Thursday, 2 January 2014

Sepia Saturday 209: Who were the mysterious family and were they related to Jean Batten? And there is a Car in there too!

I decided to talk to my Grandma the other day about her father's side of the family.  She said that her father, Arthur Cyril Pearce used to say he was related to Jean Batten the famous pilot.  He used to go on about it all the time apparently.

Well I've searched my family tree and looked at her family tree and can't find the connection.  It may be a relationship only by marriage somewhere along the line.  Jean Batten was born in 1909 in Rotorua. 

However my great grandfather visited some family in Rotorua in 1920 with his brother Willy.  He travelled a long way from Christchurch in the South Island, by boat to the North Island.  I have traced his journey from Wellington and various other towns to Rotorua.  My Grandma said that there were family in Rotorua that he visited.  We have the following pictures of them with their animals and going about their daily business.


My great grandfather visited the hot springs at Rotorua and the Tarawera crater, the volcano that blew its top and covered the pink and white terraces.  He also visited Waitomo caves.

My great grandfather was also into cars such as this one.  It is parked in his father's shed, a 1920s blokes shed that housed the car, motorbike and the family business.  The father Arthur james Pearce was a cobbler and worked in this shed.  However on the journey to the North Island he took boats and horse driven coaches  and trains but no cars that I have seen.  They don't appear in his photos.




My great grandfather's family tree includes the names Pearce, Luff, Gillespie, Fogden and then more obscure relations such as the names Cheesman, Webley, Vivian, Bennett, Nelson, Bull, Glanville, Stone, Pope, Newman, Riddell, Unwin, Tweedie, Stevens, Skudder, Coombs or Coombes, Franklin, Edhouse, Hood, Potts, Voice, Reed, Brown and Gyde.  There are probably other families I haven't found yet.

The main names in the Jean Batten tree are Batten, Blackmore, Rigden, Lanning.  I can't find spouses for her brother's though who are:

Frederick Harold Batten born 1901
John Edward Batten born 1903

If anyone can find their spouses, it would be greatly appreciated.  Jean also had a brother Stanley Batten who didn't live to adulthood. 

So you can see my hunt for the Jean Batten connection is so far hopeless!  It must be a pretty vague link, but any link to Jean Batten would have been exciting I guess!  Any help greatly appreciated!

Click here for a link to who Jean Batten is, if you don't know already!


14 comments:

  1. Pity we cannot view the photos.

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  2. Bel you need to enable the photos for public viewing on Flickr.

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  3. Can anyone see the photos yet?

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  4. Great, that's better Bel. Fine collage and old car in the shed; now I know who Jean Batten was.

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  5. These are such great photos. I have to laugh about the stories we hear over the years, and especially the ones that have gone so far that they were printed in the newspaper! My oldest son, from my first marriage is supposedly linked to good old Abe (yes our long time ago President Lincoln) and apparently as the newspaper article reads my son's grandmother is linked as a 7th cousin to good old Abe. You can bet I've been researching that one!

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  6. Got them! It's always exciting to know that there is a family link to someone famous. Love that 'bloke's shed'.

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  7. Photos of early "auto barns" i.e. garages are not common. Stories of famous distant cousins are universal.

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  8. Loved the car shed. My uncles told of several farmers who bought early cars, only to keep them in the shed. Also, liked the info on Jean Batteen. My aunt Gail was in the last graduating class of the WASP (Women's Airforce Service Pilots), so I have always had an interest in the careers of women pilots. Thanks for the addition of Jean Batten to my list.

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  9. Jean Batten sounds like an interesting character. I hadn't heard of her before.

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  10. Very cool! Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Thanks for sharing. Nice to see vintage photos. :)

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  12. Love the car shed. That's one of the things I like to look for when out on leisurely drives.

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  13. I love the Flickr page shot : we forget that pictures were so often seen in groups in the past - we are now so used to seeing them individually. But the group tells a story in itself - those photos on that page almost giving a complete picture of life.

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  14. Fascinating photographs and how wonderful that you can still chat to your grandmother to hear of family memories. .

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