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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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

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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.

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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:

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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:

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

 

 

The Life of William John Haines

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My 2nd g-grandfather, William John “John” Haines, was the sixth born, to John Hains and Alice/Alise Edith Childs, on 7 March 1856, in Richibucto, Kent, New Brunswick, Canada.  He joined brothers Joseph, Alexander, George, James and sister Mary.  Sister, Lizzie was born a few years later.

john Haines birth

John was just three when his mother died.

A few years after his mother’s death, his father married Jane Clare [online unsourced trees give a date of 29 May 1865; but given the age of their eldest child, they could have been together earlier].

By 1871 the pair had three daughters (the eldest age eight), residing with them in the Parish of Richibucto. Family letters imply that Jane was loathed by her stepchildren, the feeling seemingly mutual.  John’s elder brothers had departed the uncomfortable environment and gone to sea, while his sisters were sent to live with relatives; only John (age 14) and his brother James remained at home, working as laborers.

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By the age of 18, John joined his brothers at sea, a letter written years later to his sister Mary, indicates he was a runaway. He is listed as crew, rank “boy” on the vessel Ida E, which departed Saint John, 19 Jan 1874.  He was paid $18 a month and discharged in England, 13 March 1874 (Vessel Registration Number J866006, noted as “wrecked”).  John continued to sail until he married in 1882.

Nothing is known of his voyages other than a narrative written by his nephew Ralph Stevens:

Uncle John was my favorite man in those days and I shadowed him at every opportunity.

He told me wonderful stories about his many years at sea in the merchant fleet. He had been all over the world and shipwrecked several times.

[The Steven’s family has artifacts from Asia, that belonged to Mary, reportedly gifts from her brother John].

After seven years at sea, his last voyage was likely as a Merchant Mariner on the Barkentine, Falmouth, which arrived in Boston, 31 May 1881 (according to his sister Mary’s journal):

31 May 1881: I have seen today the arrival of the Barkentine, Falmouth.

1 June 1881: I sat last night till late watching for my brother John to come, but he has not come yet. I do hope he will come tonight. I am lonely tonight, for lonely feelings are creeping over me and all sorts of imaginations coming in my head. Dear brother do come tonight.

2 June 1881: I sat here waiting for brother to come today until I was tired. Then I started for Boston in search of him. I went to number 11 North Square to the Mariner’s house [a historic hotel, built in 1847 which operated as a boarding house for sailors]. Waited for a few minutes till my brother came in. He did not expect to see me.  It was a happy meeting. I threw myself into his arms and it was so nice to have a real brother once more.

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North Square circa 1895

John’s family worried.  Brother Joseph who was a patient at St. Thomas Hospital in London, writes to Mary of “Johnie’s” visit in April 1880:

…Johnie came twice with someone half drunk, he spent all his pay day in rum without buying any clothes for himself, so I could not help him when he went away and i had not a cent to much for myself….

letter from joseph

In another letter to Mary, dated 29 September 1880, Joseph writes:

Dear Sister,

I received your letter of the 16th

Stating as usual you were still with the world on your shoulder. I am surprised at some of your letters.  I could understand if Sister Lizzie wrote such Book but without jesting, it doesn’t become you.

Now Mary, you know as well as I can tell you that your step-mother doesn’t like you or me either and no wonder when I threatened to throw her out of the window as she told you and you know that is too strong a language for the laws of any country. Not only that, but before you went home last year to see father you knew very well that you could not meet Jane, as you call her, on any friendly terms whatever . Now tell me what was the use of your going home when you wanted nothing from them. You have a good name, good wages, good head….

[line unreadable]

…and instead of going where you knew you would not be friendly you had for better stay away so whenever you find a person you cannot agree with you should keep away from them….

…you grumble about Johnie being exposed by the family, but you screen him too much. That is really too bad that he has never went home, as he promised me when he left the hospital; the nurse gave him a Bible and I gave him a large quantity of books, some bought and some were presents to me, so that [is] the last I have heard of him, but still I am trying to make myself believe that he is short of funds and that he is working somewhere until he gets on his feet, so as he may go home respectable.

So one thing is this, if you do not like people at home say nothing bad against them let everyone enjoy their own opinion, never say anything to him against home all your relations are ready to tell you, you should have pity on anyone like them, not hatred. Your place was to give them good advice, you must not think because you are not a Minister of the Gospel that it is not your duty to instruct anyone ignorant of salvation….

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John’s half sister Alice writes to him 27 July 1881:

…be a good boy and don’t drink like a dear….

She ends with a poem:

They say the years since we last met
Have wrought sad change in thee
That it was better to forget
Our youth’s fond history
But I would gladly clasp that hand
And view those eyes once more
One moment by thy side would stand
As I have in days of yore

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In 1881, John, now age 25, writes to his sister Mary and admits to five years of a “wild and reckless life”, but he has changed:

__ Hains  Feb th

Dear sister,

i now write to you to let you know I am well in present hoping to find you the same.

our dear Joseph died [24 Jan 1881]  a few days before i arrived in London but you must not fret for him, for he is happy now dear sister.

i hope you will forgive me for not writing to you before but i have had a wild and reckless life this last five years. i have not cared for anyone as myself and cared not which course it steered but have come to myself at last and can see the changes.

i have reason, that woman [Jane Clare Haines] who came into our home some years ago has been a bitter enemy to me. She is a feared that I will come home as she cast up to me the last time I was home that i had come home to rob them of their rights, but what they call their rights, is mine.

