Peter Penno of Norton, House Fire 1806

The Norton Historical Society in Norton, Bristol County, Massachusetts has a gold mine of unpublished documents dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. Unfortunately many of the documents were damaged by water.  An outside vendor was able to preserve much of the collection, however they were returned in random order.  The documents now sit in boxes at the society .  No one has time to sort through and organize them (if only I lived closer!).

While there last month, I was able to go through one of the boxes, and photographed a few documents of interest, even though there seemed to be no link to my family.

One such document was a signed by the mark of Peter Penno, 26 January 1806. Peter lost his home, possessions, clothes and provisions in a house fire, causing his family, which included young children, to be separated.  He asked for assistance, during this “inclement season”:

 To the Church of Christ and Society in the Town of Norton – Greeting,

The Petition of Peter Penno of said Norton Humbly shows and would beg leave to represent that on the 21st day of January instant while his family were at Dinner his house suddenly took fire and baffled every exertion of the family to stop its progress, in a few moments that, together with most part of their furniture, Beds, some Cloaths and their whole stock of Corn and provisions were wraped in, and consumed by that all devouring element fire, whereby himself, Wife and Children (and some of them quite small), are bereft of their little ___ and turned out of Doors at this Inclement season without Cloaths, Provisions, or Furniture, and his family are now Separated and must remain so unless relieved by the Charitable assistance of the Benevolent and can not we say with good old God? who can withstand Gods mighty cold? Soft eyed pity is the Child of Goodness and is the native inmate of every virtuous mind, and he that puts forth his hand to the relief of the distressed, and to save the wrathed from perishing we are to Sin the sacred Volume, are lending to the Lord, and will assuredly receive their reward by Contributing a  small portion from your abundance, to the relief of a Poor, but really Industrious family, you will raise them from Wretchedness and  Wants, and this Cumforth into their almost disponding minds.

Norton January 26, 1806

History of the town of Norton,  details “dwelling houses burned” and mentions Peter Penno’s house burned midday, 21 January 1806 :

norton-houses-burnt

Who was Peter Penno?

Peter Penno was born about 1756.  He married Elizabeth Munro, 15 Apr 1779, at Providence, Rhode Island.

In 1790, Peter was enumerated in Providence; his household included six members: one free white male over 16; two free white males under sixteen and three free white females.

In 1794, when Peter signed a petition against Bristol Rhodes, he was residing in Providence in the neighborhood near the Congregational Church.

court-document

By 1800, the family had relocated to Norton, Bristol, Massachusetts and was enumerated with eleven household members:

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10 2
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25 3
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over 1
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10 2
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15 1
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25 1
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over 1
Number of Household Members Under 16 5
Number of Household Members Over 25 2
Number of Household Members 11

Thus, the Penno family likely included nine children at the time of the fire, four of them under the age of ten!  Online unsourced trees include only John, Hannah (Woodcock), Nathaniel, Benjamin, William and Jeremiah.

Although additional research is needed, there are a number of marriages that were recorded in Norton that have potential to be some of Peter Penno’s children:

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Providence, Rhode Island vital records point to additional candidates:

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In 1810, Peter was enumerated in Norton, a neighbor of my 5th g-grandmother Abiah (Crossman) Hall and her sons, Silas and my 4th g-grandfather Brian Hall. John Penno resided nearby (perhaps Peter’s son).

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 2
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1
Number of Household Members Under 16: 2
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 6

1810

Land Deeds

Land deeds mention the fire and my ancestors.

In a deed filed March 1812, Nathaniel Munro transferred land to Peter Penno (Bristol, book 95, page 448).  It reads in part:

….A lot of land being in Norton and on the southerly side of the road that leads from Brian Hall’s to George Leonard’s Esq. bounded as follows…..

…..Land that I purchased of Brian Hall and Silas Hall by deed, January 15, 1794, and the same land I gave to Penno’s wife, a deed of which they say is burnt, whereon a house has been lately burnt and if said deed is found, this deed to be void….in witness whereof I, the said Nathaniel with my wife Nancy… this 27th day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and six….

Brian and Sally Hall sign as witnesses.

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My family was likely present the day of the fire!  Perhaps they assisted in extinguishing the flames and took in a few of the children. I like to think they would have come to the aid of their neighbors.

Peter later coveyed this land to Nathaniel Penno [his son] of Cranston, Rhode Island, June 11, 1813 (Bristol, book 95, page 448/9).

In 1818, Nathaniel Penno of Providence, leased this same land to his parents, the deed reads in part (Bristol, book 106, page 63):

I,  Nathaniel Penno of Providence…for love and affection I have for my honorable father Peter Penno and my affectionate mother Elizabeth Penno, the wife of my father, both of said Norton….

….A lot of land being in Norton and on the southerly side of the road that leads from Brian Hall’s to George Leonard’s Esq. bounded as follows…..the same lot that I purchased of my said father by deed, be it the same more or less together with a dwelling house and barn….also 10 acres of land adjoining land of Josiah Hodges and Nathanial Munro that I purchase of John Penno by deed….

Nathaniel and wife Phebe [Dyer] sign…..

Brian Hall signs as a witness.

record-image_3QS7-99ZS-1QHH.jpg

Pension file

The fire was mentioned in Peter’s pension file. In 1818, he was awarded a Revolutionary War pension of $8 a month. In an affidavit, he states:

  • he was nearly 62 years old and a current resident of Providence;
  • he participated in the Revolution as a “gunner’s mate” aboard the “Picket Galley”;
  • his discharge papers were consumed, along with his house, by fire.

discharge-paper

Probate

After Peter died (intestate),  my 4th g-grandfather, Brian Hall, esquire, along with Peter’s widow Elizabeth and John Munro, yeoman, on 4 July 1820, appeared in probate court, Bristol County, and posted bond. Elizabeth was named Administrix. The deceased was said to be of Norton.

Silas Hall, Elisha Crossman and John Munroe Jr., were assigned to take an inventory, as the Penno estate was more than ten miles from the Judge of Probate’s home.  Brian Hall signed the authorization as Justice of the Peace. The estate was valued at $184.41.

Peter was not found as a head of household in the 1820 census. He was likely deceased (the census was conducted 7 August 1820).   Elizabeth Pennos whereabouts are unknown. She is later found, as a widow, in the 1830 Providence city directory, residing at 13 Pawtuxet.  She is not found in the 1930 Federal Census, and the city directory gives no insight as to with whom she was residing (Brian Hall had also relocated to Providence, and was residing on Hope). Record of Elizabeth’s death has not been located.

 

Side note for future research:

Brian and Silas Hall had a sister Nancy (aka Anna) Hall who married Nathaniel Munro[e] at Norton, 29 Mar 1786.  In 1790 Munro was recorded in the census next to Nancy’s mother Abiah Hall, brother Brian/Bryant Hall and Benjamin Stanley [Stanley was related to Silas Hall’s wife Nancy Stanley].

Nathaniel was perhaps related to Elizabeth (Munro) Penno.  Recall that Nathaniel and his wife Nancy were the ones who sold land “to the wife of Peter Penno” (Bristol, book 95, page 448).

Nathaniel’s parents have not been identified.

In Nathaniel’s will (admitted to probate April 1844), he mentions his wife Nancy, his children (1) Betsey Munroe, wife of John Munroe, (2) Nancy, wife of Crocker Babbitt,  (3) Nathanial and (4) William, and his granddaughter Nancy Chace, wife of Buffington Chace. His sons Nathanial and William are deceased and their unnamed heirs are awarded real estate.

Moral

The moral? Record the names of all the folks who were associated with your ancestors and keep an eye out for them as you research! The FAN Club (friends, associates and neighbors] will mention your ancestors and give you insights to their lives.

A Sailor’s Story; the sinking of the Ticonderoga

In an undated letter, my gg-grandfather, William John “John” Haines writes to his sister Mary (Haines) Stevens:

Dear Sis,

….my son went down with the transport that was torpedoed, I regret that they didn’t have a fighting chance but were brutally murdered…..

Your brother John.

Letter to Mary from John

I have written of this son, my gg-uncle, Alexander “Alex” Haines, who died when the Ticonderoga was attacked in World War I: story here

ticonderoga photo

In that post, I quote my uncle, who surmises:

…There is no way of knowing exactly what happened to Alex.  My guess is that he was every bit as scared as we would have been but still did what he was supposed to do and probably a little more….

A few weeks ago I attended the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed), a one week program offering in-depth study of material held by the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and College Park, Maryland.  This led me to Record Group (RG) 45, US Naval Vessels, entry 520, box 1391 and 1392 where I learned more of that grievous day.

 

A short history of the Ticonderoga quotes several survivors:

While stories differ slightly, a manuscript gives a complete account: “A Sailor’s Story, Comprising the Log of the U.S.S. Ticonderoga and an American Officers Experience Aboard the German Submarine U.K.-152)“, written 1 December 1920, by Frank L. Muller, Lieutenant Commander, U.S.N.R.F., Manuscript courtesy of Rev. Albert Muller O.P.  (a brother of Frank Muller) Dominican House of Studies, 467 Michigan Ave., Washington, D.C.

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Frank Muller writes:

Nearly the whole of the “TICONDEROGA’S” story is from memory as both the ship’s and my personal log is buried in the Deep…. [he continues, saying he was able to retain notes to aid in documenting the later part of his story].

…We arrived in Newport News about September 12, 1918, completing the third voyage of the U.S.S. TICONDEROGA.  One hundred fifteen artillerymen under the command of Lieutenant Frost, U.S.A., marched over the gangway.  The  TICONDEROGA cast off her lines, about to depart on her fourth voyage over there. We went from Newport News to New York to join our East-bound convoy.  Our convoy, consisting of twenty four ships and one cruiser escort, sailed from New York September 22. On September 28, six of the ships had been detached from the main convoy.  They were bound further to the Northward. The night of September 29, the last night in this world for ninety percent of the TICONDEROGA’s complement, was unusually dark.  The sky was over-cast, obscuring even the starlight.

With the first hint of day on September 30, 1918, the TICONDEROGA was found to be in the rear of the convoy, approximately four miles.

In his report, Captain Madison elaborates. He claims the Ticonderoga could not hold it’s speed the evening prior to the attack (which he attributed to a bad batch of coal).  The convoy pulled ahead, the night was dark and misty and by 2:30AM they were no longer visible.

Report of Captain Madison to the District Supervisor, New York, 24 October 1918:

Muller’s story continues:

However, not much time for an exact determination of the distance remained just then, for the moment after the shapes of the convoy ahead were made out, another gray shape, very low on the surface of the water, was sighted by Ensign Stafford, the Navigating Officer. Ensign Stafford immediately reported it to Captain Madison, who had been on the bridge the entire previous night. Captain Madison recognized it as an enemy submarine.  He ordered the rudder to put “hard a left” in a vain attempt to ram the submarine.  The bow of the TICONDEROGA missed the submarine by a bare ten feet.  With the very missiles of his gun against our port side, he fired the first volley from his two 6-inch guns.  Both shots stuck the bridge, reduced it to wreck, killed Quartermaster Hudson, who had the wheel, and the two seamen on lookout.  The submarine was then on our starboard bow.  About forty-five seconds later, it fired two more shots, which destroyed the 3-inch gun forward and killed all the gun crew.

Captain Madison put the wheel “hard a right” in another attempt to ram the enemy, but their third volley struck the bridge, destroyed this structure absolutely and wounded Captain Madison very severely; so he did not succeed in either attempt to ram the enemy. Owing to the steering gear having been shot away, we had lost ship control. The submarine was speeding away from the ship and also keeping a hail of shrapnel bursting over our decks.  For the next fifteen minutes, he had us at his mercy.  Our remaining gun, the 6-inch aft, could not be trained forward of the beam, owing to the superstructure and Sampson posts forward of it.  At last our ship had drifted around with the action of the sea and we commenced firing our 6-inch gun. The submarine was about two miles off.  About twenty five shots had been fired by the enemy, every one of which had taken a large toll in lives.

The shots from our 6-inch gun were striking all within a few feet of the U-boat, which was increasing the distance between us every moment.  The tenth shot fired apparently struck the submarine and he submerged immediately.  We ceased firing after dropping two shots at the point where he submerged.

Only one of the dangers had been temporarily removed when the U-boat submerged, for our ship was a mass of flames, fore and aft. All the wooden upper superstructure had been set afire by the enemy’s shrapnel. Besides, fully fifty percent of all on board had been killed or wounded in that first engagement of one-half hour.  It was about 5:40 a.m., when the enemy was sighted and about 6:10 a.m. when we forced him to submerge.

However, not a moment was lost.  One party of sailors and soldiers, under the direction of Ensign Stafford was detailed to clear away the wreckage of the life boats that had been destroyed by shell fire and prepare the remaining ones for use; another party, under the direction of Ensign Gately, was detailed as fire brigade to get under control the fire, which at the moment threatened to drive us from the ship; Ensign Riengleman, and his 6-inch gun crew stood by their gun, waiting for the Hun to appear above water. I, personally took charge of a repair party for the purpose of rigging up the auxiliary steering gear. Paymaster S.S. Magruder had established a first-aid station amid-ships during the first part of the engagement and was doing his best to relieve the shrapnel-torn youngsters of some of their pain.

Captain Jimmy Madison, whose master spirit had saved his ship and the lives of his crew six months before, was still the directing mind. Although severely wounded and covered with blood, he carried on. Never were men confronted with so many disadvantages and never was the spirit of “carry on” so well personified as it was during the last hours of the TICONDEROGA.

Captain Madison had ordered the wells sounded and it was found that we were yet in a floating condition. The pumps were started, both for the purpose of pumping the water out of the holds and putting out the deck fires.

About 6:25 the auxiliary steering gear was in order.  Captain Madison ordered the ship put on a West course. The West course would take us in the general direction of America, as it would have been useless to continue onto France in that condition. Besides, the West course aided greatly in getting the fire under control, because it prevented the fire from spreading amidships.

At 6:30 Ensign Gately and his tireless fire party had gotten the fire under control. Although all our wooden deck houses were burned to the level of the main deck, the fire was prevented from spreading to the lower holds and magazines.

About forty-five men were aboard the ship after the three remaining lifeboats had been launched. For these forty-five to abandon ship, there remained but one life-raft, and one small, wooden boat termed a “wherry”.  Both the life-raft and wherry were in a very un-seaworthy condition, owing to the effects of the shrapnel fire. The life-raft was secured to the center of the upper boat deck. In order to launch it over the side, it was necessary for the seventeen officers and men to drag it twenty five feet to the ship’s side. The upper boat deck was forty five feet from the water, so they waited until the ship had sunk low enough to decrease this distance in order to avoid wrecking the raft.

The wherry presented the same problem. It had never been used as a lifeboat and had been secured to the center of No.6 hatch aft, on the quarter-deck, for three trips. It could not be dragged to the side, owing to ventilators and other obstructions. Our only means of launching it was to wait for the quarterdeck to become awash; then it would float. The quarterdeck was but ten feet from the water, so we would not have long to wait. Still, it was a long chance to take; for the ship might have sunk before the quarterdeck became submerged.

As I mentioned before, seventeen were gathered around the life-raft amidships. The remaining twenty eight were with me on the quarterdeck. We were busy collecting wooden hatches, boat spars, etc., for those whom the wherry couldn’t accommodate – the wherry could carry but twenty persons at the very most – when a shrapnel shell burst over the quarterdeck. About fifteen were killed outright and a number of the remaining twelve wounded.  This must have been about 7:35. For the third time, at least, and in two particular instances, which I will briefly describe, I miraculously escaped death.

Muller explains he was in his room early morning, just beneath the bridge, when the first explosion occurred. He was impacted by the shell gas, but able to flee, only to find himself surrounded by fire.  He jumped eighteen feet to the forward well deck, escaping with a few scrapes and bruises. His story continues:

About the same instant, the shell exploded among us, a torpedo struck us amidships [the submarine log book has no record of a torpedo, see reference below]. The ship commenced settling rapidly after that. During the next few minutes, the quarterdeck became submerged and the wherry floated clear of the ship’s side. We had placed seaman J.L. Davis who had had his foot shot off, and two wounded soldiers in the boat. The remaining six clung to the sides of the wherry as it floated clear. The wherry filled with water far quicker than it could be bailed out. Even the three wounded man were forced to hang to the side with the other six of us. How their wounds must have smarted! But there was never a murmur from them. Davis in particular must have suffered terribly, but to all appearances, he was one of the coolest of the nine.

Our position at that time was a most dangerous one. The TICONDEROGA was rising and plunging heavily and with every swell, sinking lower in the water. As every plunge threatened to be her last, we prayed for our waterlogged craft to drift clear of the deriliot [?]. Our prayers were answered and we succeeded in placing one hundred yards between our wherry and the ship before she sank. Davis was facing the ship while I faced him across the four feet breadth of the wherry. He called my attention to the final plunge of the TICONDEROGA with the following words, “there she goes Mr. Muller, there goes the old “TICON” our home for the past nine months”. I turned my head to watch her sinking and answered, “Yes, Dave, she was a good home, too, and probably the last we shall have in this world.” Even as I finish speaking, the TICONDEROGA had disappeared beneath the surface of the Atlantic. She sank stern first, her bow high in the air and pointing toward the zenith. It is a solemn sight to witness the sinking of a great ship far out to sea, especially when she has been your little world for nine months. The only effect we felt of the TICONDEROGA sinking was a larger swell than usual. Apparently, there was no suction, for we did not notice any. All that remained of what had been a 6,000 ton ship, was wreckage, with men clinging to some of it. When we were elevated above the level on the crest of a swell, the life-raft could be seen, approximately two hundred yards away. It appeared to be crowded with men. We could not see the submarine.

