Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Workday Wednesday - Post Office

My great-great grandfather, Charles Bateman, began his working life as a messenger for the Electric and International Telegraph Company in 1867 aged 14.

In 1869 he was promoted to the post of clerk and a year later became a telegraphist for the Burton-on-Trent Post Office.

Moving to the Nottingham Post Office, he had worked his way up to Assistant Superintendant 2nd Class by the time he retired in May 1906.

I found this information during a visit to the British Postal Museum & Archive in London.  They were very helpful there & I would definitely recommend a visit and/or contacting them if you have any ex-postmen/women in your family, the personnel records are very detailed.

Whilst there, I also found details of Charles' son, Charles Nelson Bateman, who had followed in his father's footsteps and become a Post office employee.

Charles Nelson also stayed at the Post Office for the whole of his working life (apart from two brief stints in the army) and was awarded the Imperial Service Medal on his retirement in 1940.

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Monday, 4 March 2013

Madness Monday - The Workhouse Blues

Missing records which could help in piecing together an ancestor's life can be particularly maddening.

In my case it is the workhouse records for Guisborough Workhouse in North Yorkshire.

I found my Great-Great Grandfather Robert Richardson was a resident of the workhouse in the 1861 census.

Here he is with his older brother John:

I contacted Middlesbrough Archives and they very kindly sent me copies of the entries in the workhouse register that mention Robert, John and their sister Mary Jane:

John Thomas & Robert Richardson are admitted to Guisborough Workhouse on July 8th 1858.  They are admitted by order of the Board of Guardians and charged to Liverton Parish.
On August 24th 1858 they are discharged from the Workhouse – taken out by their father.
John Thomas, Robert & Mary Jane are admitted to the Workhouse again on October 21st 1858, all charged to Liverton they are described as ‘very dirty.’
Mary Jane is taken out of the Workhouse by her father on 20th November 1858.
On March 27th 1859, John Thomas is discharged under his own charges, then appears to go straight back in again ‘transferred from Liverton’ on the same day!
On June 21st 1859, John Thomas & Robert are again taken out of the Workhouse by their father.  John is under his own charges & Robert is charged to Liverton Parish.
But July 5th 1859 sees both boys readmitted to the Guisborough Workhouse by the Relieving Officer.  As above, John is under his own charges & Robert is charged to Liverton.

Robert next appears in the 1871 census, as an apprentice joiner to Thomas Armstrong in West Gate, Guisborough;

Unfortunately the workhouse registers for 1859 to 1866 are missing, so I have no idea of what happened to Robert and his siblings between 1861 and 1871 and the terms or circumstances of his apprenticeship. There are no apprenticeship papers either!

But I do know he was very successful in his trade a a joiner; eventually owning his own business in Nottingham & looking very well-to-do!

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