Solving a Mystery by Looking for Collateral Relatives!


I was honored to be the recipient of Aunt Natalie’s genealogy research binders, when she downsized to a smaller place. They were chock full of documents and letters that she had collected back in the 1970’s & 80’s via snail mail and by personally visiting libraries, repositories, cemeteries and ancestral towns.

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Aunt Natalie on a “Roots” trip to Richibucto, Kent County, New Brunswick, July 1983

She had a few brick walls.  One of her biggest? She was unable to identify the parents of Alice Edith Childs, wife of John Hains/Haynes, my 3rd  g-grandmother. Thirty years later, so much is online, perhaps there are records available to solve the mystery!

I haven’t uncovered a document that names Alice Edith Childs parents, but indirect evidence, when correlated, appears to point to Joseph Childs of England and Jannet Dunn of Dumfriesshire, Scotland.

group sheet chart

To solve the mystery, I looked at all likely family members, not just my direct line ancestors.

Here’s what I know:

Alice Edith Childs was born about 1822 most likely in Canada. Some online, unsourced, trees, give her birth date as 19 April 1822 and birthplace as Fredericton, York Co, New Brunswick, Canada.

She married about 1848, John Hains/Haynes, who was born about 1824, son of Joseph Hains/Haynes III and Willie Nancy Ann Boone. Some online, unsourced, trees, give their marriage date as 17 March 1848 and marriage place as Fredericton, York Co, New Brunswick, Canada.

Alice and John had at least 7 children who lived to adulthood:
Joseph Haines (1849 – 1881)
Captain Alexander “Alex” Hains/Haynes (1850 – 1907)
George William Haines (1851 – 1914)
James Haines (1853 – 1875)
William John “John” Haines (1856 – 1939)
Mary Ann “Alice” Alvin Haines (1856 – 1924)
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Hains (1858 – 1920)

group sheet

Alice Edith Childs died 9 November 1859 and is buried in the churchyard of St Andrews Church, Rexton, Kent County, New Brunswick.

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Photos courtesy John Childs

Two years later, in the 1861 census of Canada in Richibuctou, Kent, New Brunswick, John Hains a native born Episcopalian, working as a laborer, is listed with the following family (http://tinyurl.com/kzxexm2):
John Hains 37
Joseph Hains 11
Alexander Hains 10
George Hains 9
James Hains 7
Mary Hains 6
John Hains 4
Elizabeth Hains 3
Patience Amerieux 45 (John Hains sister)

There is a second Mary Haines of about the same age, also enumerated in Richibucto, Kent, New Brunswick in 1861 with her “grandparents”. In this census, Janet Childs is listed as Scottish. Joseph Childs is listed as English (http://tinyurl.com/lltgpj9).

The household is as follows:
Joseph Childs 72
Janet Childs 64
Nicholas Childs 25
Robert Childs 16
Mary Haines 7

Could Mary Haines have been enumerated twice (this is my theory)? Or were there two Mary Haines age 6/7 in the area?

A Jannet Dunn, wife of Joseph Childs is also buried in the churchyard of St Andrews Church, Rexton, Kent County, New Brunswick. John Childs (likely my cousin, a descendant of Christopher Childs and Elizabeth Crossman, a likely brother of my Alice Edith Childs) lives near the cemetery. In 2013, he sent photos of the two graves, Jannet and Alice Edith, and said in an email “they are very close to one other”.

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Jannet died 2 April 1869 in Richibucto, which puts her birth about 1798;  about 24 years old when Alice Edith was born, the right age to be her mom.

A transcription from the local paper, claims Jannet was “native of Dumfriesshire, Scotland”.

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Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (PANB), Daniel F. Johnson

A transcription to a marriage record for a Joseph Childs and Jannet Dunn is as follows:
Joseph CHILDS Northumberland Co. Janet DUNN married: 3 Aug 1821 [Alice Edith was likely born 1822] by J Wheaton wit: George Pagan, B Goldsmith – EARLY NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY MARRIAGES [transcribed by D. Purdue from PANB Microfilm # 15488].

John Hains and Alice Edith Childs’ daughter Mary Ann “Alice” Haines kept a diary in a fifty cent ledger book [transcribed and published by her grandson Ralph and his wife Peggy Stevens; copy in my personal files].

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She recorded events of the three year period she was employed by Mrs. Richard H. Dana of Boston from 1880-1883. Mrs Dana was the former Edith Longfellow, daughter of Professor Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of Cambridge. Mary was nurse to Edith’s two sons Dicky and Harry. She wrote frequently of her family.

She mentions the following:

  • Visiting her Aunt Mrs Morton at Restigonche Bay – she later names Aunt Mary & cousin Janet Morton.
  • Doing the old mill walk April 24 1880 with cousin Jenny Morton (same dates she was in Restigonche Bay)

The 1881 census of Restigonche lists the following Morton family (http://tinyurl.com/kns345p):
Alexander Morton 59
Mary Morton 47
Annie Morton 25
Janet Morton 19
Lizzie Morton 11
Edith Morton 6
William Morton 30
Robert Morton 28
David Morton 21
Angus Morton 17
Joseph Morton 14

Mary Morton’s maiden name in a number of online unsourced trees is listed as Childs.