With chattering teeth, we discussed the possibilities of our being picked up, fifteen hundred miles from both America and France, in the very heart of a great ocean, our chances were very slight, but the hope of a breathing human is always evident no matter how faint it may be at times. So we reasoned that the water would close the torn seams of our boat very soon, then we could hope to bail it out and put it in shape for our accommodation. The wherry had been turning over and over with the action of the swells. At times, it would be upside down, with the keel showing just above the water. When it would capsize in this manner, of course, we were forced to release our hold from the gunwales and scramble for a new grip on the keel until it would again return to the upright position. We had gone through this procedure about four times and was back to our original positions about the gunwales when we drifted among a great number of floating potatoes–we kept our potatoes on deck on the TICONDEROGA and when the ship sank, they floated off.

These potatoes were a great boon to us, for they would furnish both food and drink. Everyone seized a potato and commenced chewing on it. Then we decided upon a scheme for reserving potatoes for future use. As all the soldiers had four pockets in their coats we decided to fill their pockets with raw potatoes. I was busily engaged reaching out for potatoes with my right hand while I held onto the gunwale with my left. The first sergeant of the troops, who was next to me on the wherry side was stowing them in his pockets as I handed them to him. I was reaching several that were just beyond arm’s length, facing away from the wherry, when an extra-large swell capsized the wherry on top of me.

Muller describes his terror as he tries to escape, while his life preserver holds him captive and unable to swim under the boat to freedom.  After a few minutes, the boat rolled again, releasing him, but he lost consciousness.

The events which led to the sinking of the Ticonderoga end here.  We don’t know if Alex made it to one of the lifeboats, the wherry or lost his life from shrapnel or fire.

Details of the submarine’s log is included in “The Submarine Warfare, 1914-1918” by Vice Admiral Andreas Michelson:

The log did not note the torpedo shot which the survivors thought to have seen, so that the action was a pure military engagement. This occurred in latitude 43 5′ N and longitude 38 34′ W; the submarine firing 83 shells, 35 in the first phase before diving and 48 in the second.

Muller’s story continues.

At about 3:30 PM that same day he awakened, finding that had been taken hostage by the German submarine.  He describes the U-boat and the men he encountered. He was seen by the doctor, given whiskey and dry clothes and told to rest. They offered food, but he was feverish and too sick to eat.

For several days, the Captain, a man called Franz and others interrogated him asking of his background, the origins of the ship and the convoy’s destination.  Muller claimed to know nothing.  The ship surgeon continued to treated him and soon he felt better and hungry. His last meal had been aboard the Ticonderoga when Mcgruder’s men had given all hands a cup of coffee and a corned bill sandwich [Alex worked in the ship’s kitchen as a baker].

Muller later names and describes his thoughts of other crew members, including the Executive of the U-boat, Von Werm; Navigator and Diving Control Officer, Wille (who he dubs “a real gentleman”);  the Chief Engineer, Heine; the Surgeon, Fuelcher;  the Communications Officer, Swartz; and Ordinance and Gunnery Officer, Franke.

He describes Captain Franz as a 33 year old nervous man with a violent temper, with bravery approaching recklessness (having witnessed him attacking a group of three armed vessels on October 17) , Franz had been in the German Navy nearly fourteen years and had an evil side. He killed harmless enemies and subjected the crew to violent verbal abuse.

Despite this, Muller was treated well, perhaps because he confessed his father was a German who had come to America 50 years earlier.  On 3 October, the Captain invited him to eat at his table, a meal of canned brown bread, marmalade, butter and very good coffee, offered with white sugar and canned sweet milk.  His dry clothes were returned. He was given a dozen thin cigarettes and permission to venture to the outside deck.  Here he interacted with the scraggly looking, dirty crew, several of whom spoke English and had visited America, including his hometown of Oakland, California. He observed that most of the ship’s company, about 80 of them, were boys between the ages of sixteen and twenty.

The crew explained, after the Ticonderoga sunk, they were searching the loose parts floating in the water.  They saw what appeared to be a dead body, had roped it and brought it aboard thinking it was the ship’s captain.  The doctor pronounced the person “alive” and the crew proceeded to resuscitate him [in a New York Tribune interview, published 18 December 1918, Muller reports that he was ordered aboard “at the muzzle of the German captain’s revolver].  They confessed they had seen men anxiously clinging to debris and were sorry they were not allowed to save others.  Franz had ordered them to fire upon the Ticonderoga life boats; two with wounded men sunk.  Five shots were fired at the remaining life boat, however the 22 aboard survived.

The following day, the Captain informed Muller that Lieutenant Fulcher, the Assistant Engineering Officer, had been rescued from a life-raft;   The Captain indicated he would have rescued more souls, but had no room on the ship.

In a conversation with Fulcher, Muller learned that the submarine had submerged because the Ticonderoga shots had taken out a Gun Captain and carried away part of the rail on the forward deck.  Franz had assumed they were using shrapnel.  A vessel in the convoy had also fired shots, which came 1,500 yards short.  Franz’s intent was to capture the Ticonderoga’s Captain and Gunnery Officer as evidence to his German leaders they had “strafed” an American ship.

Muller wrote of the men’s work on the ship, them mending torn clothes, playing cards and checkers and of a five member orchestra which played German tunes as the men sang along while the officers “drank as much booze as they could put away”.  The U-boat made daily practice dives and on several occasions unsuccessfully chased and fired upon other vessels.  Meanwhile Muller and Fulcher played cribbage a few hours each day and lived for the days when the sea was calm so they could breathe fresh air and gaze at the night sky.

On October 10th it seemed as something strange was going on.  All 80 men were permitted on deck and the wireless officer carried frequent messages to the Captain.  At lunch the next day, the Captain informed Frank that all U-boats had been given the order to cease operations on the American coast.  They were 370 miles from New York.  Apparently the German government was proposing peace, on the terms of President Wilson’s New York speech.

On October 12, the men washed their clothes, took baths, and gave themselves “a general overhauling”.  The boat stopped, a smaller boat launched with the Captain and several others, who paddled along taking photos; several of which included Muller and Fulcher.

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NH 2472

The next day, the wireless man told Muller in confidence that the German Army was suffering a number of reverses on the Western Front.  The British had retaken Cambrai and the Allies were making successful advances.

On October 13, the submarine overtook a sailing vessel; a Norwegian ship which they looted and then sunk after ordering its crew to the boats, who sailed toward Newfoundland (1,000 miles away).  Among the articles were a belt and life ring with the name Steifinder.

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Bark_Stifinder

The submarine secured canvases, ropes, sails, flour and all kinds of provisions including 3 live pigs, a stout sow and two small sucklings. The cook killed the pigs immediately and served fresh meat for three days (the only time in their 57 days of captivity). From the haul, Muller was given a cap, pair of slippers and American newspapers and magazines (he had been bare-footed and bare-headed since arrival on the ship). Fulcher was given underwear and socks. The haul would allow them plentiful amounts of fresh bread and potatoes, for the remainder of the voyage.

On October 15th, the submarine went after an unarmed English steamer and was attacked by destroyers responding to their SOS.  They survived nine violent explosions.

On October 20th, the Captain announced that they were to cease war on all merchant vessels and return to Kiel as quickly as possible. They were only to confront ships of war.  The crew erupted, shouting, singing and laughing.  The captain felt peace was imminent and invited Muller and Fulcher for a celebratory glass of Rhine wine. From this point forward, the crew was allowed beer and wine on Sundays and Wednesdays and each got a daily ration of a half bottle of Cognac.

On October 25th they learned Ludendorff had resigned; October 27th that Austria had sued for peace and October 30th that Turkey had been granted an Armistice.  The Allies continued a successful drive along the entire Western Front.

The submarine continued, avoiding destroyers and bombing planes by submerging.  On November 3rd news of the Kiel mutiny and surrender of Austria leaked to the crew. The Captain paced, muttering to himself.  There were endless messages from the wireless room to his cabin.

On November 7th, news was received of Bavaria having proclaimed herself a republic. On the 9th, news was received of the abdication of the Kaiser [Wilhelm II] and of the revolution in Berlin. On the 11th, the Captain officially informed Muller that an armistice had been agreed upon by all the powers, which would take effect at 1:00 AM. At that time he and Fulcher would cease to be prisoners of war. They would be his guests, until such time he could get them to Germany or a neutral country.  The captain went on to say:

Mr. Muller, the cause that Germany has fought for during these four years is lost.  Our Allies have all deserted us during these last fifteen days. There have been mutinies and revolutions all over Germany…..When the big ships were called upon to fight and make one last offensive at sea for the Fatherland, our crews mutinied and refused to go to sea. Then they started to revolt, which spread through my country….and even now they are killing men on submarines who did all the fighting.  My country is ruined.  My King is deposed.  I am a brokenhearted man.

The submarine continued toward Kiel, avoiding mine fields.  They came across another German submarine a U-53 commanded by Captain Von Schrader. The two captains exchanged war stories on the megaphone. Franz exclaimed in German: “We sank an American auxiliary cruiser in the Atlantic Ocean with 300 American soldiers aboard, they were all killed”. The U-53 led them through the final mine field, they anchored and several of their officers boarded where they spoke of the war.

The U-boat continued, anchoring a bit in Copenhagen, then resuming it’s trek to Kiel which was then delayed due to heavy fog. They encountered a U-B boat, a delegate of the Soldiers and Workmen’s Council boarded and assured them that the conditions were again normal in Kiel.  He informed Muller and Fulcher that they would be well cared for and would get home quickly.

Upon arrival, the crew was mustered and given passes.  Muller and Fulcher boarded the Prinz Heinrich, were given real beds with sheets and pillows, had a bath (the first in 45 days), were given four bottles of beer and a package of cigarettes.  The next day, they were given a pass to visit Kiel proper where they walked the main streets and entered some of the better cafes.  Everyone stared.  The streets were crowded and the police presence high.  There were plenty of souvenirs that could be bought, but no clothing. Shopkeepers told them the Soldiers and Workmen’s Council had requisitioned all clothing to provide for the soldiers returning from the front and the sailors discharged from the fleets.

The next morning, they had breakfast with the crew of the submarine.  They were told that the crew voted Franz, Von Wurn, Heins, Swartz and Franke off the ship and elected Wille as Captain.  The submarine was to be surrendered to England.

After a bit of red tape, Muller and Fulcher were slated to sail on the transport ship that would be accompanying the submarines.  The night prior to their departure, Captain Wille and the entire crew invited them to instead sail aboard the submarine on which they had been prisoners.  They gladly accepted this offer, which included a luxury state room and an abundance of food.  They were given discharge papers and set sail on November 20th, eager to get home.  Fulcher had a wife and child [Ruth] and Muller a father and six brothers, all of whom surely thought them dead.

discharge paper

Upon landing in England, a launch came alongside, the German crew boarded and were taken to the merchant vessel that would convey them back to Germany. As the launch left the U-boat’s side, the crew gave three cheers for their ex-prisoners.

A second launch arrived and took Muller and Fulcher to the vessel Maidenstone.  Here they were presented to Sir Eric Geddes [the First Lord of the Admiralty] who gave them a hardy hand and welcomed them back to their own people. From there they were sent by train to London where a government taxi was waiting to take them to the Washington Inn, St. James Square.  In Burberry’s the next day, they ordered new uniforms. They enjoyed a few days in London and set sail on December 7th on the S.S. Corona. [spelled Caronia on the ship manifest] 2:00 AM on December 17th.  Muller writes:

…the S.S. Corona dropped anchor in sight of the Green Goddess that guards the entrance to the City Wonderful, where more than fifty homeward bound Canadian and American officers raised a glass of champagne and drank to Her, the symbol of Liberty.

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Source Citation

Year: 1918; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 2614; Line:20; Page Number: 67

Source Information

Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

Original data:

Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls. NAI: 6256867. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives at Washington, D.C.

photos

rescued

William Bell Clark, in his book, “When the U-boats came to America”, in the chapter “The Epic Of the Ticonderoga” offers yet another slant with a bit more detail.  Copy online – here  This version gives details of the men who were on the Norwegian, Steifinder.  After 15 days, one group was picked up and taken to New York.  The remaining men landed on November 5th at Turks Island,  British West Indies.

A slightly different version of Muller’s story was published in the New York Tribune:

New York Tribune

 

Coming soon… a version of the story from witnesses on the US cruiser Galveston and a court martial!

Epilogue:

Frances “Frank” Louis Muller, USN Reserve Force, was awarded the Navy Cross by The President of the United States of America, for distinguished and gallant service as an officer of the U.S.S. TICONDEROGA on the occasion of the engagement of that vessel with a submarine.

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According to city directories, in 1923, Frank, a Master Mariner, was residing with his wife Irene in Houston, Texas. By 1928, the pair had relocated to San Fernando, California (no occupation mentioned).

By 1930 they owned a home on Mountain View Street in San Fernando.  Frank is listed in the census with his wife Irene, who is said to be born about 1898, in North Carolina. His occupation is recorded as “none”.  The census enumerator notes that Muller’s father [Major Henry Muller] was born in Hesse Kassel, Germany.

Frank died 23 October 1932 in San Fernando, California and was buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery with full military honors. His cause of death was pulmonary tuberculosis, nephritis and parenchymatous which he contracted in 1924.  His obituary mentions he was a Captain in the Merchant Marine until he became ill and had to be hospitalized.

He was of a large well known military family. Survivors are named as his widow [likely Irene] and six brothers: George and Harry of the Army Transport Service, San Francisco;   Captain William, U.S.A. Wichita, Kansas; Lieutenant Walter, U.S.A. Gainsborough, Florida; Captain Charles, U.S.A. Fort Worth, Texas and Reverend Albert, Antioch, California.

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Junius Fulcher died 5 November 1967 in Norfolk, Virginia at the age of 91.

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His obituary reads:

Retired Navy Reserve Lt. Junius Harris Fulcher, 91, of Norfolk, Va., a veteran of 40 years with the U.S. Lighthouse Service, died Sunday [Nov. 5, 1967] at 11:25 a.m. in a hospital.

A native of Frisco he lived in Norfolk 58 years. He was the husband of Mrs. Grace (Talbot) Fulcher and a son of the Rev. George L. and Mrs. Cynthia Stowe Fulcher.

During World War I he was captured by a German submarine off the North Carolina Outer Banks and subsequently escaped.

Besides his widow surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Edwin Ricket of Rockville Centre, Long Island, N.Y.; a son, Junius Harris Fulcher, Jr. of Houston, Texas; a sister, Mrs. Anges Styron of Hatteras, N.C. and 6 grandchildren.

A funeral service was conducted Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home by the Rev. Ira Austin of Fist Methodist Church. Burial with Masonic rites was in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Fulcher’s daughter Ruth was a Genealogist.  Her obituary reads:

RUTH A. RICKERT–Ruth A., age 96, died February 24, 2014. Beloved wife of Edwin Rickert, mother of Jean, Wendy and Allen. Grandmother of Michael, Henry and Thomas. Born in Norfolk, VA, January 3, 1918, Daughter of Junius and Grace Fulcher. Ruth graduated from Sullins College, the Maryland Institute of Art and Teachers College at John Hopkins. She taught high school art in Maryland. She was a leader in Scouting, the PTA, and an active member of the United Church of Rockville Centre, NY. Her art was exhibited and she published several books on family genealogy. She was related to preachers, farmers, revolutionary and civil war veterans but her most sentimental heritage was of the generations of Cape Hatteras lighthouse keepers. She kept a light in her heart for everyone. She is survived by her children Jean and Allen. Donations may be made in Ruth’s name to the charity of your choice .
– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?pid=169898459#sthash.5k3oulGD.dpuf

 

 

52 Ancestors, week #15 – Louis Napoleon Chalifour – UPDATE!!

No Story Too Small has issued a New Year’s Challenge: “Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”  

My husband ran into a cousin, who mentioned her mom was interested in genealogy.  He returned home and asked “does the name Napoleon ring a bell?”  Yes, husband, we have talked extensively about Napoleon….he is your g-grandfather.   Husband says, “I thought the name sounded familiar, I can’t remember all these people!”

 

I took a French Genealogy class at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) years ago, and was able to trace Napoleon back to Mathurin Chalifour born abt 1593 in La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, Poitou-Charentes, France.  My husband’s response when I shared the news: “You mean I am French?”…. “Yes, dear, where did you think the French Canadians came from? Australia?  :-)

Chalifour

Chalifour La Rochelle

Mathurin Chalifour’s son Paul Chalifour, the first in the line to immigrate to Quebec was 15 years old during the Siege of La Rochelle in 1627.  The Siege of La Rochelle (French: Le Siège de La Rochelle, or sometimes Le Grand Siège de La Rochelle) was a result of a war between the French royal forces of Louis XIII of France and the Huguenots of La Rochelle in 1627–28. The siege marked the apex of the tensions between the Catholics and the Protestants in France, and ended with a complete victory for King Louis XIII and the Catholics. During the siege, the population of La Rochelle decreased from 27,000 to 5,000 due to casualties, famine, and disease.

Paul Chalifour (master carpenter specializing in putting up timber-work) is the only child of Mathurin  who later appears in Canada (he married there in 1648).  We don’t know if he had siblings and what became of them and his parents.  He likely lost many relatives and friends in the siege

The remaining Protestants of La Rochelle suffered new persecutions, when 300 families were again expelled in November 1661, the year Louis XIV came to power. The reason for the expulsions was that Catholics deeply resented a degree of revival of Protestant ownership of property within the city.

The episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” featuring Tom Bergeron which first aired on 30 Aug 2015 recounts the horrific details of these ancestors who were subjected to starvation and religious persecution: http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/who-do-you-think-you-are/videos/tom-bergeron/.

Louis Napoleon “Napoleon” Chalifour, a descendant of Mathurin and Paul is the subject of today’s sketch.  He was born to Jean Elie Chalifour and Helene Gagnon and baptized 29 January 1879, in Plessisville, Québec, Canada.

