Today has been another interesting diversion from what we set out to research.
We had some time ago posted the military history of Arthur Bates onto our website but had never been able to work out who he was to write his family history. Today has been an interesting search where we found Arthur Bates on the 1911 census for the first time. Armed with his age and a rough date of birth we managed to find his family on previous census returns but without his father present after 1881. The reason for this was that his mother was listed as a widow from 1891 onwards.
Using the wonderful British Newspaper Archive now available through Find my Past we found a listing for the death of an Edward Bates of Morton in November 1886. This was the final piece of the jigsaw allowing us to piece together the family history of Arthur.
Collating all of the information was another matter. The method of collating information from various records over a 50 year span is an interesting prospect and the easiest for us is to create a family tree. Using Family Tree Maker and the Ancestry website tends to work for us but we don’t really like to create online trees just for this purpose. As luck would have it, one of Arthur’s cousins was married to a Needham from Morton and this family has already been added to the “Jamie Lawrance Ancestry” tree already online through
In order to start adding Arthur’s ancestors to the tree meant revisiting some research we added to my tree years ago when we were asked to research the Scotney family for a friend. Making the link between the Needham family we had and the Bates family Needham link was fairly simple and once this was added to the on-line tree the rest of the Bates family could be added to create a complete immediate family tree for Arthur Bates. This now puts my extended on-line family up to 4564 people.
We are aware that descendants of this Bates family are still living in Morton and this made researching the descendants of Edward Bates even more important to us as any extra Morton research is always of interest.
What we have established today is that the Arthur Bates we visited in the cemetery at Frameries last year, was actually a career soldier working his way up to the rank of Lance-Sergeant, before becoming part of a rear guard action that certainly saved the lives of many soldiers caught in one of the earliest actions of the Great War.
                                     Jamie     1.12.12