By 1871, Alice Edith’s husband John Hains/Haynes had remarried. He is found living with his new wife, Jane, and their four daughters in Richibucto.  None of the children from his first marriage are living with him (http://tinyurl.com/mff3t3l).

A Mary Ann Haines of the same age as our “Mary” in 1871 is found living in Chipman, Queens County, New Brunswick with a Quint family (http://tinyurl.com/nxh98or):
Anson Quint 47
Henry D Quint 36
Euphemia Quint 40
Anson Quint 3
Myra Helen Quint 2
Robert B Quint 6 months
Mary Ann Haynes

Further research shows that Euphemia Quint’s maiden name was Childs. In 1861, a 30 year Euphemia (indexed as Uphemy) Childs is found living in Harcourt, Kent, New Brunswick with a 60 year old Robert Dunn (http://tinyurl.com/kl847mq - possibly a brother or cousin to Jannet Dunn?)

Robert Dunn 60
Uphemy Childs 29
James Raynalds 22

Robert died in 1865. There is a tombstone that is likely his, in Chipman, Queens County, New Brunswick (same place where Euphemia is living in 1871). The deceased’s birth place is listed as Dumfriesshire, Scotland (same as Jannet Dunn).

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There is also an Elizabeth Childs who names Joseph and Jannet as parents in her New Hampshire marriage record:

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An old online message board post reads as follows:

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If there were 10 children of Joseph Childs and Jannet Dunn (as per the message board post), perhaps they were:

(1)  Alice Edith (Childs) Haines abt. 1822 – 1859: likely her daughter Mary Haines is listed with Jannet/Joseph in 1861 census as “granddaughter”, she is buried very close to Jannet (Dunn) Hains, her likely daughter Mary resided in 1871 with her likely sister Euphemia.

(2) George Childs abt. 1823 – ?: listed as witness to Mary Childs wedding (his sister?).

(3)  Christopher Childs abt. 1829 – ?: he was also Presbyterian, lived in Richibucto  in 1871 and had children named Janet, Joseph, Euphemia, Margaret & Elizabeth (all similar family names). The 1891 census says his dad is from England, mother from Scotland ; In 1881 brothers Christopher & Robert living next door to one another in Richibucto;  married Elizabeth Crossman,

(4) Elizabeth (Childs) Davis abt. 1830 – ?: born in New Brunswick and names her parents as Joseph Childs (born England) and Jannet (born Scotland) in her New Hampshire marriage record 18 May 1875. Her husband (Benjamin Davis) died in Concord, NH on 3 Jul 1885 and is listed as a widower. She was 45 when they married, it does not appear that they had children together.

(5) Euphemia (Childs) Quint abt. 1831 –?: living with a Robert Dunn of the same village in Scotland as Jannet in 1861 (her uncle/cousin?), listed as a witness to Mary Childs wedding (her sister?) & living with Mary Haines in 1871 (her niece?); married Henry D. Quint

(6) Jane (Childs) Little/Haywood abt. 1832 – 1924: in 1861 living in Richibuctou and a Presbyterian. Children named Joseph, Janet, William Christopher, Mary, John & James (all similar family names); married (1) Andrew Little, (2) James Haywood

(7) Mary (Childs) Morton abt. 1836 – 1903: – listed as “Aunt Mary” in Mary Haines diary, George & Euphemia Childs listed as witnesses to her wedding (siblings?). Names her children Janet, Joseph, Edith, Mary, Lizzie, William & Robert (all similar family names). The 1900 US census says her dad is from England, mother from Scotland. Note that the 1880 census says her dad is from Ireland (perhaps a neighbor was the informant?); married Alexander Morton

(8) Nicholas Childs (female) abt. 1837 – 1919: listed with parents Jannet/Joseph in 1861 census, father Joseph in 1871 & living with her brother James in 1901 in Westminster, British Columbia.

(9) James Childs abt. 1841 – ?: listed with father Joseph in 1871 census – in 1881 he is living in Weldford, listed as Presbyterian, dad is from England, mother from Scotland and has sons named James, Joseph & John (all similar family names). Living with his sister Nicholas in 1901 in Westminster, British Columbia.

(10) Robert Childs abt. 1845 – ?: listed with Jannet/Joseph in 1861 census & Joseph in 1871 census; in 1881 brothers Christopher & Robert living next door to one another in Richibucto.

Still not definitive proof, but intriguing….  I am hoping one of my long lost cousins who has the family bible or other family records can solve our mystery!!  And maybe help with my burning question – if Jannet & Joseph are my 4th g-grandparents. where in Scotland/England were they born and what made them relocate to Canada?

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