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Napoleon baptism

Napoleon has not yet been located in the 1881 and 1901 censuses.

In 1891, Napoleon, age twelve (placing his birth at about 1889), is found residing in Plessisville (also known as  the village of Somerset) with his widowed mother and a few siblings.  He was enumerated as Louis Chalifour.

He married, in Montreal, Marie Josephine Rose de Lima LeBlanc, daughter of Antoine LeBlanc and Herméline Thuot, on 5 Feb 1902, in Quebec (she was an Acadian who is the link between my husband and I – we are 7th, 8th & 9th cousins through multiple lines!).

The marriage record names Napoleon’s parents and indicates his father is deceased and his mother is of Saint Cecilia de Valleyfield (she likely moved to be near or with family; Napoleon’s sister Beatrice married two years earlier, in 1900, and at that point, their widowed mother was said to be of Plessisville).

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marriage

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Napoleon had four sons – Henry, Leon Pierre, Louis Albert and George between 1903 and 1907.  My husband descends from Albert.

In 1911, the family lived in Jacques-Cartier, Quebec.  They are Catholic, primary language is French, and Napoleon is in construction. Napoleon is listed as age 32 and his birth as January 1879.

Napoleon census 1911

Napoleon emigrated to Salem, Massachusetts (my husband’s birthplace) before May 1915 – the date when his family crossed the border, claiming they were to join him.

manifest

The family lived together on Foster Street in 1920. A 43 year old Napoleon, which places his birth at about 1878, was listed as a house carpenter who had applied for naturalization.  He is listed in the 1922, 1924 and 1926 city directories, as a carpenter, at this address.

Napoleon census

That’s where the trail ends. The 1927 and 1928 city directories are not available online.  In the 1929 & 1930 city directories and 1930 census, his wife is listed as a widow. The only Chalifour’s listed in the 1926 to 1930 Massachusetts death index are Alfred J A, Elie and James Henry all of Salem. A Declaration of Intent to become Naturalized has not been found.

Family lore says: “We do not know when Napoleon died as he went to Pennsylvania to find work, and no one ever heard from him after that.  He may have been killed in a log-jam as he was working there. ”

Napoleon was in Pennsylvania, years earlier, working as a Carpenter, in 1918, when he registered for the WWI draft.  He lists a birth date of 27 July 1870 and names Rose Chalifour of Salem, Massachusetts as his wife and nearest relative.  The birth year is a bit off (perhaps an error, or he was trying to make himself appear older to avoid military service).

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So… Napoleon is on my “list” of folks to research this summer. Did he return to Pennsylvania? To date, I haven’t found any evidence to support this nor have I located a record of his death there (Pennsylvania death certificates are online at Ancestry.com).

UPDATE: 22 August 2016

A Napoleon Chalifour  registered for the draft in 1942 in Oklahoma.

This Napoleon is listed as 5’5″, 160 pounds with blue eyes, blonde hair and ruddy complexion.  The WWI draft card list’s my husband’s Napoleon as medium height, stout build with blue eyes and brown hair – not exactly a similar description….other than the blue eyes.

But, he claims a birth of 27 January 1878 in Plessisville, Canada. This birth day (January 27th) matches that of the WWI draft record.

All baptisms were examined in Plessisville and there was only one Napoleon listed in that parish in that time period. Yes, my husband’s “missing” g-grandfather, who was baptized 29 January 1879.

Napoleon draft card

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Further, there was only one other Chalifour family baptizing children in Plessisville in that time frame (records were examined from 1854 to 1885).  Hilaire Chalifour and his wife, Flavie Moreau baptized a son Georges in April of 1879, thus it is unlikely that they also had a son Napoleon that same year who’s baptism went unrecorded. Note that baptisms were recorded individually, implying the children were baptized soon after birth (vs. having to travel to a priest or wait until a traveling priest was in town to baptize multiple children at once).

Last, my husband has a 2nd-3rd cousin Autosomal DNA match on 23andme to another descendant of Jean Elie Chalifour and Helene Gagnon through their son Elie, so it is pretty likely hubby’s Napoleon is the one baptized in Plessisville and the one who appears later in Oklahoma.

In 1942, Napoleon’s close contact (at the same address) is Mary Chalifour.

The 1940 census lists Napoleon and Mary as husband and wife living in Crutcho, Oklahoma.  Napoleon’s occupation is “carpenter”.  The same occupation as my husband’s Napoleon.

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A Find-A-Grave entry lists  a Napoleon Chalifour buried at Fairlawn Cemetery, Oklahoma City

Birth: 1879 – Death: 1947
grave

A note on Mary’s record reads:

Birth:

1882 Toronto Ontario, Canada

Death:

Jun. 29, 1949 Oklahoma County Oklahoma, USA

Died of cancer at St Anthony Hospital. Lived in the United States about 30 years. No living relatives are known.

A social security death claim was made for Napoleon Chalifour in 1947:

Name:

Napoleon Chalifour

SSN:

444100923

Birth Date:

27 Jan 1876

Birth Place:

Verdun, France

Death Date:

1 Mar 1947

Claim Date:

11 Mar 1947

Type of Claim:

Death Claim

Notes:

10 Nov 1977: Name listed as NAPOLEON CHALIFOUR

Note that the birth year and place differ from the 1942 draft registration (but the date is again listed as 27 January).

Other records have not been located – I primarily searched for a marriage record to Mary, the 1930 census, his application for Naturalization, death certificate and obituary. I also searched for the Napoleon of Oklahoma in earlier records without success; this negative result is another indicator that Napoleon of Oklahoma and Napoleon of Salem are the same person.

A comparison of the 1918 and 1942 signatures are inconclusive.   It is interesting that both sign as Nap not Napoleon. The C in Chalifour is similar.

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I ordered Napoleon of Oklahoma’s SS-5 (social security application) to see who he named as parents and to match up the signature with that of the draft cards!  Note that social security numbers beginning with 444-10 were issued in Oklahoma from 1936-1950, so this neither supports or disproves the theory……  A copy of the application, completed by Napoleon, should arrive within 3 weeks  Stay tuned!

UPDATE 3 September 2016

The SS-5 has arrived!  Napoleon Chalifour of Oklahoma likely filled out the application, dated 17 July 1937, where he names his parents as Eli Chalifour and Helen Gagnon (a match to the man baptized in Plessisville, Canada and to the man who married Josephine Rose de Lima LeBlanc)  and a birthdate of 27 January 1876 (matching the birth month/day of the Napoleon of Salem; he perhaps added four years to his age to claim Social security benefits earlier?).

He does report a birth place of Verdun, France (perhaps he was fearful the government would identify him as the missing Salem man? or perhaps this fib makes it less likely they would have the ability to disprove the 1876 birth year).

However, the signature on the SS-5 and employer [Mack Denny/ MH Denney] matches that of the 1942 WWII draft card, where he reports a birth year of 1878 and place of Plessisvill[e], Canada

Despite a few inconsistencies, this further supports the theory that Napoleon of Salem and Napoleon of Oklahoma are the same man.

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A Potential Breakthrough! – Jennie Ferguson

My “Greatest” Aunt Natalie was instrumental in piquing my interest in genealogy and most recently entrusted me with her work of 30+ years.  When she passed, exactly a year ago today, I wrote “Rest in Peace my Greatest Aunt Natalie and thanks for the wonderful legacy….AND if you can hear me, please send a SIGN to help us FINALLY find Jennie Ferguson’s parents John and Elizabeth!!!!” (post here).

In a nutshell, Jennie might have been born in the area near Richibucto, Kent, New Brunswick, Canada (according to daughter Jennie Haines Johnson’s 1919 death certificate, informant was her husband Ernest Johnson; other records specify a generic birthplace of New Brunswick) likely about 1858, records place her birth between 1856 and 1864**.

** Jennie’s birth year ?

  • The Boston Globe death notice lists her as age 82 (b. abt 1856) Her death certificate puts her age at 74 (b. 1864);
  • Her gravestone reads 1858-1938;
  • the 1880 census puts her age at 22, b. abt 1858 (assuming it is really her and not someone of the same name – she is working as a domestic);
  • She is listed as age 23 when she married in 1882 (b. abt 1859);
  • the 1900 census lists a birth date of Jun 1866, age 33 and says she was married 18 years. If correct, this would put her age 15 at marriage;
  • the 1910 census gives her age as 51 (b. 1859);
  • 1930 census, there is a woman of the same name as an inmate at a hospital in Boston, age 73, b. 1857 – not sure if this is her as she supposedly owned and was living in a house in Billerica (no records in Billerica have been located – land deeds of Middlesex North are not online and I have not had the opportunity to visit)
  • If she is really the Jane Ferguson in the 1861 Canadian census (mentioned herein), her age was 4, thus she was b. abt 1857

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Jennie relocated to Boston in the late 1870’s where she likely was employed as a servant. She married there on 7 March 1882. Her husband was William John “John” Haines, born 7 Mar 1856 in Richibucto, son of John Haines/Hains and Alice Edith Childs. They likely knew each other before arrival in Boston, from Richibucto, as Jennie was a best friend to John’s sister Mary Haines.  The marriage record names Jennie’s parents as John and Elizabeth. The Rev. John Hood, who married them, is listed in Boston City Directories in that time period at United Presbyterian, corner of Berkeley and Chandler Streets (the church record of this marriage has not been located).

An entry in Mary Haines’s diary reads:

26 January 1882: “John came over from Chelsea this evening. We had a lovely time together. Jenny Ferguson my dear friend came down from Richibucto. She was here tonight.  Just came on the boat today. I am so glad to see her. She is my dearest friend” [ship manifest not located].

All available birth, marriage and death records for Jennie, John and their eight children have been reviewed.  She is named as Jennie or Jennie Ferguson in all except one – her daughter Margaret Elizabeth’s marriage in 1909 names her as Jennie Garfield. Garfield might be a typo or a clue….

Another “clue”might be the name Glatis/Galatis.  Jennie named her first son John Glatis Haines.  Glatis is not a name of the Haines family, so perhaps it is linked to the Fergusons.

Records were examined in New Brunswick and no individuals with a surname similiar to “Garfield” or “Glatis/Galatis” seemed to be associated with Fergusons. Both names were uncommon in that area.

Other children’s names may offer clues: Ella May, Margaret Elizabeth, Minnie and Jennie (Edith, Alexander and Joseph are Haines family names). Mary Haines’ diary mentions her closest friend besides Jennie is Minnie Gordon, was Jennie’s daughter named after this Minnie?

Jennie was Aunt Natalie’s (and my grandmother Edith’s) paternal grandmother, thus my paternal gg-grandmother.

1861 Ferguson Family

In Weldford Parish, Kent, New Brunswick, 1861 (census page 27), an Elizabeth Ferguson was enumerated with her “brother” Archibald and two daughters, 4-year old Jane (a common nickname for Jennie) and infant Jepie (perhaps Jessie). Further research places the family in South Branch, a village about twelve miles from Richibucto. Note that Mary Haines’ diary circa 1880-1883 mentions a visit home to Weldford.

south branch

1861

Next door to Archibald is James Alexander Clare.  John Hains (Jennie Ferguson’s father-in-law) married a Jane Clare in 1865; online trees name James and Jane as siblings. Thus a potential connection between the Ferguson and Haines families.

Nearby (census page 25) is Elizabeth Ferguson, of the age to be Elizabeth and Archibald’s mother (or mother-in-law), with her children Agnes, Robert, Andrew, Mary and granddaughter Mary, age 6 [this granddaughter is listed as age 21 in 1871, then is not found marrying or in later censuses – who are her parents? – could this be Jennie listed by a middle name? or her sister?].  There is also a John Graham listed as Elizabeth’s son. The census is unclear, but further analysis indicates this may be her son from a prior relationship.

1861 elizabeth

The Robert Ferguson named in this census as a son of Elizabeth Ferguson filed a delayed birth record where he names his parents as William Ferguson and Betsy Potts, he writes that his mother had 6 children, all of whom were living.  He would have been Elizabeth’s 6th child in birth order: (1) John Graham, (2) Jane, (3) Elizabeth, (4) Archibald, (5) Agnes, (6) Robert, (7) Andrew, (8) Mary

Side note: Robert also named children Jennie and Jessie (perhaps family names?)

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The marriage of this couple was published:

PANB, Daniel F. Johnson. Date December 28 1830, County Northumberland, Place Chatham, Newspaper The Gleaner and Northumberland:

m. Thursday 10th, by John Jardine, William FERGUSON, Esq. / Elizabeth POTTS, Harcourt (Kent Co.)

Land deeds further connect the Ferguson, Potts and Graham families.

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For example, in 1856 Archibald Ferguson, Andrew Ferguson and John Graham all of Weldford jointly buy land of John Potts of Wellington.

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A cemetery transcription at GALLOWAY CEMETERY in Rexton (formerly Kingston, just south of Richibucto) reads:

FERGUSON, William  died  Apr 19 1844  aged 59
native of Dumfrieshire, Scotland

William Ferguson and Elizabeth Potts’s apparent last child, Mary was born in 1841.  The 1851 census for Kent County did not survive.  Elizabeth is widowed by 1861 and the census offers a race/where born of “Scotch Newcastle Dumfries”.  Thus, this grave transcription could be her husbands (although there was a land deed filed in Weldford, 18 October 1844 where William Ferguson and his wife Betty sell land to John Graham – the deed reads as though William is living).  Jannet (Dunn) Childs, mother to Alice Edith Childs and James Childs, grandmother to William John Hains were also said to be of Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Perhaps a connection between the families.

Elizabeth is buried at St. Andrews in Rexton next to Captain Simon Graham’s second wife Mabel Plume. Was Simon related?

FERGUSON, Elizabeth  died Jan 16 1872  age 72
wife of William FERGUSON

Elizabeth potts death

Her grave states that she is of New Castle on Liddesdale, Rocborough Shire [Newcastleton, is a village in the Scottish Borders and within the historic boundaries of Roxburghshire, a few miles from the border of Scotland with England. The village is in Liddesdale and is on the Liddel Water, and the site of Hermitage Castle. The planned village of Newcastleton locally titled “Copshawholm” was founded by Henry Scott the 3rd Duke of Buccleuch on the 4th March 1793 taking the place of the original village of Castleton as a centre of development for flax, wool and cotton handloom weaving].

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In 1869 a deed was filed that names the heirs of William Ferguson:

Andrews Ferguson, Archibald Ferguson of Weldford….Agnes Ferguson, Elizabeth Ferguson and Mary Ferguson, all of the same place spinsters.  Jane Evans, wife of John Evans of the same place, all heirs of the late William Ferguson deceased.  It then goes on to name Eliza Ferguson wife of Archibald Ferguson and Robert Ferguson also heirs.

william heirs

page 2

Marriage

While it is possible that Elizabeth Ferguson had two children out of wedlock, she may have also have been widowed and thus Archibald’s sister-in-law.  However, she is named as a heir to William Ferguson and a “spinster” indicating that perhaps she never married.  Since Elizabeth Potts named a son John Graham, she likely did not name a subsequent son John Ferguson. This might indicate that although Jennie’s father may have been named John, his surname would not likely have been Ferguson.

In 1871, Elizabeth, a servant, and Jessie Ferguson were enumerated in Richibucto Parish (Jennie/Jane was not found this census year); given the age variations for Jennie in various documents, it is also possible that she was “Jessie” and her name was misinterpreted by the census enumerator:

William Fitzgerald (widower, wives were Honora Hickey/Jean Potts)- 78
Elizabeth Ferguson – 32
Jessie Ferguson – 9
John McWilliams – 4

That year’s city directory places Fitzgerald in Weldford, South Branch.

1871

William Fitzgerald was likely related through his marriage to Jean Potts, probably a sister to Elizabeth Ferguson’s mother, thus William was an uncle.  In 1871 there was an exchange of land between William Fitzgerald and Robert & Andrew Ferguson, his likely nephews. Fitzgerald’s will is found in December 1875 New Brunswick land deeds; assets are left to his son-in-law and daughter, Richard English and wife Mary.

No definitive connection has been found between the Fergusons and John McWilliams, but he could be a relative. There was a John Childs, age 14 enumerated with Elizabeth in 1881. This could be John McWilliams enumerated with another surname in error. He was not found under either surname after this date. In 1871 there is a McWilliams family near Elizabeth (Potts) Ferguson in Weldford: William (63, b. Scotland), Christine (58, b. Scotland), Alexander (30), David (22), Janet (24), Anne (20), Christina (18), John (18), Archibald (10).

Four years later, Elizabeth Ferguson married James Childs, son of Joseph Childs and Jannet Dunn, 28 January 1875; both were of Richibucto.  The marriage was solemnized by Rev. James Law (1822 – 1882) minister of St Andrews Church, Rexton for 32 years from 1845 to 1877 – the church yard where Jannet Dunn and Alice Edith Childs are buried). More of the church and it’s origins here – A-historical-account-of-St-Andrews-Church. Witnesses were Nicholas Childs (James’s sister) and William English.

Note: In the 1871 census, Elizabeth Ferguson was enumerated as family #155; James Childs’s with his father and siblings are listed on the prior census page, families #147 & 148 – this is also where Mary Haines was enumerated in 1861,  she and Jennie Ferguson might have crossed paths and become friends while neighbors between 1861 and 1871. 

An entry in Mary’s diary dated 1 Dec 1881 reads: Seven years ago today [1874] dear Joseph [her brother] and I left Weldford for Nova Scotia.  Confirmation that both Haines and this Ferguson family were residing in Weldford.

A witness to Elizabeth and James’ marriage, William English (son of Richard English and Nancy May Fitzgerald,  daughter of the William Fitzgerald with whom Elizabeth resided in 1871), was part of family #149.  There were also several land transactions recorded between William Fitzgerald and William English.

childs feg marriage

James Childs was brother to Alice Edith Childs, who was mother to Jennie Ferguson’s husband John Haines and her best friend, Mary Haines!!  This seems to be another connection between the Haines and Ferguson families!!!!!! (more details on the Childs’ family here).

