A few weeks ago I had ordered a copy of my great great great grandfather, George Batterley’s will. Today I finally had time to sit and read it in detail. My previous research had confirmed that he had four children with his first wife, Maria. The children were Eliza Ann, Ada, my great great grandmother Maria and a son George.
His wife Maria passed away in 1907 and, probably because he was a farmer, he remarried very quickly, to Sarah Ann. By this time the children were all grown up and married. The youngest was 30 years old. Eliza Ann and Maria had married brothers, George and Robert Stewardson, both mole catchers originally from the Lake District but now settled nearby in Derbyshire.
At the time the will was written in 1921 all four children were living in Derbyshire, with families of their own.
The intrigue comes in the legacies. George left 5 shillings to his wife, less than £10 in today’s money. Did he regret his second marriage in his 60s?
He then divides the residue of his property, over £480, between his three children. Not four children. Just three. He lists his son George, his daughter Ada and his daughter Eliza Ann. Maria is very definitely left out.
Maria was still alive in 1922, I have her death record in 1960. I have her birth certificate and her father is clearly given as George Batterley. I may never know how or why she was disinherited by her father, but once again a document has raised more questions that answers.