19 March 2013

The baptism of Mary Baumgarten

I've been searching for some kind of birth/baptism record for Mary (Marie) Baumgarten, daughter of Samuel Christian Frederick Baumgarten (c1729-1798) and Mary Joynes (c1729-?), who was later the wife of Gaspard Weiss (1739-1815), for ages now.

I have a record (from the Burgerbuch of Mulhouse) which suggests that unlike all her siblings who were apparently born in London, England, she was from Nassau-Usingen (though perhaps not born there). I still was looking for some vital records for proof of this though. According to the marriage allegation for Gaspard Weiss and herself, she was born around 1755.

In the last week or so, Findmypast has released 3 million new Westminster records onto their website. I'd previously found lots of records for Baumgartens and Joynes and other related families in Westminster so I did some searching and hit pay-dirt! A "Mary Baumgarten" was baptised at St Margaret Westminster on 15 August 1755. She was recorded as the daughter of "Saml. Christian Frederick by Mary", born 21 July 1755. Mary's sister Charlotte was baptised in the same parish in 1757.

So the question is: was she born in Nassau-Usingen or England? I don't think there's likely to be a way to ever know that for sure, as I've never found any shipping records from that time, which could tell us that a (newborn?) Mary Baumgarten travelled with her parents across the English Channel to England... It does seem possible that there might have been enough time for them to get from Nassau-Usingen on 21 July to London on 15 August though. We'll probably never know...

12 March 2013

A trip to Waverley Cemetery

I recently managed to get to Waverley Cemetery to see some graves there. Waverley is a cemetery with a lovely setting - it is situated on the cliffs at Bronte, in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. It overlooks the Pacific Ocean, so the "guests" there have a great view, if only they weren't so dead that they couldn't enjoy the scenery. There were two lots of graves I wanted to check out - the Rich graves and the Horsey graves.

I started off with the Rich graves. I asked at the office as I had no idea where they were. For a $15 fee (which I think is steep, considering some cemeteries don't charge at all for information, but I guess they have to pay for up-keep somehow) they gave me a whole lot of details about where the graves were, and also offered the family with the chance to take over the lease of the graves as there was still room available. For only about $1700 for a 25 year lease. Otherwise, they may be recycled at some stage in the future - which makes me glad that I photographed them while I had the chance!

The first photo shows the double grave for the assorted members of the Rich family buried there (Church of England, Section 15 Ordinary, graves 6206 and 6207), along with my little helper. The inscription that my little helper was sitting on said "Erected by Avice", Avice being one of William and Laurina's daughters.

The inscription on the headstone says:
"In Loving Memory of
Our dear parents William Rich, late Crimean War, died 25th April 1927, aged 95 years, and Laurina Rich, died 21st Jan 1929, aged 79 years.
Our dear sister Lily Rich, died 16th April 19112, aged 35 years.
Also our dear brother William Milton Rich, late 1st A.I.F., died 11th Aug 1950, aged 69 years."

On the lower section it says:
"Also Laurina Garrett, daughter of the above [William and Laurina], died 11th Nov 1962, aged 69 years."

Also buried in the grave is Laurina Garrett's husband Maurice, although there is no inscription bearing his name (though there is space for it next to his wife's details - clearly no one ever got around to it). He was buried there 23rd Aug 1956.

This photo is of the grave of Sarah Horsey, and members of her extended family - James and Selina Baker, Charles, Selina Grace and Harriett Eliza Baker, and Frederick and Maria Ruth Horsey. The details of these graves are Church of England, Section 2 Ordinary, Row 10, graves 235-238.
Selina Horsey was Sarah and Josiah Horsey's daughter. She was married to James Baker. James' brother Charles was married to Selina's sister (and Sarah and Josiah's daughter) Sarah Ann, and Selina Grace was their daughter, with Harriett Eliza being Charles' daughter from a previous marriage (his first wife died). Sarah Ann, Charles' wife is not buried in this grave as she remarried after the death of Charles, and so is presumably buried with her second husband elsewhere. Frederick Horsey is a son of Sarah and Josiah Horsey, and was married to Maria Ruth.

The inscription on this headstone is:
"In Loving Memory of Sarah Horsey, native of Somersetshire England, who died June 21 1880, aged 64 years.
In such mournful visitation
On this sweet assurance rest
Whatsoever the dispensation
God's decree is always best"

There is definitely space at the bottom of this headstone for details of further burials, but apparently there were none. Josiah, Sarah's husband, was buried in the Devonshire Street Cemetery, which closed in 1867, thus explaining why Sarah wasn't buried there with him. The Devonshire Street Cemetery was  resumed in 1901 to make way for the building of Central Station, but I've never been able to work out where Josiah's remains were moved to. Perhaps he was moved to Waverley and buried with Sarah, but the information never recorded on the headstone. If I was over that way again (it's a bit of drive from my place) with another spare $15 I could get them to look up the burial information for those graves, but as I had what seemed like most of the information at the time I didn't do it on this particular visit.

10 March 2013

Who was the rich uncle?

Reading through the autobiography of Gaspard Weiss today I rediscovered something intriguing that I had read once before.

"Les enfants Baumgarten avaient hérite d'un oncle chacun environ £1500, soit 36000 francs. Cette ennuyeuse affaire, si importante pour les hommes de droit qui me réclamèrent 51 Guinées, retarda notre mariage jusqu'au mois d'août; de plus, par contrat, nous nous engagions, au cas où je retournerais dans mon pays, de placer ce capital en Angleterre au nom de mes enfants. M. Baumgarten vit au bout de quelque temps que cette clause était injuste et il fit tout ce qu'il put pour la faire modifier, afin que cet argent nous fût rendu." Weiss (2012).

Roughly translated, it says that each of the children of Samuel and Mary Baumgarten (née Joynes) inherited £1500 after one of their uncles died, and it was right before Gaspard Weiss and Marie Baumgarten were married in 1775. I'm pretty sure £1500 was a large amount then (the National Archives UK's currency calculator puts it at a value of £95500 in 2005's money), and considering at least four of them made it to adulthood (out of eleven children in total) that's a substantial amount of money to be passing on at the uncle's death.

On the paternal side I only know the date of death of one of Samuel Baumgarten's brothers - John Henry, who died in 1770. Having read his will, he left all his money to his siblings and not to nieces and nephews. I don't know of the wealth of any of Samuel's other brothers nor when they died. I do, however, suspect that the uncle in question lived in England, of which none of Samuel's other brothers did.

Of Mary Joynes' brothers, Bartholomew, Samuel, Thomas and Henry, I assume Bartholomew and Henry died young (likely in childhood) as they weren't mentioned in their father Henry Joynes' will - written in 1754, Thomas died at age 28 (1750), when he probably wouldn't have had time to amass a large fortune, but Samuel was a prominent lawyer who worked in the Middle Temple and had a number of high profile and/or high society clients. He certainly could have left a fortune of the magnitude left to the Baumgarten children. According to his will, Samuel Joynes, after divvying up most of his belongings amongst friends and family, left the remainder in equal shares to his sister's children - Mary and Samuel Baumgarten's children.

Samuel Joynes died on June 10, 1770, which fits with the uncle in question dying before 1775 when Marie Baumgarten and Gaspard Weiss married. So I don't know for certain, but I believe it was Samuel Joynes who left £1500 to Marie Baumgarten.