In 1881 and 1891, James and Elizabeth were enumerated in Weldford Parish.  They had two sons, James and William Joseph (neither seemed to marry or have children).

There was a John Childs, age 14 enumerated with them in 1881 (possibly John McWilliams in 1871). It appears this John died in 1888.  The newspapers reports: “John CHILDS of New Brunswick, while at work in a gravel pit on Sourdinahunk stream, Maine [Nesowadnehunk, Northern Maine near Mt Katahdin] was killed last Friday by the bank caving in on him. He lived a few hours”.  He is buried at St Andrews near James’s mother Jannet and sister Edith.  Death records list cause as an accident, his age as 22 but a residence of New Hampshire.

john childs grave

By 1901 James and Elizabeth relocated to British Columbia, where Elizabeth died 31 July 1913.

Elizabeth Childs death

In 1915, James next married Elizabeth Mitchell, who was 20 years his junior (widow of Adam Stothart; daughter of James Walter Mitchell and Elizabeth Mary Haywood), with whom he had four children – Janet Bertha (1915-1922), William Albion (1916-1976) and Sarah Jean (1919-1930)  and Hattie (1922-2011) before he died in 1923.  Elizabeth Mitchell was James Child’s g-grand niece – her mother, Elizabeth Mary Haywood was the daughter of his sister, Jane Childs.

Jennie’s best friend, Mary Haines’s grandson Ralph Stevens, inherited a photo from Mary’s collection.  Sender is unknown.  Ralph says it is dated prior to 1920. The photo reads: These are Bertha and Billy Childs my half bro. + sis. Don’t you like my little Billy boy? Yes, he is a little darling + mouse.

Bertha and Billy (William?)!!  Children of James Childs and Elizabeth Mitchell!!!    This had to be sent/ written by either Jennie Ferguson or James Childs Jr.!!  Since Mary (Haines) Stevens was Jennie’s best friend and James Jr.’s first cousin she may have corresponded with both.  Technically Jennie is not a half sibling as they are her step-father’s children with his second wife, but she certainly could have considered them half siblings.

Billy and Bertha

I do not have a handwriting sample of Jennie’s but do have James’ signature;  the “Childs” written on the photo differs from that in his sample, also, he adds a little “tail” to the s at the end of James and Childs, the words ending in s on the photo do not have this tail:

james handwriting.png

James Childs Jr. was born in 1876 in New Brunswick.  Mary (Haines) Stevens was born twenty years earlier and by 1880, when he was four, she was residing in Boston.  Although not impossible, it is improbable that she and James had much of a relationship.

To date, I have only located Hattie Childs’s obituary and it it has no mention of Jennie. If a Stothart descendant wrote the obituary they may not have been aware of a relationship.

Hattie Childs.jpg

Maps

A map of the area and the 1865/6 Kingston (now Rexton) directory further connects families.  William Ferguson is in RED.  Nearby in GREEN are the following connected families:

James A. Clare – father of Jane Clare, second wife of John Hains (m. 1865) and step-mother of Jennie Ferguson’s husband John and best friend Mary Haines.

Joseph Childs – Grandfather of William John Haines, Jennie Ferguson’s husband.

Richard English – son in law of William Fitzgerald, likely his wife is 1st cousin to Elizabeth Ferguson.

Simon Graham – Elizabeth Ferguson’s first child was John Graham and she is buried next to Simon’s second wife Mabel Plume.  Likely somehow related.

James Morton – father of Alexander Morton who married Mary Childs, sister to James Childs (husband of Elizabeth Ferguson) and daughter of Joseph Childs and Janet Dunn

William Fitzgerald – likely family with whom Elizabeth Ferguson was living in 1871, likely her maternal uncle.

John Graham – husband or father in law to Agnes Ferguson, daughter of William Ferguson and Elizabeth Potts.

John Potts, Jr. – likely relation to Elizabeth Potts, wife of William Ferguson.

map.png

Kingston.png

Potential Jessie connection (likely not accurate if Elizabeth Ferguson was a biological daughter of William)

A search of the 1871 New Brunswick census reveals only one Jessie Ferguson born between 1855 and 1865 in New Brunswick (using search criteria Jes* F*s*n – where * is a wildcard).  There is one other enumerated in New Brunswick as Jessie C Furgusson who was born in PEI  abt 1857. Her parents seem to be John and Sharleen. The same search in the United States, in 1870 with a birth place of Canada (and Maine), yielded no matches.

A Jessie Ferguson of the correct age to be Elizabeth’s daughter, born in New Brunswick, is found in 1880 working as a servant in Portland, Maine.

On 07 Nov 1882 in Portland, Cumberland, Maine, she married George W. Johnston.  The couple relocated to Wisconsin and then to Washington State. Children included Ernest, Ada, Sarah, Gordon and Bernice. Most census records list Jessie’s birthplace as Maine, only the 1880 census lists New Brunswick.

Jessie died 17 Oct 1934, Port Angeles, Clallam, Washington.  Her death record names her parents:

death jessie

Jennie Ferguson’s parents were also named as John and Elizabeth!  Could Jessie be a sister and Elizabeth’s maiden name Wallace?  Or did Jennie’s sister die young and Elizabeth Ferguson daughter of William have two children out of wedlock?

Conclusion

I am still searching!  But this information is intriguing…Aunt Natalie, are you listening? – send me a sign!!

A few last notes: The only other Ferguson family in the area of Richibucto was that of Jacob Ferguson (first wife Elizabeth McNarin , second wife Agnes Dickie).  I took a photo of his grave at Saint Andrews, Rexton cemetery when I visited in 2014.  His stone states that he was a native of Wallace, N.S. (census record also list a Nova Scotia place of birth about 1824 – 6 years prior to the Ferguson/Potts marriage).  Descendants of this Ferguson family appear in the Drouin Collection of Catholic Church records, Richibucto; the Ferguson family I’ve outlined and Jennie were likely Presbyterian.

Thus Jacob is probably not a member of William Ferguson’s family. Although he is buried in the same churchyard and both of his marriages were also performed by the Rev. James Law….

jacob grave.jpgjacob2

elizabeth graveagnes death

UPDATE – We have a DNA match!!!!!!  This 94 year old tester, J.F. is the grandson of Archibald Ferguson, son of William Ferguson and Elizabeth Potts thus confirming my DNA connection to them. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We mutually match two other testers who have not yet responded to my inquiry as to how they might connect with these Fergusons.

Ferguson DNA match

 

 

My Brick Wall – Brian Hall b. 1727 Bristol County

I recently attended the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Problem Solving Course.  The abridge course description:

Choose a project focus, ancestor, time period, geographical area, and research questions.

Under guidance from professional consultants, student’s will use a group collaborative approach to discuss research progress each day, utilizing the combined knowledge and experience of the group to solve problems.

Although I am “more organized”, I did not solve the mystery.  If you want to help, here’s the abridged version!

Brian Hall tree.png

RESEARCH QUESTION:

Who are the parents of Lt. Brian/Briant Hall, my 5th-great grandfather?

Lt. Brian/Briant Hall, a soldier in the Revolution, was born about 9 Jul 1727, perhaps in Taunton (later Raynham), Bristol, Massachusetts.  He married, 14 Nov 1751, Abiah Crossman, daughter of Samuel Crossman and Joanna Leonard and died about 13 Dec 1778 in Norton, Bristol, Massachusetts.  He is buried with Abiah at Norton Common Cemetery who died 15 Feb 1814.

Known children: Isaac, Nancy/Anna, Prudence, John, Brian, Abiah & Silas

BIRTH RECORDED:

The First Book of Raynham (Massachusetts) Records 1700–1835 (Online database: NewEnglandAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2003), (Handwritten unpublished transcription, transcriber unknown, “First Book of Raynham Records,” donated to NEHGS in 1897) lists:

Birth: 9 July 1727 – Brian son of John Hall 3d of Taunton & Mary his wife

See Ancestry.com: http://tinyurl.com/q9a3ddk

Brian's birth.png

The eastern end of Taunton, was incorporated as Raynham when Brian was about four, on April 2, 1731. The entries around his birth record date circa 1752/3. The entry is surrounded by other Hall families. Brian was married in August 1751. Thus, Brian perhaps reported the birth himself, about the time of his marriage.

As one is unable to recollect their own birth and because the records appear to be in the same handwriting (perhaps copied from an earlier book), the source and reliability of this information is unknown.

The 1733 Raynham tax list shows only one John Hall.

1733 tax list.jpg

The 1757 Raynham tax list shows a Brian Hall with a John Hall 3rd as the following entry.

brian tax list.jpgbrian-tax-list-pg-2

PUBLISHED WORKS:

Unsourced publications assert that Brian Hall was the son of John Hall and Mary (unknown) and name him as a descendant of George Hall, an early settler of Taunton, Massachusetts through:

  • George’s son John m. Hannah Penniman,
  • George’s grandson John m. Elizabeth King and
  • George’s g-grandson John m. (1) Mary and (2) Hannah Williams
  1. The earliest of these (likely the source of all others) appears to be “The Halls of New England. Genealogical and biographical”. By David B. Hall, published Albany, N.Y., Printed for the author by J. Munsell’s Sons, 1883. George’s ancestry is found on pages 567-648, with Brian named on pages 574, 580 & 581 (screen shot below) – http://hdl.handle.net/2027/yale.39002005232799

Halls of NE.png

In his preface, the author writes, “…My first intention was to compile only my own line, the Halls of Medford, but afterwards I concluded to embrace in the work all the records that I could find. And I have found much more than I then supposed was in existence, and still the work is far from containing all that might be obtained….”  Perhaps less effort was given to unrelated Hall families.

I surmise that much of this genealogy was crafted through letters from Hall families residing in New England in 1883 vs. use of original sources.

Richard Henry Hall, a great-grandson of Brian Hall, in December 1886 became the mayor of Taunton, Massachusetts.  The election may have given him reason to name himself (and thus Brian) as a direct descendant of George Hall (See page 730 – Our Country and Its People: A Descriptive and Biographical Record of Bristol County, Massachusetts, Part 2) or perhaps he really believed that he decended from George as did all other Halls in the Taunton area.

The concept of “John 3rd” likely had different meaning in the 1700’s vs. current day, and should not be interpreted as the third generation of John in that particular family. It may mean there were at least three John Hall’s in the area from same or different families, and Brian’s father John was the youngest of the three.

2. Excerpt from George Hall and his Descendants (1603-1669) compiled by Robert Leo Hall, published in 1998 [copy in my private collection]:

John Hall born 1694, in Taunton, Bristol County, MA; died 1766 in Raynham, MA. First married Mary (Ukn) and had children Freelove and Brian. He second married Hannah Williams and had children John, Hannah, Elkanah, Elisha, Joseph and Noah.

His source: ALLRED RECORDS in the home of Marcella G. Allred, 349 W. 3rd St., Lovell, WY 82431. I have been unsuccessful in tracking her work.

Robert Leo Hall is deceased and his descendants do not know what became of this cited source.

In 2009, a descendant of Marcella wrote to me: Aunt Marcella Allred passed away a number of years ago.  I am not sure where any of her living children are, possibly in Utah.  Aunt Marcella was famous in this area for the amount of genealogy work that she did.  Her maiden name was Graham.  I am assuming that she must have been related to your ancestors.

3. In “Brian Pendleton and his Descendants, 1599-1910”, Everett Hall Pendleton, asserts that Brian’s mother was Mary Brettun/Britton, daughter of William Brettun and granddaughter of Mary (Pendleton) Brettun Cross Morey, who married (1) Joseph Hall and (2) John Hall, descendant of Brian Pendleton, born about 1599, one of the early settlers of Watertown and Sudbury, Massachusetts who owned land the Maine and New Hampshire. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/wu.89069624344

Mary Morey left a will recorded 10 Jan 1732/3.  It is indexed under the name “Marcy Morey” in ”Abstracts of Bristol County, Massachusetts Probate Records, 1687-1745″ H. L. Peter Rounds.  In it she names her father, grandfather, husbands and grandchildren.

mary morey.png

The actual will (copy in my files) reads:

….Item – I Give and Bequeath to my Grand Children William Brettun, Abiale Brettun, Ebenezer Brettun, Pendleton Brettun, Mary Hall, Lydia Brettun, Sarah Brettun, Elizabeth Brettun, & Abigail Brettun,  all the remaining three quarters of my Real Estate lands Meadows & ____ which belong to me to be equally divided between them Only that my granddaughter Mary Hall is to enjoy her part during her life and after her deceased her children to enjoy her part equally between them and their heirs….

THEORIES

Is Brian’s father John Hall, g-grandson of George who married 2nd Hannah Williams?

  1. Brian Hall, son of John (with Mary) and John Hall, son of John (with Hannah) were born within 7 months of one another, if the Rayhnam records of birth are accurate, and the pregnancies were full term – either John Hall got two women pregnant at the same time or there were two John Hall’s in Taunton/Raynham in 1727 (John Hall, son of John Hall and Hannah is born January 26, 1728. Date based on the birth record in the original Raynham Vital Records, he was conceived around May of 1727, Brian was born two months later).
  2. Brian Hall is not mentioned in John Hall of Raynham’s will of 1766. All 6 of his children by Hannah are mentioned (including those who got nothing):
    • He left of to John Hall eldest son of the deceased all the aforesaid of five lots of land one small right in the old iron works in Raynham and two seventh parts….
    • It is stated in the will “Nothing is left to Joseph Hall son of deceased because he already got a gift in his lifetime of 95 acres estimated at 3 quid and 50 pounds”. and “Nothing is left to Noah Hall son of the deceased because he already got a gift in his lifetime of four pieces of land which are estimated at three hundred pounds the land being about 84 acres”
  3. All land deeds in Bristol County were examined (by me) for Brian Hall. There was no land exchanged between the two men during their lifetime.
  4. None of Brian’s children followed the naming patterns of the John who married  Hannah’s parents/grandparents.
  5. A number of errors have been discovered by other researchers in the “Halls of New England”, most of which were repeated in the book “George Hall and his Descendants (1603-1669)”. One example is “A Maze of Halls in Taunton, Massachusetts: Correlating Land Description to Prove Identity” written by Marsha Hoffman Rising, and originally published in National Genealogical Society Quarterly in 1993 which sorts the Samuel Halls of George of Taunton and Edward of Rehoboth.
  6. Y-DNA evidence suggests there is no relationship between the two men. As of today, there are four testers through George Hall’s son Samuel. One from Samuel’s son Ebenezer and three from Samuel’s son Samuel. None of these match the DNA of three of Brian’s descendants, one through Brian’s son Brian and two through Brian’s son Silas.  As of Jan 2016 one of George’s son Joseph’s likely descendants has tested and we are awaiting results.  If he matches Samuel this will further support the theory that Brian does NOT decend from George. No living male Hall descendants have been located for George’s son John and thus that line remains untested. Y-DNA of Brian’s descendant do not match that of Edward Hall of Rehobeth either.

Results here: https://www.familytreedna.com/public/hall/default.aspx?section=yresults  Brian is family #47, George is family #24 and Edward family #6

Is Brian’s mother Mary Brettun/Britton, descendant of Brian Pendleton?

  1. In 1727, the name “Brian/Briant/Bryant” was quite uncommon. It is plausible that Brian was named after Brian Pendleton.  Many years later, the 1790 census on Ancestry.com lists just thirteen Brian/Briant’s as head of households in the United States (even with indexing errors and the fact that other household members are not listed, this seems low and indicates the name uncommon). *Note that on a 1728 map of Taunton (available for purchase at Old Colony Historical Society), in the area which is now Raynham, there was a Briant/Bryant family residing next to the Crossman/Britton families could Brian instead be a family surname? 1728 map Taunton with names
  2. Mary Morey’s will is very detailed. Mary Hall is the only grandchild called out separately in the will: “Mary Hall is to enjoy her part during her lifetime but after her deceased her children to enjoy her part equally between them and their heirs” Although not direct evidence, this seems to imply that perhaps Mary already had children in 1732.
  3. There is record in Bristol County of Pendleton Britton and Brian Hall owning land together implying the two were associates and perhaps cousins?
  4. Brian was recorded as a cordwainer (shoemaker) in land deeds and Iron Works records beginning when he was 23. Mary Britton’s brother, Ebenizier, also of Raynham, was a cordwainer. Perhaps Brian was raised by the Britton’s and apprenticed with his uncle as a young man.
  5. In Raynham, 1731, a John Hall and William Britton are paid for supplying pine boards to the town.  This suggests a relationship between the two – Brian’s supposed mother was Mary Britton, William Britton’s daughter.  If John was a Miller with William Britton, maybe their kids married?

POTENTIAL THEORY

There is a John Hall who got land near Cobbler’s Corner (book 9, page 72 – an area which is now Mansfield) in 1715 it seems with Mill rights*.  He might be the same John Hall listed as an early Norton church member (a member of the First Church of Norton and witnessed the ordination of its first Minister, Joseph Avery in 1714). Wife of John Hall, Bethiah joined in 1716.

Then John Hall and wife Ruth record births of Bethiah 1 Dec 1721 and Benjamin 10 Aug 1720 in Norton (at that time Mansfield was part of Norton). So maybe Bethiah died, he married Ruth and named a child after his deceased wife?  In 1723 (not filed until 1735) there is a deed where a John Hall is selling land near Cobbler’s Corner, with Ruth his wife (book 23 page 494)

In Raynham, 1731, a John Hall and William Britton are paid for supplying pine boards to the town.  This suggests a relationship between the two – Brian’s supposed mother was Mary Britton, William Britton’s daughter.  If John was a Miller with William Britton, maybe their kids married?

