Before telling you about the BATEMAN girls…

Mary Ann who didn’t become Mrs FANT married William RONALD, a Scotsman, in 1864. After two boys had been born in Hull, the family moved south to Hampshire where Alexander was born. The birth of their last child was registered in South Stoneham (Southampton) in 1884. William, a boiler maker turned rivetter, took his wife and three children north to Tyneside. The family was together in Neptune Road, Wallsend in 1891. Mary Ann’s death at the age of 61 was registered in Tynemouth in March 1907.

I have happened upon several instances of sisters who were not the marrying kind and chose to live together in their old age. Mary Ann, Jane and Eliza Bateman all tied knots but left it rather late and I don’t think any of them had children.

Jane was the first of the trio to wed, becoming the third wife of Thomas Horton BRATLEY in 1877. Thomas was only thirty-one, Jane a year older but he was not too long for the world, dying in Sculcoates in 1885. The registration says he was only 36 but I think he was pushing 39. He was only 17 when he married Mary Ann Catherine (sometimes Caroline) FEMEL, the daughter of German parents, on Christmas Day 1863.

The Femel name is offered in various flavours, as are the places of origin of the parents and Mary Ann’s two brothers. Curiously, the 1861 census says she was born in Louth in 1845 but her younger brother John arrived in Lindesruth and Henry in nearby Reiskirchen two years later (in 1850). A subsequent census confuses the issue by giving Henry the surname YOUNGER. Louis Younger didn’t marry the widow Femel until 1857.

The first Mrs Thomas Horton Bratley had a son in Louth, then crossed the river Humber with her husband and had three daughters in Hull, two of them called Elizabeth after her mother. And then she died at age twenty-eight. Thomas wasted no time finding another helpmeet. Sarah Ann Bateman was over ten years his senior and I have not been able to discover a family connection to the sisters. The marriage lasted four years and ended with the death of Sarah Ann at the age of 44. Six months passed and Thomas married Jane Bateman.

Mary Jane Bateman married widower James FANT about a year after his first wife had died in Scarborough aged 31. I was surprised to see what he did for a living when he first married. Less than three years later he was working as a labourer.

I looked for children but didn’t find any.

In 1881, at the age of thirty, Eliza Bateman was in service, working as a cook. She did not marry house and ship painter (and bachelor) John William WALLIS until 1888. They were enumerated in Bean Street, Hull, in 1901 and Eliza’s sister Jane was with them. Jane claimed to be a dressmaker but ten years later, when she was in Filey with her other sister, Mary Ann Fant, she had “Private Means”. In the marriage register below you will notice that one of the witnesses to Eliza’s marriage is Emily Minnie Bratley – the daughter of Thomas and his first wife Mary Ann Femel.

Mary Ann Who?

Mary Ann was buried in St Oswald’s churchyard 111 years ago yesterday but she does not have a gravestone. Neither does she have any relatives in the Filey Genealogy & Connections database.

In 1911 she was living at 16 Scarborough Road, Filey and a sister was with her on census night.

16 Scarborough Road, Filey, photographed this morning

Mary Ann’s husband, James Fant, had died in 1907 and he too rests in an unmarked grave. I did a little snooping on Find my Past before seeking out the ladies on FamilySearch.

Mary Ann has ten sources on the Shared Tree. The 1851 and 1861 censuses show her in the bosom of the BROWN family, her birthplace given as Holbeck in one and Leeds in the other. (The parish of Holbeck would eventually be incorporated into Leeds Registration District.) I cannot access the 1871 Census on Ancestry but we know she married in 1880/1881. The censuses in 1881, 1891 and 1901 show her with her husband James in Scarborough and Filey. In all three Mary Ann is adamant that she was born in Hull. In 1901 they were living at 8 Scarborough Road.

Photographed this morning.

There isn’t a marriage source for the couple on the Shared Tree. Given Mary’s birthplace mismatch, finding it would have been a good idea. (Her birth three years before the supposed parents married should also have raised an eyebrow, if not a red flag.)

I will say more about the BATEMAN sisters, including Eliza, tomorrow.

Landscape 170 · Cleveland Way

Looking north to Hayburn Wyke  54.355497, -0.441668 (approximate viewpoint)