The ancestors of the Batten family first reached the shores of England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest. Their name is derived from the Old English given name Batte, a pet form of Bartholomew. Population increases and the feudal system of government that began during that period made it necessary for people to adopt an extra name to remain distinct from others with the same first name. Often, as in the case of Batten, people merely took the name of their father or an older male relative as a surname. Variations of the name include Baddin, Baddon, Battyn, Battan, Battent and many more.

The earliest evidence of the name Batten was found in Somerset. They were granted lands in this area by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The Batten family name gained great eminence in Britain's wool trade. John Batten acquired the estates of Dunsland in Devon from the Cohans around 1500. By 1660, the Battens had branched to North Hill in Cornwall. They also moved to Upcerne, in the county of Dorset.

Examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Batten arrived in North America very early including Robert Batten who landed in New England in 1658, William Batten who landed in Virginia in 1654, and Mary Batton who landed in New England in 1759.


This unusual name has two possible origins, both from old personal names. The first and most generally applicable to bearers of the modern-day surname is a diminutive form of the medieval given name 'Battle', itself a diminutive of 'Bartholomew', derived from the Aramaic patronymic 'bartalmay'. The name means 'having many furrows' and therefore 'rich in land'. Bartholomew was a very popular personal name in the Middle Ages, partly due to the fame of St. Bartholomew, the patron saint of tanners, vintners and butlers. There are literally hundreds of European surnames from 'Bartholomew', among them the English forms 'Batten', 'Battin(g)' and 'Baton'. 'Batten' could also derive from an Old English pre 7th Century personal name 'Bata', meaning 'thickset', 'powerfully built'.

The Coat of Arms granted to the Batten family has the blazon of a blue field thereon three battle-axes proper, headed in silver, handle garnished in gold. The crest being a hand couped in fesse charged with an eye. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Batun, witness, which was dated 1248, in the Fines Court Records of Essex, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272.

Our Batten family
including Warne & Wenzlick

Small numbers by a name refer to personal number in listing eg RICHARD 2 BATTEN ~ see 2


1.~ ~ ~ ROBERT BATTEN, born about 1770 married SARAH ESTERBROOK on 5 April 1801 in Liskeard, Cornwall, England.

Children of ROBERT BATTEN and SARAH ESTERBROOK included:

*              ROBERT BATTEN, born 31 January 1802, Menheniot, Cornwall.

*              RICHARD 2 BATTEN, born 6 November 1803, Menheniot, Cornwall, England; died 28 June 1872, Menheniot, Cornwall.

*              SARAH BATTEN, born 8 December 1805 in Menheniot, Cornwall.

*              ELIZABETH BATTEN, born 31 January 1808 in Menheniot, Cornwall.

*              WILLIAM BATTEN, born 28 June 1812 in Menheniot, Cornwall.

*              MARY BATTEN, born 15 January 1815 in Menheniot, Cornwall.

*              CHRISTIANA BATTEN, born 17 August 1817 in Menheniot, Cornwall.


2. ~ ~ ~ RICHARD BATTEN (ROBERT) was born 1 November 1803 and was baptized on 6 November 1803 in Menheniot, Cornwall, England. Richard married ANN WARNE on 24 May 1824 in St Germans, Cornwall. Ann was baptized on 28 June 1795 in Maker, Cornwall, England and was the daughter of DIGORY WARNE and AGNESS BARTLETT.

> Refer to the WARNE family for more information about the family of Ann.

Children of RICHARD BATTEN and ANN WARNE were:

*              WILLIAM BATTEN, born 6 March 1825, Menheniot, Cornwall.

*              MARY ANN BATTEN, born 28 January 1827, Menheniot, Cornwall. Mary was listed as a Mine Girl in the 1851 Census.

*              RICHARD BATTEN, born 15 March 1829, Menheniot, Cornwall. Richard was listed as a Mine Labourer in the 1851 Census. Richard died in 1866 in St Germans, Cornwall, aged 37 years

*              ROBERT 3 BATTEN, born 22 May 1831 in Menheniot, Cornwall.

*              JAMES WEARNE BATTEN, born 3 November 1833 in Menheniot, Cornwall; died 7 April 1834.

*              ELIZABETH BATTEN, born around 8 November 1835 in Menheniot, Cornwall.

*              EMMA JANE BATTEN born 1844 in St Germans, Cornwall.

*              SELINA BATTEN born 1847 in Liskeard, Cornwall.

In 1861 Robert and Ann were living in Menheniot Village and Robert was employed as an Agricultural Labourer. Ann died about 1871 and Robert died on 28 June 1872 in Liskeard, Cornwall, England.


3. ~ ~ ~ ROBERT BATTEN (ROBERT > RICHARD) was baptized on 22 May 1831 in Menheniot, Cornwall and was the third son of RICHARD BATTEN and ANN WARNE. His occupation was listed as Mine Labourer in the 1851 Census. Robert arrived in New Zealand around 1865 and worked as a Blacksmith / Engineer. Robert married EMMA AMELIA BROWN on 12 August 1874 in Shortland, Thames.