There is also a marriage recorded of John Hall to Sarah Wellman both of Norton 7 March 1726/7. Then in 1730, there is a deed for purchase of land in Raynham by Samual Wellman of “John Hall of Norton, Miller” he also mentions his Mill, with a Sarah Hall as wife (book 25, page 116). Other witnesses include Benjamin Wellman, Isaac & Isaac jr Wellman***.

There is a John Hall, husband of Sarah who died intestate in 1736 in Raynham.  Others mentioned James Hall & John Hall yeomen.

None of these “Johns” appear to be listed in the “Halls of New England” book…  Unfortunately none of the John Hall wives were named Mary.

A Mary Hall who was born in 1699/1700 and is buried in Mansfield Cemetery called Happy Hollow Cemetery on York Street (Mansfield Vital Records).  She is called a widow when she died February 20, 1760 and her gravestone gives her age as being in her 60th Year.

**Halls of New England claims John Hall (a descendant of George) who married Esther Bell was the John who received the mill privilege in 1714 in Norton (which is modern day Mansfield) and that he lived at a place called Cobblers Corner…based on a review of land deeds this seems inaccurate.

*** Isaac Wellman died intestate before 1743 his heirs are listed as the widow Mary, sons Isaac, Ebenezer and Timothy and daughter Hannah.  A “deceased child” is also mentioned, it seems the other siblings are splitting her share – this might be Sarah.

TIMELINE

Note: Brian recorded 63 land transactions in Bristol County and several in North Providence, Rhode Island in his lifetime, all have been examined but not all have been added to this timeline yet.

  • 9 July 1727 born to John 3rd and Mary (thus conceived around October/November 1726 – Brian’s birth record was recorded about 1752) – record indicates  a Raynham birth, however Raynham was not broken off from Taunton until 1731.
  • Sept & Oct 1747 – Hewing Timber and working with the carpenters at the forge (one of them being Thomas Crossman) – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society], Iron Works records for the Taunton/Raynham area.
  • 1750 – Land purchased of Solomon Printice for 80 pounds by Pendelton Bretton of Easton and Briant Hall of Raynham; land in Easton containing 40 acres that was laid out 30 Sept 1713 to James Phillips of Taunton on the 50 acre division that lies near the land of John Selleson [?] also another tract of land that lies next to this land in whole 90 acres; land conveyed to Printice as warranted by heirs of James Phillips – witnesses Abigail & Katherine Leonard [Bristol Deeds 37:536]
  • 1750 – Living next to Elijah Leonard in Raynham, MA – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • 1751 – Owns a Shop – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society] Several entries 1750 – 2 in regards to services as a cordwainer.
  • 1751 – Account book kept by the Leonard Family of Norton; References a brother several times, Brian receives credit for the services of the brother, no name given. – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • August 1751 – married Abiah Crossman (Abiah Crossman; Female; Birth: 28 AUG 1726 Taunton , Bristol, Massachusetts; Death: 15 FEB 1814; Father: Thomas Crossman; Mother: Johanna; (Joannah Crossman has a sister Alice Leonard and parents are Thomas Leonard and Joanna all of Raynham – per probate records) Spouse: Brian Hall; Marriage: 1751; Sealing to Spouse: 01 OCT 1953; Film Number: 458137) Brian Hall and Abiah Crossman marriage Raynham 1751
  • October 1751 – Signs a petition against a new road in Raynham, MA – Raynham Town Records
  • 18 May 1752 – Brian Hall saw that the 2 calves skins and one dog skin which he brought from Swanzey today comes to 4-10-00 at tenor [Old Colony Historical Society, Iron Works Account Book]
  • September 26, 1752 – child of Brian Hall died in Raynham, MA  – Vital Records
  • 1752- Brian Hall – Distribution of Iron Shares [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • December 9, 1752 – Pendleton Britton and Brian Hall buy land in Easton, MA.
  • April 1753 – Brian Hall buys land in Raynham, MA from Alice Leonard, give several names including land bordered by Nehimiah and Nathanial Hall, filed 1758 [Bristol Deeds 43:115]
  • August 16, 1753 – son Isaac Hall born in Boston according to historical accounts – birth not located in Vital Records. The History of Norton reads:

Isaac Hall, Esq. (grad. H.U. 1775), was the son of Brian Hall ; and was born in Boston, Aug. 16, 1753. His father moved to Norton before Isaac entered college, and ever after resided there. Mr. Hall studied law, and died soon after entering upon his professional career. For more particulars of him, see Funeral Sermon by Rev. Sylvester Holmes. His tombstone, in the ” Norton common graveyard,” informs us that he was an attorney-at-law, and that he died Dec. 14, 1779, aged twenty six.  In the Providence Gazette of January 29 1780, may be seen a notice of him which says: “His learning, abilities as a lawyer, and strict adherence to the principles of virtue, rendered him dear to his friends, an honor to his profession, and highly esteemed by all his acquaintance.”

  • Historical accounts read: A year or more after their marriage and the death of their first child, they moved to Boston (WHY??), living there a few years, during which time their eldest son Isaac was supposedly born (no birth record located). Having purchased a farm in Norton, they moved there and Brian subsequently became a large owner and operator in real estate
  • April 1, 1755 – daughter Nancy Hall born, Norton – historical accounts, not listed in Norton vitals/births
  • May 2, 1755 – Mentioned in the Account of Abijah Wilbore as receiving Iron – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • Sept 1755 – Brian Hall buys land in Raynham from Thomas White, 2 1/2 acres measured by Taunton proprietors – mentions Brian’s other property, filed 1758 [Bristol Deeds 43:116]
  • 1756 – Brian Hall – Ministers Rate/Tax Rate, Raynham Tax Records  [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • 16 & 17 January 1756 – by 2 quarts & half of rum; buy 1/2 gill of rum [Old Colony Historical Society, Iron Works Account Book]
  • 6 August 1756 – by 2 quarts of NE rum to you at ___[Old Colony Historical Society, Iron Works Account Book]
  • 10 August 1756 by 2 gills of NE rum to your workmen about hay [Old Colony Historical Society, Iron Works Account Book]
  • 12 Aug 1756 – by 3 gills of NE Rum to your workmen [Old Colony Historical Society, Iron Works Account Book]
  • 19 August 1756 – by 2 quarts NE rum to you at 26p per gallon [Old Colony Historical Society, Iron Works Account Book]
  • 1757 – Bryan Hall of Raynham for 240 pounds from John Gilmore land in Dighton purchased of Abijah Wilbur and land near the house of John Crane, land he sold to Wilbore, signed by Brian & Abiah Hall – witnesses Zephaniah & Anna Leonard [Bristol Deeds 42:507 – deed reads Bryan, signs as Brian]
  • 1757 – Brian Hall sells land to Alice Leonard in Easton, part of land bought with Pendelton Brittan of Solomon Prentice – 43 acres – witnesses are Leonards [Bristol Deeds 42:534]
  • 1757 – Brian Hall, Raynham Tax Records [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • 1757 – John Hall 3rd recorded next to Brian Hall in the Raynham Tax Records.  [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • 1757 – Last entry in account book, he is settling his account with Elijah Leonard – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • January 8, 1758 – daughter – Prudence Hall born Norton? – historical accounts, not listed in Norton vitals/births
  • October 7, 1758 – Agreement between John Gilmore and Brian Hall – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • February 8, 1758 – Agreement between Abijah Wilbore and Brian Hall – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • 1758 – Sale of Pew in Raynham Church, Brian Hall sells to Elijah Leonard his pew in Westward part of the church.  Witnesses: Thomas Crossman and Silence Hall.
  • April 13, 1758 – Brian Hall buys land in Norton: Elijah Leonard of Raynham for $240 lawful money sells to Brian Hall of Raynham, corwainer, a tract of land with dwelling house upon it – land description mentions land of Elnathan Jones, Josiah White, Seth Briggs, Cobb & 5 acres in Cedar Swamp mentions land of Thomas Shaw deceased, Joshua Fairbanks  – dated 31 Mar 1758 – witnesses Ebenezer Brettun & Ebenezer Brettun jun [Bristol Deeds 43:79]
  • October 12, 1759 – Brian Hall sells 114 acres of Land with a house, for £236 in Attenborough to Stephen Pond
  • October 10, 1759 – Brian Hall sells land in Norton, MA, to Elijah Leonard
  • 1750’s (??) per Old Colony Historical Society there is a land reference in Mansfield, MA, involving Brian Hall and a John Hall.  They are both pitching for the same piece of land in the 1750’s? Can not locate deed to which they are referring? –  there is a 1774 deed – Brian Hall of Norton yeoman (seller) for 2 pounds, 5 shillings paid by John Hall of Norton gentlemen transfers 2 1/2 acres of land in a tract of land known by the name Taunton North Purchase in Norton, Mansfield & Easton in Bristol County Common undivided land of said purchase bound on the East side from Moses Copland to Mansfield fur river (?) and by land owned by said John. And is ye 2 1/2 acres of land which Brian Halls house pitched for this day as may appear by said pitch if ye land is to be had in ye above described place and if it is not to be had these to be when me anyplace in common and undivided land where it is not pitched for to have and to hold said same. May 11, 1774, 14th year of his majestries reign King George 3rd. Witnesses: Benjamin Morey & Anna Hall
  • October 21, 1760 – son John Hall born Norton ? – historical accounts, not listed in Norton vitals/births
  • October 3, 1765  – daughter Abiah Hall born Norton – historical accounts, not listed in Norton vitals/births
  • October 30,1766 – Brian Hall buys land in Norton, MA, from Elijah Leonard
  • 1767 – Brian Hall sells land to David Manley
  • June 19, 1768 – son Silas Hall born  – – historical accounts, not listed in Norton vitals/births
  • April 10, 1762/3 – son Brian Hall born  – – historical accounts, not listed in Norton vitals/births
  • 1771 – Brian Hall listed twice in the Massachusetts Tax Valuation List of 1771, both entries in Norton (his son Brian was age 11).Brian Hall 1771 tax.png
  • 27 November 1772 – Brian Hall buys land in Easton, MA, from Alice Leonard
  • 25 May 1774 – Brian Hall buys land in Easton, MA, from George Leonard
  • 1774 – Properitors of the North Purchase to Brian Hall
  • 1774 – Jobe Hunt sells land to Brian Hall
  • 1776/8 – He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and according to published accounts  “one of the first to act and respond. He was also a member of the select committee of correspondence, to take into consideration the “Confederation of the Union of States” proposed by Congress, and also being on the committee to devise means for the formation of a State constitution”.
    • Hall, Brian (also given Briant), Norton. 1st Lieutenant, Capt. Isaac Hodges’s (2d) co., Col. John Daggatt’s (4th Bristol Co.) regt. of Mass. militia; list of officers chosen by the several companies in said regiment, dated Attleborough, March 18, 1776; ordered in Council March 21, 1776, that said officers be commissioned; reported commissioned March 21, 1776; also, Lieutenant, Capt. Isaac Hodges’s co., Col. John Daggit’s (Daggett’s) regt.; service, 25 days, in Dec., 1776, and Jan., 1777, on an alarm, including travel (34 miles) from Norton to Tiverton, R. I., and return; also, 1st Lieutenant, Capt. Samuel Robinson’s co., Col. Wade’s regt.; engaged June 18, 1778; service, 25 days, at Rhode Island; company raised to serve for 21 days from June 21, 1778; roll dated Attleborough.
  • Brian held positions in the town of Norton and was assessor the year previous to his death in 1778.
  • 13 December 1778 – died, buried at Norton Common Cemetery – Hall plot found to the right of the main entrance near the road at marker 126 behind a rust colored stone entitled “Briggs”.  Hall Stones in order are:
    • John Hall, died April 13, 1840, aged 79 years
      • Son of Brian and Abiah
    • Wells Hall, died Dec. 13, 1828, aged 19 years
      • Son of John and Dilly
    • Dilla wife of John Hall, died May 2, 1857
    • John S. Hall, died Nov. 27 1827
      • Son of John and Dilly
    • Silas Hall, died Jun 29, 1841, aged 73 years
      • Son of Brian and Abiah
    • Nancy Stanley, wife of Silas Hall, died March 26, 1833, aged 63 years
    • Anna, daughter of Silas and Nancy Stanley Hall, died Nov. 14, 1818 in the 22 year of her age
    • Prudence, daughter of Brian and Abiah Hall, died March 28, 1839, aged 81 years
    • Isaac Hall, Attorney at Law, son of Brian and Abaih Hall, died Dec. 14, 1779, aged 26 years
    • Lieut Brian Hall, A Patriot of the American Revolution, Died Dec. 13, 1778, in the 52 year of his age
    • Abiah, wife of Brian Hall, died Feb. 15, 1814 in the 88 year of her age

Brian Hall Grave Norton Common Cemetery.jpg

QUESTIONS:

  • Why did Brian and Abiah supposedly move to Boston after the death of their first child, did they have family there? Is there any evidence of this other than historical town/county histories and published genealogies?
  • Who is Silence Hall? “1758 – Sale of Pew in Raynham Church, Brian Hall sells to Elijah Leonard his pew in Westward part of the church. Witnesses: Thomas Crossman and Silence Hall”.  Could she be the wife of Jacob Woodward named as “brother in law” in Brian’s will and Brian’s biological sister?
    • I leave to my brother in law Jacob Woodward and Silence [?] his wife to them their heirs an assigns forever real estate lying in North Providence in the state of Rhode Island excepting only ten acres to be measured of according to Quantity & Quatily [?] which I have herein given to my son Issac.
      • Brian’s wife Abiah Crossman was a 2nd cousin of Jacob Woodward – Robert Crossman was their g-grandfather. Would this cause Brian to refer to Jacob as brother-in-law?
      • Mary Britton’s brother William Britton jr. married Sarah Woodward (daughter of Robert Woodward and Hannah Briggs) who was a first cousin to Jacob Woodward (son of Ezekial Woodward and Sarah____). Would this cause Brian to refer to Jacob as brother-in-law?
      • Who is the Brian Hall Woodward b. 1778 (year of Brian Hall’s death); d. 1798 and buried North Providence at Hopkins burial ground (grave #35) next to Capt Richard Hutchins (grave #36)? All other surrounding stones blank. (Rhode Island Roots, Volumes 13-15 – Rhode Island Genealogical Society, 1987 – Registers of births, etc) – could this be a child of Silence and Jacob?
      • North Providence land deeds for the Halls and Woodwards were examined the only connection seems to be:
        • Ruth Woodward in N. Providence deeds pg 199 (1748 or 1768?) mentions brothers Jacob & Paul Woodward and father Ezekiel (will A774, 1760 N Prov.). One of the witnesses signs as Mary Hall. Brian did not have any children named Mary.
        • A Providence deed from 1821 [book 5 pg 86] mentions a Jacob Woodward, Mary Woodward and Henrietta Hutchins selling land.  Brian Hall (Brian’s grandson through his son Brian) signs as a witness.  He later marries Henrietta Hutchins daughter of Capt. Richard Hutchins (the man buried with Brian Hall Woodward) and Henrietta Woodward.  Could Henrietta Woodward also be a daughter of Jacob and Silence?
      • According to death indexes for Silence & Jacob – Silence was born abt 1740 – 13 years older than Brian. So John 3rd would still be alive in 1740 if she is a sister! If correct, the age difference is further evidence that the John Hall who fathered Brian could not be the John Hall who married Hannah Williams!
        • WOODWARD Jacob, in 85th year, at Providence, Aug. 5, 1822 (birth about 1737).

        • WOODWARD Silence, wife of Jacob, at North Providence, in 76th year, Nov. 26, 1816 (birth abt 1740).

  • Who is Brian’s “brother” listed in Leonard’s account books? Full brother? Half brother? Husband of Brian’s sister? Brian debtor credit pages.jpg
  • When Brian died, why was Ephraim Burr of Norton selected as guardian to Brian’s minor children, Brian and Silas? How was he related or associated with Brian (or Abiah)? partial probate transcription here: willguardian.jpg
    • The Legal Genealogist’s blog tells us that Burr was likely not a close relative of Brian’s:

…..But when property was involved, the preference was overwhelmingly for the nearest male relative who couldn’t inherit from the child to serve as guardian. Even the example used by Blackstone points this out: “where the estate descended from his father, … his uncle by the mother’s side cannot possibly inherit this estate, and therefore shall be the guardian…… Read more here.

