News about Alfred Bater

BATER Family 001 [92852]

This is Albert Bater, a Home Child from Bristol

Thank you Jamie for sending me news about Albert.

Three Children from the Bater family were sent to Canada, Hannah born 1871 in Bideford, Devon, Alfred born 1872 and Charles born 1875, both in Clifton, Bristol. John Bater, their father was an excavator and worked on the railway, their mother was Elizabeth Bater and there appear to be five other children in the family. In May 1879 Elizabeth Bater died of cancer in the Bristol Royal Infirmary and then, in December 1880, just over one year later, John Bater died in a railway accident in Newbury.

These three children were taken into Newbury work house and then transferred to Barton Regis workhouse; Alfred was sent to the Boys Home in Cumberland Road and the two younger children were looked after in house. Alfred sailed for Canada on the ship Texas 21st April 1887, he was sent to a farm in Kings County, New Brunswick, later he married and acquired his own farm. I am in touch with his great grandson Jamie.

Charles settled in Framingham, Massachusetts, he married but had no children; Hannah arrived in St John, eventually married Charlie Miller who died while still a young man. Hannah, now a single mother, spent forty years in the Poor Home in St John, New Brunswick, died in 1942, and is buried in the local cemetery. The rest of the family appear to have stayed in England.

The photograph is of Alfred Bater, his great grandson says that Albert never knew his parents’ names just writing initials M and F on documents such as his marriage certificate. Jamie says he knows more about Albert’s immediate family than Albert did, which he finds very sad. (Some Canadians believe that the trauma of being sent away set up a reaction in the children, they call it “absent memories”)

I have been able to put the great, great granddaughter of Hannah in touch with the great grandson of Alfred; they have met and exchanged information. Sadly the three siblings never had any more contact with each other after they left the workhouse in Bristol.

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