Emma was the daughter of WILLIAM BROWN and ELIZABETH (surname unknown) and was born around 1859 in Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. She was possibly one of three triplets. Her mother died in childbirth as did the other babies. Her father later remarried. Emma was just fifteen years old when she married Robert. Baby Robert was born in the following November but only lived 2 to 3 weeks. There was then a gap of almost 10 years before Emma Selina was born, and two years later Robert.

Children of ROBERT BATTEN and EMMA BROWN were:

*              ROBERT BATTEN, born 17 November 1874 in Parawai, Thames, and died several weeks later. He was buried on 7 December 1874 at Shortland Cemetery in Thames

*              EMMA SELINA 4 BATTEN, born 15 October 1884 in Huntly, Waikato, New Zealand.

*              ROBERT 5 BATTEN, born 3 January 1886 in Huntly, Waikato, New Zealand.

Robert died of chronic bronchitis / near-cardiac failure on 20 September 1900 in Auckland and was buried at Waikumete Cemetery in Waitakere, Auckland. Emma married John William GWILLIAM in 1919. John was born on 2 August 1858 in Clyde, Victoria, Australia and died 1920 in Thames, NZ. Emma died on 7 October 1936 also in Thames and was buried at Shortland Cemetery, Thames.


4. ~ ~ ~ EMMA SELINA BATTEN (ROBERT > RICHARD > ROBERT) was born on 15 October 1884 in Huntly, New Zealand and was the daughter of ROBERT BATTEN and EMMA BROWN. Emma settled in Auckland in 1891 and married GREGORY JOSEPH WENZLICK on 23 December 1907 in St Matthews in the City, Auckland. Gregory was the son of GREGORY JOHN WENZLICK and MARIA THERESA SCHOTT and was born on 19 August 1880 in Puhoi, North Auckland, NZ.

Notes from youngest daughter Beverley:

Gregory's sister Annie was Emma's great friend and introduced her to the Wenzlick family. Emma had "gone out" with Frank - his sandshoes put her off she said! Greg noticed her rich auburn hair and neat ankles (naughty boy!) He told her he had no money but she said "You are not afraid of work and neither am I" or words to that effect. Emma was Methodist and Gregory was Catholic so they decided to marry in the Anglican Church and bring up any children as Anglicans. They had a big wedding - bridesmaids dressed in pastel rainbow colours, white horses to pull their carriage etc. Emma's brother Robert was her groomsman.
After they married they lived at Manganai where Greg worked in the bush bullocking - a big change for a fashionable lady. Their first born, Gregory Alexander, was born in Auckland. Lived at Raurima and shifted to Kakahi in April 1911. Everyone to build their new house with timber from Government Mill. Greg worked for Dick Barnett there bullocking and as a bushman. Gladys and Minnie were born there. Left for Thames Coast in 1919. Audrey, Mavis & Beverley were born there. Emma was very firm. She was a great cook and kept the house like a "new shilling". The children were always neatly turned
out. she was an excellent nurse when the children were ill.

> Refer to the family of Gregory John WENZLICK for more information about the Wenzlick family and children of Emma and Gregory.

Emma died on 20 December1974 in Thames aged 90 years. Gregor died on 6 March 1961 also in Thames.

5. ~ ~ ~ ROBERT BATTEN (ROBERT > RICHARD > ROBERT) was born on 3 January 1886 in Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand and was the son of ROBERT BATTEN and EMMA BROWN. Robert married EILEEN MAY WATSON on 8 November 1909 in Newstead, Hamilton, New Zealand. They divorced in 1933. Eileen was born in 1889 in New Zealand.


*              RONALD CLAUDE 6 BATTEN, born 10 January 1912, Awhina, Hamilton.

*              BERYL EILEEN BATTEN, born 10 January 1912, Awhina, Hamilton. Beryl married WILFRED COOMBRIDGE in 1936 in Hamilton. She died on 9 January 1994.

Robert died on 30 June 1942 in Randwick, New South Wales, Australia and was buried at Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney, NSW.


6. ~ ~ ~ RONALD CLAUDE BATTEN (ROBERT > RICHARD > ROBERT > ROBERT) was born on 10 January 1912 in Awhina, Hamilton, New Zealand and was the son of ROBERT BATTEN and EILEEN WATSON. Ronald married OLIVE ELLEN MARY FRANCES DAVYS on 10 January 1933 in Frankton, Hamilton and they had three children. Olive was born on 13 June 1912 in Auckland, New Zealand and was the daughter of JAMES DAVYS and ELLEN HICKEY. Ronald died on 19 March 1990 in Tauranga, NZ.

Please note that in keeping to genealogy publishing protocol I have not included information about later generations including living persons.

If you have a family connection, please contact me for further information.

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