  • There is a Bristol land deed with witnesses signing as Pendleton Hall and Anna Hall who were they?
    • 11/27/1772 Brian (Hall)    Alice Leonard      Easton book 55           page 37

land deed

PLAN:

  • The article “A Maze of Halls in Taunton, Massachusetts: Correlating Land Description to Prove Identity” written by Marsha Hoffman Rising, originally published in National Genealogical Society Quarterly in 1993, mentions the Greenlaw Collection at NEHGS. This was reviewed in 2008 but should be looked at again!  COMPLETE JAN 2016 – NOTHING FOUND
    • The article also implies that Ms. Rising already reviewed Bristol land records, contact JAN 2016 – NOT AT NEHGS – EMAILED HISTORICAL SOCIETY IN MISSOURI THEY OFFERED TO CONTACT MARSHA’S FAMILY – FAMILY CAN NOT LOCATE.
  • Examine Church Records.
    • Raynham (1731 from Taunton) First Church Records – there are no John Hall listed among the member of the church.
    • Norton (1710 from Taunton) – There is a John Hall listed in early church members, his wife Bethiah joined 1716. John Hall and wife Ruth record births of Bethiah 1 Dec 1721 and Benjamin 10 Aug 1720.  There is also a marriage recorded in Taunton John Hall to Sarah Wellman both of Norton 7 Nov 1726.
    • Taunton
    • Mansfield  (1770 from Norton)
    • Other? Towns established from modern day Taunton:
      • Freetown (1683 from Taunton)
      • Dighton (1712 from Taunton)
      • Easton (1725 from Norton)
      • Berkley (1735 from Taunton/Dighton)
  • Examine court records PARTIALLY COMPLETE – ALL COURT RECORDS ON MICROFILM AT FHL EXAMINED JAN 2016.
  • Research all Halls in Bristol [then expand to Rhode Island and nearby counties] and related surnames/FAN club (witnesses to Hall deeds and will’s, neighbors on early map and in censuses, war associates, the Britton’s, Ephraim Burr, Jacob Woodward & Silence, etc.) in all Bristol County (and Rhode Island) records. BIG PROJECT! Define scope and priorities.
  • Land deeds – Just John & Brian? All Hall’s? Other surnames, maybe Britton’s? Have transcribed microfilm index for Bristol County Hall’s in Excel and have reviewed some deeds (online).
    • JAN 2016 – REVIEWED DEEDS IN BRISTOL COUNTY FOR JOHN HALL, BRIAN HALL, MARY HALL, AND NORTH PROVIDENCE RHODE ISLAND FOR HALL AND WOODWARD.
  • Trace the land described in the will of Mary (Pendleton) Brettun Cross Morey in Maine, New Hampshire and possibly Rhode Island (?), to determine how it was distributed and who sold it to whom….
    • COMPLETE – This was done at the FHL in SLC Jan 2016. Portsmouth and York land deeds were examined for all Britton transactions. Although Pendleton land changed hands, only James Britton was mentioned.
  • Research the genealogy of our DNA match Charles Rowland Hall (b. Poplar Flat, Lewis County, Kentucky). The match might be many generations in the past and research might prove difficult. Contacted tester Jan 2016 to see if he would add a SNP test which will help to further determine the potential number of generations between us.
  • Reach out to the Norton Historical Society, Raynham Historical Society & Wheaton College Library to determine what records might be available. CONTACTED NHS – THE DO HAVE EARLY CHURCH RECORDS FOR NORTON AND MANSFIELD IN BOXES ONSITE – SCHEDULED TO VISIT JULY 2016.
  • Review area town records on Ancestry.com. PARTIALLY COMPLETE JAN 2016.
  • Take a look at the nearby Taunton/Raynham Briant Family (Ichabod) – PARTIALLY COMPLETE – A VITAL RECORDS/LAND DEED/PROBATE REVIEW RESULTED IN NO CONNECTIONS WITH THE HALL FAMILY – there was another likely unrelated Briant Hall residing in New England in the same time frame, born about 1767 in Connecticut.  He appears to be a Yale graduate and the son of Amos Hall and Betty Briant. It is unclear if he is the same man who participated in the war of 1812.bryant-hall

 

Saving the Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Grandson

On 28 May 1880, the entry in Mary Alice Haines  journal reads:

I came to Mrs. Dana as a nursery maid to dear little Dicky, a lovely little blue-eyed baby of nine months.

may 28 3.jpg

Mrs. Dana, was the former Edith Longfellow, daughter of poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The “golden-haired” Edith immortalized in her father’s poem “The Children’s Hour” was Wadsworth’s middle daughter.

Edith married Richard Henry Dana III, son of author, Richard Henry Dana, a friend of Longfellow.  Their first child, Richard Henry Dana IV “Dicky”, was born in his grandfather’s home, the Craigie House, Cambridge, Massachusetts on 1 September 1879.

284px-Longfellow_National_Historic_Site,_Cambridge,_Massachusetts

Dicky’s nursery maid, Mary Alice Haines (who the Dana’s called “Allie” or “Alice”), was my 3rd great-aunt, born 8 May 1855, in Richibucto, Kent, New Brunswick, Canada, to John Hains and Alice/Alise Edith Childs. Siblings included Joseph, Alexander, George, James, William John (my 2nd g-grandfather) and Lizzie.  After their mother’s death in 1860, their father remarried Jane Clare adding four half sisters, Alice, Annie Elizabeth, Caroline Sophia and Christina.

Marys chart

Mary was enumerated with the Dana family on 4 June 1880 at 39 Mount Vernon Street [likely an error, they lived at number 33 not 39] in Boston, Massachusetts.  She was listed as a servant.

Mary 1880.png

mt vernon

bus card.png

Ten days later, on 14 June 1880, Mary writes:

Mrs. and Mr. Dana start for Nahant [Massachusetts] to spend the summer, taking with them their dear little Dicky and myself.

The following day she adds:

I don’t like Nahant. I think it is a perfectly horrid stupid place.

Then on 1 Sepember 1880

We expect to return to Boston soon. I shall be glad, although I have had a very nice time after all.  I went to ride often with Mrs. Dana and took little Dicky; and very often we row in the evenings.

They arrived in Boston 20 September 1880.  On Christmas she writes:

Mrs. and Mr. Dana went to Cambridge with Dicky to lunch with his Grandpapa, Mr. Longfellow, and I had the afternoon to myself.

She writes often of her days with Dicky. Mary’s brother Joseph passed away 24 January 1881 in a hospital in London.  A few weeks later she writes:

Ever since the death of my dear brother I have had lovely flowers sent to me. Little Dicky frequently brings me a pretty rose in his own, sweet, dimpled hand.

Two days after her brother’s death, Mary writes:

Dicky had  little brother born last night. He calls him a little dolly and wants to shake hands with him [Henry “Harry” Wadsworth Longfellow Dana]

Pictured below, Mary with Dicky and Harry:

SCAN1115SCAN1116

On her birthday, Mary received an apron from Mrs. Dana and flowers from Dicky. On 28 May 1881 she writes:

One year ago today I came to take care of little Richard H. Dana III, a dear little blue eyed boy of nine months with long golden hair.  I was not at all taken with his appearance for I thought him very dull and not at all interesting.  But today he is a real boy in every degree and running around and saying many words. He is very fond of flowers. I am now with him in Cambridge making a visit to his grandfather, Professor Longfellow, and he enjoys being here. He is a dear little fellow. I am getting so fond of him. I hardly know how I can ever leave him and he is so fond of me. He calls me A-ie; and since he has been here he has learned to hail the horse car; and if it doesn’t stop he will run into the street and scream, car! car!

Beginning on 18 June 1881 she again summered in Nahant with the family. When they returned to Boston on 21 Sept 1881 she reports that Mrs. Dana and Dicky were sick with “slow fever”.  On 15 October 1881 she comes to Cambridge (from Boston)  to Mr. Longfellow as Mrs. Dana is very sick with typhoid fever. On 8 November she writes that she is still in Cambridge, with no hope of returning to Boston for weeks, as Mr. Dana is now very sick. The children are fine.

28 November: We are still in Cambridge. Oh dear I do wish I could go home. I am so tired of Cambridge.

Mrs Dana writes to Mary: Dear Allie, Miss Alice said the children went to bed at half past five. I don’t understand, for Harry always had his supper at six. Have you changed all his hours–and why? I want him to have his supper as late as possible so as not to make such a long night, and I don’t understand why both children don’t go to bed as they always used to. Do write and tell me about it. I miss you all very much and wish you could come home again. I had no idea you would have to stay more than a week or two, but now I suppose we can’t have you back until Mr. Dana gets better.

17 December: This is my last Saturday in Cambridge. I was so glad Mrs. Dana came out to Cambridge and said we could go home Monday. I am so delighted. Mr. Longfellow had a party for the children today. Dicky and my sweet little Harry were there.

On Christmas, Longfellow and Dicky presented Mary with the Longfellow Birthday Book written by Charlotte Bates, with quotes from the works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to go with each day of the year. The quotes appear on the left-hand page, and opposite them, two dates appear. There is room under each date to write the names of people who have that birthday. Longfellow added his signature under his own birth date.

On 24 March 1882 she writes:

This is a sad day in our home. Mrs. Dana’s father, Professor Longfellow died. We were to sail today but owing to Mr. Longfellow’s death we are to remain till 6 April.

Longfellow article.jpg

On April 4th Mary traveled to New York with the Dana family.  It was stormy and rainy. They boarded a ship, which departed for Europe, the following morning.  Mary woke to sailors singing, it reminded her of her five brothers (all of whom were seamen).  The sea was calm for a few days, then “frightful…running mountains high” causing seasickness. Finally, on April 15th they arrived in Liverpool.

Mary writes extensively of her journey, the tug boat that pulled them ashore, a forest of vessels, so many colors, funny looking cabs and ancient buildings.  First stop was the Northern Western Hotel.  She was shocked to learn, in Europe, she and the children were to eat dinner with the other servants in a separate small dining room.

A few days later the group traveled by rail to London, where she noted pretty green fields, so much greener than those at home, trees in bloom and “funny” thatched houses.  They drove four miles via carriage through the lovely Hyde Park to the hotel.  She loved London’s cleanliness, the grand looking granite buildings and pretty Thames River.  She rode from Kensington to Westminster using the underground railroad (which she described as a horrid black hole”), to visit the hospital where her brother Joseph died, to meet his nurses. She describes the view out his window which includes Westminster Bridge, Parliment House and Big Ben  A few days later she visited his grave.

On April 24th they arrived via steam car at Hotel St. Romain in Paris, Mary writes:

I went to ride today with Mrs. and Mr. Dana and the children. We had a lovely ride. How beautiful. I think I never saw anything so lovely. We saw the ruins of the castle of the French Emperor, and also the castle where Napoleon lived, all all the beautiful monuments….little did I think when I used to read about these historical buildings when I went to school, that I would ever see them.

Next stop, via steam car, was Skes La Barre, France [?], then over the Alps into De Touin, Italy, on to Florence then out to the Villa Angelina [possibly in Sorrento ?] where she describes oranges, lemon and olive trees and writes of Dicky tossing bread into a pond with hundreds of kinds of fish who swam to feed. Two girls at the villa taught her some Italian.

Mary is amused to see people washing clothes in the river instead of with a tub and washboard.  They slapped the clothes on stones to beat the dirt out, instead of rubbing them with the hands.

After several days, they returned to Florence where they visited a high cliff overlooking the city and she attended a Scotch-Presbeterian church service (her journal describes the beautiful church, tells of them chanting hymns vs. singing and mentions the sermon was a striking one), then on to Milan for shopping and to see a cathedral and the evening gaslight illumination, then to Lake Como where they sailed in a steamboat and the following day took out a rowboat, “which charmed the children”.  On her second anniversary with Dicky, he presented her a jewel case with a pretty set of ear drops and pin.

On 28 July she notes “there are eight of us” Mr. and Mrs. Dana, Dicky, Harry and myself, Miss Dana, Miss Isabella Dana. They travel to a number of villages – Switzerland is cold.

On July 30th she says she has been Harry’s nurse for one year.  She is homesick much of the time.  Although she enjoys the trip, she longs for letters from home and to be able to see home.

They traveled to Bologna, then Mr. and Mrs. Dana leave for Switzerland leaving Mary and the children behind. Here Mary writes “baby walked all around the yard for the first time”.  A few days later she and the children traveled to Switzerland first by steamboat then via a carriage drawn by four horses.

on 11 August she writes:

Thusis, Hotel Viennala: We left here today but met with a sad accident and had to return to the hotel until Monday.

Mrs Dana writes home of the accident, where our Mary Alice saves baby Harry:

…We meant only to stay here a day or two but an unfortunate accident has upset our plans and shaken our nerves. We engaged a very nice three horse carriage and started in fine style yesterday morning about nine o’clock , Richard and I upfront in the banquette with Dicky between us and Alice [Mary] and Harry inside. About 1 1/2 miles from Thusis the leader shied at a log on the side of the road and bolted right off the other side of the road, which was built seven or eight feet above a grassy meadow, with trees.  There were no posts or railing and the leader going over first dragged the pole horses and carriage after him.

Richard told me to jump out as I was on the up side, but it seemed so preposterous that we could go over and spoil our nice trip and perhaps all be killed in the bargain that I seemed paralyzed and stuck to my seat.  R. could not get out past me and so over we went crash, the carriage turning completely over us but by a happy chance, whether by the struggling of the horses or not I don’t know, it turned half over again on to its side and so set us free.

I had a confused sensation of dust and darkness, breaking wood and brown horses legs flying across my face and then with great effort I made a sidelong plunge to get away from the debris. I saw Dicky lying in a small ditch with Richard on top of him, but both alive.  I was perfectly sure Harry was killed, and dashed back to the carriage turned on its side where in the midst of broken glass, cushions, baskets and boxes I found poor Alice crouching on her knees with Harry in her arms. His face was all bloody and she thought he was very much hurt for the carriage door had stuck him full in the face, but it turned out to be only a bad knock on his forehead and scratches on his face and nothing serious. Alice showed great presence of mind for Harry was sitting on the seat by her and when she found the carriage going over, she seized him in her arms protecting him from the sides and top of the carriage which pressed down upon her, bruising her arm and tearing her dress and apron.

Presently we were all seated on the grass, dusty and bloody, the children wailing dismally, but all absolutely unimpaired! Was it not a miracle? It was such a relief to find we were not all killed or broken to pieces, we could hardly believe it, and I cannot really understand now how we escaped.  Richard was very faint, but fortunately we had brandy in the lunch basket which revived us both and he was well enough to go back to the hotel.  The driver with many “A, Dio!s” had disappeared and the horses were standing quiet as lambs, eating branches of the tree. Meanwhile we were the object of much interest and curiosity for the passers by, who saw with much dismay the broken carriage in the field below and two disheveled women holding two wailing children. All the beggars and children in the neighborhood flocked to the scene of disaster, the diligent stopped to inquire and many carriages. When they heard no one was hurt they went on again, the nervous females probably very unhappy for the rest of their journey.

One very kind Englishman came down to see if he could do anything for us. He seemed very much shocked, and finally presented me with a bottle of coloque [?] which I took to please him although we did not need it. My first thought was to get Dr. Wigglesworth and by dint of running part of the way Richard succeeded in getting back to the hotel just as he and his wife were on the point of taking the diligence over the Splugen [?]. They not only gave up going then but with the greatest kindness and generosity they insisted upon staying over until this morning to make sure that we were alright.  I thought it was very good of them but I wished they would not do it for it was not necessary and it seemed too bad to spoil their plans as well as our own. And worse than all Mrs. Wigglesworth is very nervous about driving and of course this accident will not do much to reassure her. We saw them off in the diligence this morning and I felt very badly to see her so nervous. Dr. W came back in a carriage with R. to the scene of disaster and examined Dicky’s knee under an apple tree. It was very badly bruised and hurt him a good deal. Nothing was broken, however, and Dr. W. has examined it twice since and thinks it will be nothing serious. Poor little Dicky was very much frightened and I am afraid his nerves have received a severe shock. Dr. W. carried him carefully up to the carriage and all the town turned out to see us as we drove slowly through the main street.

Dr W. got us new rooms (ours had been given to others) escorted us to them and made us lie down. We kept Dicky in bed all yesterday but today he is dressed and sitting on a shawl in the garden. Harry did not say a word for full twenty minutes after the accident then when we were sitting on the grass he opened his mouth suddenly and said in the most piteous little voice “Dumpy down!” which made us all laugh….

After a few days of recovery, they end the trip by touring Germany, visiting several spots including Heidelberg Castle and Strasburger Cathedral, they stopped again in Paris to shop and London where Mary again visited her brother’s nurses and grave.  On 17 September they departed Europe, arriving in New York by the 25th on the Servia.

boatship manifest

The journal comes to an end:

29 Sept: One more day and I leave my dear boys. I am give them up to a new nurse Sunday evening.

2 Oct: What a lonely day I spent. My first day away from my dear boys.

22 Oct: John R. Stevens arrived here today from Michigan. We have not met for seven years.

Edith Dana writes from Cambridge, 15 October:

Dear Alice,

It seems a very long time since you went away although it is only two weeks today. It was very hard at first. The first night I slept with Dicky and could not sleep at all. I was so worried and troubled and did not know how we could ever get on without you.  The new nurse did not come until three o’clock Monday afternoon. And I was so tired out by that time, she had to take the children that night and has had them ever since.

Dicky seemed to feel your going more than Harry. He cried a great deal the first night “oh Mary gone!”, “Mary come back! come back!””Mary stay” and he was very suspicious of Margarete at first and would not let her do anything for him. She seems to be a very good girl and is kind and gentle with the children.

I am only afraid she will be too gentle with Dicky and will not be firm enough with him. She is very fond of Harry already and thinks he is the best baby she ever saw. Everything goes on the same as when you were her, only Dicky’s hair that looks a little differently. Margarete curls it, but it looks more meek than when you did it. Dicky has a velocipede now and can ride it in the street.

They have seen “Cuddy Waddy” several times and she is going to be with Grandma in Boston. At least until Christmas time she and her ___ are now going to stay at 33 Mt Vernon St. and perhaps you will see her there.  I hope I shall meet you there someday.  Have you got all your things? Your parasol was in the corner of the big closet.

Miss Annie is very glad you like her presents and says you need not trouble about writing.  I was very sorry to here that John Stevens hurt his eye.  I hope it is nothing serious. Be sure to tell him before you are married about your fainting fits.  He has a right to know and it is your duty to tell him. If you do not he may blame you afterwards.  Have you decided when to be married. I hope Johnie and Jenny are well [my gg-grandparents].

I did not dare to tell the children I was writing to you but they would send a great many kisses if they knew. They are fast asleep now and look so sweetly.  When Dicky plays steam cars he always says “Mary go too”.

Harry has learned a good many new words. He can say “Jumbo” and “corner” and many others.  Mr. Dana and I went to Newport last week for three days and saw Mr. Appleton and the girls who were all interested in hearing about you.  The girls liked the bows we bought for them at the “Bon Marelie”

I hope you will write to me.

Yours very truly

Edith L. Dana

dana letter.jpg

Mary was married in Boston, 26 October 1882, to John Roderick Stevens, an old flame from Canada (he had first married Lucy A Higgens on 10 Jul 1880, she died ten days later).

