Great-Great-Grandma Baker – The Story So Far

My Great-Great Grandmother Louisa Baker was born in Wilncote, Kettlebrook Staffordshire on 13th September 1852 and baptised the following December at St. Editha in Tamworth. Her parents were Joseph, a collier and his wife, also Louisa (nee Simnett).

So far, I have found four siblings; Henry b.1849, Rebecca b.1858, William b.1861 and Sarah Ann b.1865. I believe Henry married Ellen Peach and worked as an engine driver in and around Burton-On-Trent. Sarah Ann married Adam Tait and also stayed around the Burton-On-Trent area.

The 1861 census was the first following Louisa’s birth and finds her living in her maternal grandparent’s (Samuel and Ann) home of 29 Guild Street, Burton-On-Trent. She was with her mother and her siblings Henry and William but there was no mention of Rebecca.

According to this census entry Louisa’s father, Joseph, had absconded. I haven’t as yet been able to find him elsewhere in census searches on both Find My Past and Ancestry.

I have also been unable to find Louisa in the 1871 census, but I have located her parents, Louisa and Joseph, back together and living at 2 Albert Place, Station Street, Burton-On-Trent. Henry, Rebecca, William and Sarah Ann were all living with them; Joseph and Henry were employed as labourers.

Station St. Burton-On-Trent c1880

The next record of Louisa I have found is her marriage to Charles Bateman on the 17th October 1874 at St. Nicholas in Nottingham. I have no idea how she ended up in Nottingham; she was living at 24 Castle Terrace at the time and gave no information as to employment.

St. Nicholas. Nottingham

The 1881 census shows Louisa and Charles living at 1 Crown Street, Nottingham with their first two children, Louisa Rose b.1876 and Charles Nelson b.1879. Charles was employed as a telegraphist at the Post Office and Louisa was working as a mantle maker.

The family moved to 138 Noel Street North sometime between 1881-5 and then on to 86 Burford Road, Hyson Green in 1887. 
Louisa and Charles had five more children; Bertie Fawcett b.1882, Margaret Elizabeth (Marguerite) b.1884, Winifred J b.1886, Florence Mary (my g-grandmother) b.1887 and Dorothy Maud b.1892.
By 1891, they were living at 29 Claypole Road, also in Hyson Green and had a visitor, 7 year old Nellie Lamb from Middlesex, staying with them. Louisa Rose, Margaret, Winifred and Florence were living with their parents at this address in 1901.
Claypole Road 2009. John Sutton

Louisa died on the 22nd January 1905 at home in Claypole Road; her death was attributed to cirrhosis of the liver and exhaustion. She was buried in Nottingham’s General Cemetery on the 26th January.

So, I still have some missing information to track down for Louisa; her father’s missing census in 1861 and her own missing census in 1871. I’d like to see who else lived at 24 Castle Terrace in 1871 and what the property was being used for, that may give a clue was to how Louisa ended up in Nottingham. And it may also be useful to find out who Nellie Lamb was and if she is connected to the family.

Station St. Picture Credit:

St Nicholas Picture Credit:
Claypole Rd. Picture Credit:John Sutton [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday’s Tip – Checking & Rechecking

Whilst I was putting together the spreadsheet, I realised I hadn’t followed up a problem I had with my great-great grandmother, Louisa Baker.
From her marriage certificate to Charles Bateman, I knew her father’s name was Joseph, but it was difficult to ascertain if their surname was Baker or Barker, so I’d previously searched the census for both options.

According to the later Census returns after her marriage (1881, 1891 & 1901), Louisa had been born in Staffordshire, and some time ago I had found a likely sounding family in Rowley Regis in the census of 1861 & 1871.  The head of the household was Joseph Baker, wife Louisa Baker & with a daughter Louisa of the correct age.  So I pencilled this in as an ‘almost definitely’ correct record.

I have my tree entered at the Genes Connected site and sometime later I received a message from someone who thought we may have a family connection.  After comparing notes, I realised that the family in Rowley Regis weren’t my ancestors at all.  I rechecked on Ancestry but couldn’t find another family in 1861 or 1871 that would fit with my information, so this side of the family got put on one side for a quite a while.

After having my memory jogged the other week, I thought I’d revisit this by finding her birth reference on Free BMD  and ordering Louisa’s birth certificate, which arrived last week.

It confirmed that the family surname is definitely Baker.  I think I’d got it into my head that Louisa’s mother’s name was also Louisa – probably due to the first likely family I found in the census – and that’s why I’d been unable to find the correct family.
I now know Louisa’s mother was Sarah Simlett & I’ve also found  possible census returns for the family in 1861 & 1871. Now I just have to wait for some free Ancestry access so I can check & download the original document. I can also look for a marriage certificate for Joseph and Sarah, which will hopefully take this family back another generation.
So even if you think you’ve hit a brick wall, it’s worth going back to recheck on occasion, as a fresh look at a problem can sometimes help.
Making sure you have seen as much of the documentation for each family as you can also helps ensure you are researching the right people and not wasting time and money climbing the wrong tree.

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.