918 of uterine cancer.
George was the informant; her married name was Parr and her maiden name Bateson. Her parents were correctly identified. There was no mention of Jefferson.
George Parr appeared in the January 1920 Census
as an officer in the state-run Industrial School in Shirley MA.
This was a kind of reform institution that taught various trades to the boy inmates and provided them with a stable home environment.
George evidently taught fireman skills.
He declared that he was married, rather than widowed. Perhaps he was looking forward 6 months - on 9 July that year he married Josephine Nutting in Groton MA.
He said, correctly, that he was widowed and gave as his occupation Stationary Engineer.
Sadly, by the 1930 Census,
he was a patient at Monson State Hospital, which was mainly used as an insane asylum.
His occupation, Shoemaker, suggests he had reverted to his original calling, perhaps as occupational therapy.
George was still at Monson in 1940. Although Josephine had died in 1935, he was noted as divorced.
He died in 1950 and was interred at Ayer, near Groton. He is noted on the Parr family grave in Providence but, appropriately perhaps, none of his wives get a mention.
Jefferson in the 1920 Census was with his two sons and a housekeeper at Quincy
City MA, where he was correctly recorded as being widowed.
In the 1930 Census he was still in Quincy, with a wife, Elizabeth, an English-born laundress 15 years his junior.
It is not known when he died.
Alfred Lewis Jefferson was born in 1892 in Bradford and died in Lincoln in 1973. He married Emily Dionne from Canada and had three children. He was a plumber.
Stanley Jefferson was born in 1894 in Bradford and died in Pawtucket in 1967. He was an insurance salesman. He also married a woman from Canada - Georgiana Langlais. They had two girls.