Alice Longfellow sent a painting as a gift.

picture letter.jpg

wedding gift

The newlyweds returned to Michigan where they raised a family of six (four who lived to adulthood).

For some time, Mary kept in touch with the family writing to Edith Dana and her sisters Alice and Allegra.  The letters indicate they valued Mary’s confidence, advice and sympathetic ear as well as her more mundane services as nursemaid to the boys and any other family member needing help. Edith updates her with stories of the boys antics and progress and always sends their kisses.

Drawing to Mary [Allie] from Dicky:

A year after their European voyage, Edith writes saying:

Dear Allie, It is just a year ago today that we left this house to to to New York and sail for Europe. How thankful I am we are not starting off now! I wounder how how now we ever had the courage to undertake it with that two small children.  Harry not even able to stand alone. I think we ought to be very grateful all at home again safe and sound. And you really married and out at “Dan Teacy’s house” [?] in Michigan!  How much has happened in one short year!…

It goes one to tell stories of the boys and how excited they were to receive her letters. She congratulates Mary on the baby expected in August and offers to send some of Harry’s baby clothes.  She mentions Mrs. Dana’s fall on Mt. Vernon St. which resulted in a broken hip which is making her quite uncomfortable and depressed.  She expresses how much they miss her and sends kisses from the boys.

year later letter

In 1884, Mary is still sending gifts to the boys.  She writes “Harry Haines” on Harry’s card, perhaps a private joke between them which Mrs Dana mentions in a thank you note sent from 33 Mt Vernon Street.

In another letter, Edith writes to Allie with well wishes for Jennie [Ferguson ?] and says that God can save her, just as he saved them in the carriage upset:

jenniejennie2

In 1885, Edith Dana writes saying it was very kind of Mary to name her baby Edith after her and hopes that she can meet her someday.

Dana Edith

Dana children 1893:

dana children.jpg

**Special thanks to Mary’s descendants for sharing her journal, photos, artifacts and letters.

UPDATE August 2016:

Today I visited the Massachusetts Historical Society on Beacon Street in Boston.  In their manuscripts collection are the Dana family papers which include the journal of Richard and Edith (Longfellow) Dana III (a few pages below).  Richard notes that Edith did not write in this time period. His writing adds color to Mary’s experiences.  He speaks of Dicky as an infant and Harry’s birth; summers at Nahant; intimate details of having typhoid fever; his father-in-law’s death and the trip to Europe which includes his version of the carriage accident.

To be transcribed at a later date….  Next stop Cambridge to read through the Longfellow family letters!!

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My Family Owned Wall Street!!!! or Not :-(

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Haines Family Lore

Family lore sometimes gets jumbled –  like the “telephone game” we played as children – one person whispers a message to another, which is passed through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. Errors typically accumulate in the whispers, so the statement announced by the last player differs significantly, and often amusingly, from the one told by the first, but might hold a grain of truth.  The game is a metaphor for cumulative error, or more generally, for the unreliability of human recollection.

A daughter, Annie Elizabeth (Haines) Morell (b. 1865- d. 1960; New Brunswick), of my 3rd-g-grandfather, John Hains, left a historical account of the Haines origins.  Within the transcription, my notes are within brackets [ ], as those points are not addressed in the blog post.

The first of our forebears Joseph Haines who came to America between the year 1620-1650 was a Dutchman a native of Amsterdam, Holland. He belonged to a firm of rope makers and incidentally it was he who brought the rope making industry to America and I am told that somewhere in the Haines family there is a piece of the first rope made in America. [These Haines men were certainly not the first ropemakers in America, nor does it seem they took part in bringing the industry to America. From the The West End Museum, Boston: …Just a decade after settlement in 1630, Boston had established its first shipyard big enough to launch a 160-ton merchant vessel, the Trial. At the same time, the rope-making industry grew right along with Boston’s nautical fortunes. From the mid-17th century to the end of the 19th century, the rope-making industry thrived in Boston…].

Young Haines had been sent with a cargo of merchandise (presumably rope) to England and while crossing the channel was captured by a French privateer but before they were towed into France an English man-o-war scooped down and capture both vessels and took them to England.

Those were the days of the press gang when men were sand-bagged or shanghaid and taken on board vessels. This was one of the methods of recruiting their navy and merchant marines. Young marines fell into the hands of the press gang and was taken on board a vessel ready to sail for the colonies namely America.

However on there return voyage when about a mile from land young Haines sprang overboard one night and swam back to land. He made his way to New Amsterdam as New York was then called as it was settled by the Dutch. He was given or took a section of land on Manhattan, he married a girl named Margaret Burne from Northern Ireland and raised a family. When the family was well grown he wished to go back to Holland to visit his old home and in order to defray expenses he borrowed money from one Edward Beaugardes a Protestant Dominick with the agreement that it would be repaid with a certain amount of money and a bushel of wheat per annum.  However the boat on which he sailed either going or coming was lost at sea so Joseph Haines never returned to America.

Eventually Beaugardes married the widow [Margaret] and it was (her) he (Beaugardes) who built the first Trinity Church in New York on what was originally Joseph Haines land.

My great grand father Joseph Haines was a United Empire Loyalist and came to Saint John with the Loyalists in 1783. He was a sergeant in the New York volunteers and being honorably discharged from the army was given a grant of land on the river Keswick and it was there that my grandfather Joseph Haines and my father John Haines were born [strong evidence of her father’s birthplace, as she likely heard this from him].  My grandfather married Annie Boone a daughter of William Boone who was also a Loyalist and a brother of Daniel Boone the celebrated Indian Scout and pioneer [Daniel Boone was born in Pennsylvania; he is not a brother to our William Boone, whose life was documented here, I have not found a connection between these Boone families, although it is possible they had the same origins in England].

When great grand father Joseph came with the Loyalists he brought with him a niece Charlotte Haines  as well as a daughter Elizabeth. Charlotte married William Peters and their daughter married a Tilley and she was Sir Leonard Tilley’s grandmother [historians do not know much of Charlotte’s early life and whether she was connected to our Haines, but the 10-year old who arrived in 1783, likely with her Uncle David, and the story of her slipper, later titled her as one of New Brunswick’s famous Loyalists; she was the grandmother of Tilley, a Canadian politician and one of the Fathers of Confederation who descended from Loyalists on both sides of his family – her story, likely part fairy tale, from The New Brunswick Reader, 16 May 1898, here and another examining facts here]. 

Elizabeth married a man named Whitman and their daughter married a man named Henington so she was chief justice Henington’s grandmother [there is no name similar to Henington on the list of New Brunswick Chief Justices; it is unknown if Joseph had a daughter Elizabeth, she is not named in his will].

The Haines family has always been noted for their honesty and their loyalty to church and state; open handed and charitable. Perhaps that is why the majority of them were always poor.

Annie Elizabeth Morell (nee Haines)

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Land on Wall Street? 

My third g-grandfather John Hains (Haines) in 1895 writes to his daughter Lizzie (who in 1890 resided in Chicago and in 1900 Boston and was half-sister of Annie Elizabeth Morell), that according to a New York Lawyer visiting Fredericton, York, New Brunswick, Canada in 1895, an estate valued at three hundred million, in the business part of New York, belonged to the Hains!  Our family would be entitled to a portion, if they could prove their heirship!!!!

wbbm-1018-cash

East Boston
15 March 1895
Mrs Lizzie Higgeland

Dear Daughter

I take this opportunity to let you know that we are all well at present and hope to find you in good health.  I had a letter from George since writing to you and also one from Mary Stevens.  We had several visits from Alexander in one of them he took me to Gloucester on a visit where I enjoyed myself greatly he laid off for a week. I hope to visit Concord before going home I expect to leave here about the first of May as that will be time to repair my fences I think that after I get the hay cut I will return to Boston. We are having what they call a cold blustering weather here we had quite a snow storm here on Saturday but the weather is clear but windy today.

This Hains Estate is now engaging our families at present it seems that a Lawyer from New York has been to Fredericton looking up the Heirs to put in their claims he says that the estate is worth three Hundred Millions as it takes all the business part of New York but I am in doubt if we can prove our Heirship. They have the records down to Grandfather but possibly some of the old families in Nova Scotia may have kept the records.

So no more at present – I remain your affectionate father.

John Hains

letter page 1letter page 2

Turns out there was a land dispute in the early 1700’s involving 62 acres, that was granted by a representative of Queen Anne of England to Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan, at the intersection of Wall Street (Trinity Church has since sold off much of the land and today holds only fourteen acres inclusive of 5.5 million square feet of commercial space).

trinity church

The case is a subject of many books, newspaper accounts and other publications (just Google “Anneke Jans”):

In 1636 Roelof Jansen was granted thirty-one morgans (62 acres) of land in New Amsterdam which included parts of today’s Greenwich Village, So-Ho and Tribeca in New York City (note that the land did not actually include land which subsequently became Trinity Church).

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Soon after arrival in New Amsterdam, Roelof died and his widow, known as Anneke Jans, inherited the land. She married second, Domine Bogardus and the land became known as the Bogardus farm. Bogardus reportedly drowned in 1647, off the coast of Wales, shipwrecked in a violent storm.

Anneke’s will mentions the acreage in Manhattan.  In 1671, her living children conveyed the land to Governor Lovelace for a “valuable consideration” (her son, Cornelius, was deceased).

Around the time of the Revolution, a great-grandson of Cornelius, laid claim to one sixth of then called “church farm”. He claimed Cornelius, had not agreed to the sale; therefore, one sixth of the land was due to his heirs.  Lore claims he took possession of a building on the property, built a fence around it, which the church had burned.  Later, the church won the case and he moved away.

In 1830, a John Bogardus, filed a case to recover the land. He failed; but the case fills 130 pages in the 4th volume of Sandford’s Chancery Reports, eessentially saying there was no case, people can not question property rights from 150 years in the past, when America was just a developing nation, otherwise no land would be secure.

Descendants of Anneke’s sued repeatedly and unsuccessfully for decades.

Plenty of dishonest attorneys, genealogists and others continued to encourage “descendants” to contribute to the costs of the heir association suits and likely collected millions from countless, very gullible, “heirs” who expected to be awarded millions in a lawsuit (even creating fictitious pedigrees to convince folks with the same surnames that they were related).  As recently as 1920, descendants were still being swindled (26 January 1920, Philadelphia Inquirer Page: 14):

lawsuit

Initially I surmised that our early surname “Hans” sounded a lot like “Jans”.  Turns out none of the descendants used the surname Jans or Jansen.  The children of Anneke  and Roelofs Jansen/Jans took the patronym Roelofs or Roelofszen as a family name and the children of Anneke  and Domine Bogardus used Bogardus.

It is plausible that the Haines descended from Anneke’ through some other line as they owned land in the same vicinity, about 40 miles from Wall Street, but it is just as likely that the New York lawyer who appeared in Fredericton was a con artist.  The positive in the story is that the letter written by John Haines and the historical account written by his daughter further strengthens the case that John Hains had family ties to Fredericton (it is likely his birthplace – see blog here).

The “Real” Haines Story As Written by Others

Our earliest known ancestor, and likely my 7th-great grandfather, was Godfrey Hans (Hains/Haines).

Estelle Hobby Haines inherited original family records (which I am attempting to track down) placing Godfrey on a tract of land known as Harrisons Purchase, in Westchester County, New York. Her historical account of the family was published in April 1949 – “The Haines Family of Rye and Bedford,” The Westchester County Historical Bulletin, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 45-55.  In the article, Estelle thanks Aunt Sarah Haines for preserving the information of the Haines ancestors, a written record passed on to successive generations, given to her husband in 1885.

Excerpt (to read the full article click HainesArticle).

Godfrey Haines, my first ancestor to come to this country, was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1675. When in his country’s service, he was taken prisoner by the Turks and with them traveled in sight of Jerusalem. They liberated him for some unknown reason, perhaps because of his youth. After his return to Germany, he was pressed into service again. The fleet to which he belonged was bound for South America. He was shipwrecked and picked up by a British man-of-war which came into New York Harbour. He found that they intended to make him fight against his country and so decided to escape. Accordingly one foggy morning he left ship, being a good swimmer, and started for land. He came to shore at Kip’s Bay (East 36th street) which was some distance from where the man-of-war lay at anchor. He went to a log house but there being only a woman at home and he in scant attire, he was obliged to retreat. Later he returned, found the woman’s husband at home, was supplied with a suit of clothes and directed to a Mr. DeLancey who was in need of a ship rigger and immediately put to work. His knowledge of rope making proved of much value. He was furnished with the means to commence business by Col. Caleb Heathcote, who became much interested in him. He became very prosperous and married a lady whose father was said to be a British Lord and who had come to this county with the Heathcote family.

[Godfrey is indeed first mentioned as “ropemaker” in a deed dated 1709/10 for a home lot in Mamaroneck, Westchester Co., New York, that he purchased of John Bloodgood, carpenter, of Flushing, Queens County, NY. – Westchester County Land Office, Liber, D, page 49]

Settling in the Town of Mamaroneck in 1709, Godfrey Haines moved to Rye five years later. He and his descendants became rope makers and large property owners on Budd’s Neck and in other parts of Rye. Their earliest extant deed is one of my treasured possessions and declares in beautiful script:–

“To all People to whom these Presents shall come Greeting Whereas James DeLancy and Anne his wife and Lewis Johnston and Martha his wife did for a valuable Consideration on the fourteenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty, grant, bargain and sell unto Godfrey Hains in fee simple all that certain Tract or parcell of Land situate lying and being within a certain large Tract of Land called and known by the name of Harrisons Purchase in the County of Westchester – butted and bounded as follows that is to say Beginning at a Stake with a heap of Stones about it in the middle Line of said Patent so called Thence running south by marked Trees and David Heights to a red Oak Tree in said middle Line marked Thence Westerly by marked Trees between the Premisses hereby granted and the other part of said Lott sold to Samuel Miller to a White Oak Tree marked standing in the road leading towards the White Plains, Thence along the East side of the said road as the same runs to a heap of Stones which is a corner Bounds between the Premisses herby conveyed and one other part of the said Lott sold to Caleb Purdy Thence by marked Trees between said Purdy Land and the Premisses hereby conveyed to the first mentioned Stake where it began containing within the said Bounds by Estimation two hundred Acres be the same more or less-And Whereas Matthew Hains of the County of Westchester aforesaid Yeoman one of the sons of the aforesaid Godfrey Haines is now Intitled to part of the Lands contained within the Bounds herein before particularly mentioned and described. Now Know all men by these Presents that David Johnston of the City of New York, Gentlemen Heir at Law to David Jamison the surving Patentee for Harrisons Purchase afoesaid-hath released and forever Quit Claimed and by these Presents for himself and his heirs doth remise release and forever quit Claimed-unto the said Matthew Hains(in his full quiet and peaceable possession now being) and to his heirs and Assigns foever-“

Upon his death Godfrey Haines left each of his six sons a large farm [in the article, six sons and three daughters are named – Godfrey, James, Daniel, Joseph, Solomon, Mathew, Mollie, Tamar and Eleanor]. He and his wife are buried in the Blind Brook Cemetery in Rye. Their inscriptions read “In Memory of Godfrey Haines who departed this LIfe July 22, 1768 aged 93 years. In Memory of Anne wife of Godfrey Haines who departed this Life Feb’ry 19, 1758 aged 68 years”.

Godfrey grave

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The History Of Rye, NY  Chronicle of a Border Town Westchester County, New York Including Harrison and White Plains to 1788, by Charles W. Baird New York, names only three potential sons:
FAMILIES OF RYE

II. LATER INHABITANTS – 1700 to 1800 – and THEIR DESCENDANTS.

HAINS

I. 1. Godfret or Godfrey Hanse, or Hains (1), first mentioned 1717, came over from Germany about that time, and settled on the lower part of Budd’s Neck. He was a rope-maker by trade, like many of his descendants, whose ‘rope-walks’ were numerous in that part of the town. He died July 22, 1768, aged ninety-three. (Milton Cemetery) Godfrey, junior, was his son, and probably Joseph and Solomon.

1. Godfrey Hains (2), son of Godfrey (1), called junior, 1734, had land on Budd’s Neck, part of which is now (1870) comprised in the Jay property. He was drowned in the East River in 1766. He had four sons at least: Godfrey, James, Daniel and Solomon.
Gilbert was probably another son.
2. Joseph Hains (2), probably a son of Godfrey (1), was a rope-maker, and in 1741 bought a farm of seventy acres on Budd’s Neck below the country road and Westchester old path, ‘beginning at a rock within a few feet to the westernmost of the school house.’
3. Solomon Hains (2), perhaps a son of Godrey (1), had land on Budd’s Neck in 1739.

The book reads:

By the middle of the last century, however, we find quite a variety of trades carried on in Rye : such as those of wheelwrights,cordwainers, carpenters, saddlers, tailors, hatters, weavers, ropemakers, and the like. We are not to suppose that the persons so designated were employed exclusively in these occupations. They were generally farmers, who joined some kind of handicraft to their ordinary business, particularly in winter. The weaver’s or wheelwright’s shop was no unusual appendage to a farm-house a century ago.

As in all old-time rural places, these occupations were very generally pursued by the same families age after age. In one branch of an ancient family, for instance, the designation “house-carpenter” occurs through as many as four successive generations. Another family is said almost to have covered the lower part of Budd’s Neck with its “rope-walks”….

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Ropewalk

Most ropewalks were set up outdoors, sometimes underneath a wooden shelter.

The ropewalk method is described in the book “Handbook of Fibre Rope Technology” (the illustration comes from the same source):

“At one end, there is the jack, which has three hooks that can be rotated. At the other end, there is a carriage with a single, rotatable hook. In stage one, three sets of yarns are pulled off bobbins and are held along the length of the ropewalk.

In stage 2, an assistant turns the crank handle of the jack so that the yarns are twisted into strands by the rotation of the three hooks on the jack. Twist causes the lengths to contract, so that the carriage has to move along the ropewalk, under the control of the ropemaker.

In stage 3, the hook on the carriage rotates in order to twist the strands into the rope. In the usual mode of operation, the initial strand twist is made as high as possible without kinking. When the single hook on the carriage is released, the high torque in the strands causes the hook to rotate, and this, in turn, cause the three strands to twist together and form the rope. The ropemaker controls the production of the rope by continually pushing back its form of formation to give a tight structure. Meanwhile, the assistant continues to rotate the crank to make up for the loss of twist in the strands.”

Principles of making a three strand rope

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Direct Line Ancestor

loyalist pedigree
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Our family likely descends from Godfrey’s son Joseph and his wife Margaret.  In her account of our family history, Annie Elizabeth (Haines) Morell, gives Margaret’s maiden name as Burns.  In 1750, a Margaret Haines nee Burns acknowledged the signature of Alexander Burns, on a deed, in Rye.  Based on a search of the county’s records there seems to be just one Margaret Haines in that time frame, in that place, thus she was likely a Burns.

Margaret Hains

Joseph died in 1783.

Joseph death 1793Joseph death 1793 2

Just after his death, in a deed dated 1784, Margaret names her sons Alexander, Joseph, William and Peter (in her will she also names a daughter Ann Dorothy).

margaret's sons

We likely descend from Joseph and Margaret’s son, Joseph [who I will refer to as junior to separate the two], who married Elizabeth Saunders, 11 Sep 1767, in New York [the marriage bond records were heavily damaged in the State Capitol fire of 1911; while the bond of Elizabeth and Joseph’s survived, it was thoroughly singed around the edges.  The archives were able to reproduce a somewhat legible copy…”].

haines Saunders marriage
Joseph Haines marriage

Another document places Joseph (a farmer) Joseph Hains, junior, and a number of other Hains men, in the Rye area in 1771, when a group petitioned for a town fair in Rye, Westchester County so they could sell their goods:

COPY OF A PETITION OF CITIZENS OF RYE, N. Y., THAT DR. E. HAVILAND
MAY HOLD A FAIR IN SAID TOWN. FROM PP. 42, 43
OF VOI. 97 OF THE NEW YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS
IN THE NEW YORK STATE LIBRARY.
BY GEO. R. HOWELL.

To his Excellency the Right Honble John Earl of Dunmore Commander
in Chief in and over the Province of New York and the
Territories thereon Depending Vice Admiral and Chancellor of
the same,
The Petition of a great Number of the Principal and other Inhabitants in the Town of Rye in the County of West Chester,
Humbly Sheweth,
Whereas by an Act of general Assembly of the Province of New York made many years since, it was Enacted that the said Town of Rye should every year after making of said Act be Entitled to, and have the Benefit of keeping and holding a Fair in said Town of Rye, Once in every year, Viz. in the month of October for selling of all Country Produce and other Effects whatsoever, as by said Act may at large Appear; and Whereas Notwithstanding that the Inhabitants of said Rye never as yet have applied to have the Fair held, as by said Law they had Right; But now Believing the keeping of a Fair as aforesaid in said Town of Rye would be of general Service to said Town, your Petitioners therefore Humbly Pray for the purpose aforesaid, That your Excellency would please to appoint Doctor Ebenezer Haviland of said Rye to be Governor, and to have full power according to said Act of Assembly, to keep and hold a Fair in said Rye in the month of October next at the time in said

Act Appointed; and your Petitioners as in Duty Bound shall ever Pray Rye, April 8th, 1771.,
Sylvanus Merritt
Isaac Brown, Elijah Weeks
David Brown, Jonathan Brown
Philemon Hallsted , Solomon Purdy
Amos Kniffen , John Hawkins
Nehemiah Kniffen , John Carhartt
Nathaniel Moore , Ezekiel Hallsted
Zebediah Brown , Josiah Burril
Abraham Wetmore, Daniel Brown
William Brown , John Doughty
Gilbert Brundige, Timothy Wetmore
Samuell Tredwell , James Purdy
Roger Park , Joseph Theall
Charles Theall , Gilbert Theall
Joshua Purdy , Obadiah Kniffen
Hachaliah Purdy , James Hains
John Hains , Solomon Gedney
James Mott , Joseph Hains
Alexander Hains , Godfrey Hains
Joseph Hains, Junr
Jotham Wright , Jonathan Gedney
Caleb Gedney,
Isaac Gedney , James Horton
Jonathan Horton , William Ritchie
James Horton Junr , William Sutton
Gilbert Budd , Daniel Strang
Thomas Brown , Henry Carey
James Wetmore , Samuel Haviland
John Kniffin , Hachaliah Brundige
Gilbert Theall Junr , Benjamin Brown

The Revolutionary War had a devastating impact on Rye, even though no battles were fought within its current boundaries. Rye was “neutral ground” between the Patriots in Connecticut and the British in New York. As a result, Rye was subject to marauding and devastation by both sides. Rye’s population was divided between Patriots and Loyalists/Tories, with the Loyalists holding a slight advantage. Feelings ran high on both sides and families often faced divided loyalties.

Joseph Haines, junior, and many other Haines of Westchester were Loyalists; on 11 April 1775 they signed a Declaration with many others in the County of Westchester declaring support to the King (Westchester County, New York, During the American Revolution, Henry Barton Dawson, 1886 – New York, pg 72-73)
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Joseph, junior was with the Regiment of the New York Volunteers.  I have not yet fully researched his service; but a short history of the regiment can be found here. He is listed on the Muster Roll of Lieut. Colonel George Turnbull’s Company of New York Volunteers, Savannah, Georgia 29 November 1779. [Future research: Muster rolls for the New York Volunteers may be found in the National Archives of Canada, RG 8, “C” Series, Volumes 1874-1875. The muster roll abstracts can be found in the Ward Chipman Papers, MG 23, D 1, Series I, Volume 25].
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Land Taken??
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Godfrey’s likely son Joseph, also named as “ropemaker”, with his wife Margaret transacted land as follows:

In a land deed (Westchester County Land Office, dated 12 April 1775, book R, page 136).  An indenture was filed between Peter Ray and Joseph Haines of Rye and Margaret his wife, stating that Alexander Haines of Harrison Purchase and Joseph Haines are bound to Peter by certain obligation in the penal sum of 561 pounds, 8 shillings with condition written for payment of two hundred eighty pounds, eight shillings and six pence with lawful interest to Peter Jay on or before the 12th day of April next, for two certain tracts of land.  One on which Joseph Haines dwells in Rye, which he purchased of Samuel Miller.  The land description mentions the schoolhouse, Westchester Old Path, the land of Joseph Horton, deceased of about 70 acres. The second tract of six additional acres, purchased of John and Ann Guion, adjacent to land he already owned, also adjacent to the land of Henry Griffens, on Budds Neck on the Post Road.

In a second deed (Westchester County Land Office, dated 13 July 1752, book R, page 139), Samuel Miller (remember that name!) and Phebe his wife sell to Joseph Haines for 143 pounds, names the same 70 acres on Budd’s Neck.

In a third deed (Westchester County Land Office, dated 13 July 1752, book R, page 141),  John and Ann Guion his wife sell to Joseph Haines for 20 pounds, names the same six acres on Budd’s Neck.

All three documents were recorded years later, 26 Sep 1814. Why?

It was not unusual for deeds to be filed at later dates. Many executed deeds were held by the family who could not afford or did not wish to pay the filing fees. They were typically recorded when the land was later sold.

Joseph Haines died in Rye in 1793.  Margaret died in 1812 in Rye; she only names her son Peter and daughter Ann Dorothy in her will. The recording was likely due to Margaret’s death so the land could be sold. However, I found no later land transactions for this acreage.

Why weren’t the others named in her will? After the Revolution, her son Joseph junior’s family settled in New Brunswick and Alexander with his wife Clarina and their children in Sissiboo (now Weymouth), Digby County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Nothing is known of her son William.

margaret's death

1867 & 1868 map of the area where the Haines might have resided in Rye/Harrison’s Precinct, Westchester County

There were at least three Haines who were property owners on these maps – J. Haines, George (later map Peter) Haines and D.M. Haines.  Based on later land descriptions, the property in the same area of George/Peter/D. M. Haines likely belonged to my direct ancestors.  It names all the same landmarks as mentioned in the land deeds – it is near a school and the Post Road, there is land owned by Guion (from whom Joseph later purchased six additional acres) and it is on Rye’s Neck, which had previously been called Budd’s Neck. The Miles and Mill families are nearby, the names are close enough in spelling to Miller to suggest a connection (special shout out and thanks to the Rye Historical Society who helped identify the land location!!).

Without tracing the deeds forward, it appears that the property was in the vicinity of what today is Tompkins Avenue, Mamaroneck, New York, between the blocks of Melbourne Ave and Beach Ave.

CLICK TO ENLARGE

map-harrison

1868 map

2015 map

Joseph, junior’s Claim
Joseph Junior had land taken from him at the time of the Revolution.  In his claim he names land as “Harrison’s Precinct, Westchester County”,  which he purchased of his brother [Alexander], about 1773; likely the same area where his Grandfather Godfrey owned land [recall that Alexander of Harrison’s Purchase was named in the earlier deed with Joseph and Margaret].  A witness verifies his story and further states: “Joseph had the Character of being very Industrious and supported himself by farming. He and his family were very Loyal”.  Joseph asked for £650 NY Currency and was eventually awarded £60 Sterling and land in New Brunswick.
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Untitled

To The Honourable The Commissioners

appointed to examine the Claims of Persons

who have suffered in their Rights, Properties

& Professions during the late unhappy

dissensions in America, in consequence of

their Loyalty to His Majesty, and

Attachment to the British Government &c.

&c. &c.

Joseph Haynes late of West Chester County in the province of New York now of York

County in the province of New-Brunswick

Most humbly shews

That He has ever been a true and faithful subject to his Majesty, and that in the

beginning of the late dissensions He was persecuted & abused, and he availed himself of

the earliest opportunity to join the British Army. And in August 1776, he effected his

purpose and entered into the Regiment of New-York Volunteers, & served in that Corps

until it was disbanded in October 1783. That your Memorialist owned a comfortable

Farm of the value of Four hundred pounds N. York Cury. and had of his own – Stock –

Farming Utensils & other articles to the amount of Two hundred & fifty pounds – of all

which (in consequence of his joining the British Troops) his Family were dispossessed –

and the same was wasted – or sold by authority – so that your memorialist has never

received a farthing’s benefit therefrom. And he now is reduced to great distress – after

long & faithful services. He therefore humbly hopes that the Honourable Commissioners

will take his case into consideration and grant him leave to attend them in New

Brunswick, & to produce his evidences of the Facts herein alleged. And that they would

afford him such relief as they may think right. And as in duty bound shall pray &c.

Joseph Hains

Fredericton March 28th 1786.

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Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 13, folio 190.

St. Mary’s 15th Jany. 87

Sir

I have the Honor to inform the Commissioners through you that from the 15th July to the 20th of October I was on Duty with my Regt. at New York & at Sea and was discharged the 20th – since which Period I have resided in the Parish & County aforesaid.

I have the Honor to be with Great Respect

Your Most Obt.

hum. Ser.

Joseph Haines

Peter Hunter Esq.

Sec’ry

Commissioners

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St John 20th March 1787

Evidence on the Claim of Joseph Haines

Late of New York

Claimant Sworn

Says he came in 1783, was disbanded in October, w, 26.12 p acre went up the River immediately, staid there all the Winter.

Produces his Discharge from New York Volunteers 10th October 1783.

Lived in Westchester County, joined the British in 1776, enlisted in New York Volunteers, Served during the war.

Had 50 acres in Harrison’s Precinct, Westchester County, purchased about three years before the War of his brother, £6..12 p acre; had a Deed, produces a letter from his Mother in the State of New York mentioning the Deed of his Farm, but she doesn’t send it not having time to take a Copy.

Built a framed House, improved the Estate, about 30 acres clear, values it at £9 p acre.

One William Miller has taken possession of it.  Claimant did not owe him anything.  Says he may pretend some Rights in consequence of a Bond Claim and had given to appear before Congress ___  Miller was Deputy Chairman.

Lost a Mare, 2 colts, 3 Cows, 2 Heifers, Farming utensils, Furniture.

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Timothy Witmore Sworn

Says he knows the Claimant’s Farm it was in Harrison Precinct, Witness surveyed it for him about 15 years ago, he bought it of his brother – Remember Claimant continuing his possession of it – Values it at £8 p acre.

A good deal of Meadow, thinks 2/3rd of it were clear.

He had the Character of being very Industrious and supported himself by farming.

He and his family were very Loyal.

Miller was Chairman of the Committee, lived in that Neighborhood, has no doubts but that Miller has it.

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Land Grants in New Brunswick

A number of petitions for land were filed by Joseph Haines [copies of the actual grants are on order and will be posted at a later date].  He was awarded at least 242 acres.

Joseph Haines Land Grants

Haines NB Land grant

Haines NB Land grant2

A number of Haines land deeds were also recorded in York County, New Brunswick:

Haines deeds York

William Miller, Who Reportedly Took the Haines Land

The Miller’s and Haines had prior interactions.  Joseph senior,  reportedly bought from Samuel Miller, in 1741, the first Miller family homestead in Rye and then in 1814 purchased land of Samuel Miller on Budd’s Neck [Sept 26 1814; R 139]. There were other land transactions, the families lived in close proximity and were likely friends or acquaintances.

William Miller, however, was notorious (in the eyes of Westchester County Loyalists) Deputy Chairman (later Chairman) of the Westchester County Committee accused of being responsible, with the Thomases, for much of the obnoxious revolutionary actions against Loyalists.

For Example:

The Petition of fifteen Prisoners confined in the Jail at White-Plains, presented by Mr˙ Miller, Deputy Chairman of Westchester County, wherein they represent that they are confined as persons dangerous to the safety of the State, and being desirous of being enlarged, they are willing to bind themselves either to aid in repelling the enemies of the State when necessary, or surrender themselves into the custody of any Jailer, as this or any future Convention or Legislature may direct, was read.

Whereupon Mr˙ Miller was called in and examined as to the said fifteen Prisoners, and testified in regard to them respectively, as follows, viz: Joshua Purdy has never been friendly to the American cause, is a man of influence, and towards whom lenity would be advisable. Gabriel Purdy has acted unfriendly to the cause of America. Caleb Morgan he does not know, but has heard he is a Tory. Of Wm˙ Barker, John McCord, John Bailey, Bartw˙ Haynes, and Joseph Purdy, he knows nothing favourable. Gilbert Horton is a man of no influence. Isaac Browne has been neutral. Josiah Browne says he will join in the defence of the State, and has generally understood that he was a Whig. Edmund Ward he don’ t know. Samuel Merrit has been active against, and Jonathan Purdyhas been publickly inciting others to act against us. And as to Philip Fowler, he is reputed a bad man.

Interesting Developments

(1) A land deed dated 1799 [Westchester County, book M, page 362] shows our Joseph, junior (of New Brunswick) selling about 20 acres of land at Harrison, New York for $500 to Joseph Carpenter.  The deed claims that it is the same land which he purchased of his brother Alexander Haines and wife Clarina on 17 June 1773 [I have not found a copy of the 1773 deed].

What?  This sounds like the land that William Miller reportedly took illegally, on which Joseph filed a claim!

Interesting that William Miller seems to have verified Joseph’s identity (Is that what the last section means? – any lawyers out there?).

Did Joseph really travel from New Brunswick to New York to sell the land? or did Miller illegally sell the land and pocket the cash? What happened to the other 30 acres? (Joseph claimed to own 50? – I have examined William Miller’s deeds in Westchester County from that time period and nothing in Harrison was sold under that name in the late 1700’s/early 1800’s).

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(2) Alexander Haines, likely Joseph’s brother (who is called “ropemaker” and named “son of Joseph” – whoop, whoop!) purchased 100 acres in Harrison; Joseph Miller and his wife Tamer, held the mortgage for 687 pounds, ten shillings.  In 1765 Miller claimed the debt had been satisfied (however, the deed was filed eighteen years later 28 Oct 1783 – Book I, pg 193 Westchester).

Had Joseph already left for New Brunswick or was this filed before he left? – his unit disbanded in October 1783 and he says he immediately left for Canada.  Was this deed for the same land that Miller reportedly took from him? In Joseph’s claim he says, “One William Miller has taken possession of it.  Claimant did not owe him anything.  Says he may pretend some Rights in consequence of a Bond Claim and had given to appear before Congress”.

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Joseph Haines, junior probate

The will of Joseph Hains, dated 20 March 1827 was filed in the Parish of Douglas, York County,

Early New Brunswick Probate Records 1785-1835
by R Wallace Hale, on page 192

Eldest son Peter £5 and use for life of Lot 18 on Keswick Creek, originally granted to Peter McLARREN, and at his death the Lot to be divided between my grandsons George HAINS and Israel HAINS, the sons of Peter HAINS. Second son Robert use for life of Lot 10 originally granted to Robert McCARGAR, and at his death the Lot to be divided between my grandsons Joseph HAINS and William HAINS, the sons of Peter HAINS, reserving a maintenance for my grand-daughter Jane HAINS, daughter of son Robert. Should Robert’s wife Amy survive him, she to have the privilege of dwelling on Lot 10 while widow. Third son Joseph use of residue of estate for life, and at his death to be divided among the male issue of son Joseph born of the body of Nancy BOONE alias HAINS Wife of my son Joseph. Son Joseph HAINS sole executor. Witnesses: Thomas WHITE, David MOREHOUSE, William Henry Boyer ADAIR.

boone map

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