You must write to miss rice [his deceased brother Joseph’s nurse in England] for she is a dear friend and sister to you and more and i hope some day she will be more than a friend to me.

So no more from your brother Hains, miss rice will tell you all in her letter about Joseph’s have some books and watch and some money which he left for you.

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The following 27 October, Nurse Louise Rice writes John from the St Thomas Hospital.  She is happy to hear he is doing better and is hopeful that Joseph’s spirit can see that; she thanks him for the invitation to the United States; but she likely won’t come there, she is old and feels he would be happier with a wife closer to his age:

My Dear John,

I received your kind letter a few days ago.  I was so pleased to hear from you and to hear that you are doing so well. I do hope dear boy that you still continue to do well and that God will bless you in your every undertaking, how pleased our dear Joseph would be if he was here to know how you were trying to get on and improving every day, he always used to speak of you as if he was very fond of you and he used to be so worried about you.

So I am sure now you will try to make up for any pain or anxiety you may have caused him for his dear spirit may be capable of knowing if you are doing well. I hope dear boy you will read and know the bible as he did, for I don’t think there was a part but what he knew and you know he must live close to God by constant prayer for without his continual help he cannot keep right or do right  for we are luck poor ___ creatures of ourselves of be trust only to our own strength we are sure to fail.

I am so very sorry dear if I have caused you any anxiety through not writing sooner. I have written to your sister Mary and explained to her the reason. I have been___ ____ _____ lately for we have to work very hard for there are so many people sick, if was very kind of you dear to ask me to come to the United States and I have no doubt the voyage and change of air should do one good but I don’t think now I shall ever come there, and you my dear boy will be much happier if you get someone else more suited to your own age for I am getting quite an old lady now and you must look upon one has an elder sister and I should be so pleased to hear that you had got a nice good little girl for your wife to share your happiness and help you through what ever may be your lot in life and I do hope and pray that God will bless you now and always.

I have been yesterday to dear Joseph’s grave. I sent your sister a little mignonette off his grave. I thought very much of you today, of the time we went to the cemetery when you were here in London. Now I must conclude, hopng you are well with fond love, from yours affectionately, Louise Rice

 

Louisa was just four years older than John, a night nurse at the Hospital.

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Mary writes often of John in her journal; John married her dearest friend from home Jenny Ferguson: story here.

8 June 1881 – I went to Boston. After doing some shopping I went to Chelsea to see brother John. He is well and working with cousin James Emroe [Aunt Patience Haines son].

4 July 1881 – I did expect brother John to see me today, but he did not come. But I only hope and trust that kind providence will guide him in the path of duty not vice.

3 August 1881 – My brother John came to spend the afternoon with my sister and myself.

28 August 1881 – My brother John came to Nahant today, while I went to Lynn and missed him. But he came back to Lynn and cousins Joshua, Jane and family went to camp meeting. It was perfectly lovely. Remarks and chalk drawing were by Rev. Mr. Wait. He drew a little boy flying his kite and then the Holy Ghost came to him asking him to give his heart to God. But he thought he would wait a little longer. The next time he thought, not now, and on and on till he was old and then it was too late. He was on the brink of eternity before he knew it. He had tumbled head long down into the fiery furnace. My brother liked it very much, I wish I could go more often.

5 Nov 1881 – I went to Chelsea to meet my sister and look at some rooms. We are going to furnish a house.  John and Lizzie are going to keep house. We found rooms we all liked very much. Three delightful rooms up [on the] third flight. We expect to be already in our own home by eight next Tuesday, dear mother’s anniversary, and take tea together.

15 Jan 1882 – I went to Chelsea this evening, and had a pleasant evening home with my brother and sister. We read verse aloud in the bible and it was like dear old times at home in the happy childhood hours with my dear departed brothers [James and Joseph are deceased].

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”.

13 February 1882: “I had my two brothers, John and Alexander, and my dear friend Jenny call”.

15 February 1882: “I went to a party in Lynn in company with my brothers, cousin and Jenny”

17 February 1882: “I had dear Jenny and John to see me tonight and also dear Minnie. We will meet tomorrow night to go to church.”

23 February 1882: “I left Boston and am now in Chelsea of a little vacation of two weeks. Jenny, Albert and I went house hunting. We found a house we all liked, we decided to take it and will move in on Monday.” [89 Matthew Street].

2 March 1882 – “I cut today Jenny’s wedding dress and coat”.

3 March 1882 – “We finished Jenny’s wedding dress and coat”.

6 March 1882 – “I went to Boston today with John. He bought his suit of clothing and marriage certificate. And I completed the wedding wardrobe for Jenny and helped to put the house in order”.

7 March 1882 – “What a busy day we had yesterday. John and my dear Jenny Ferguson were married. She wore cardinal satin trimmed with a darker shade of goods, velvet I mean, neck filled in with lace and tea roses. John was in full dress. They looked so happy. The room was full of people.  They were married by our Pastor Reverand Mr. Good [Hood?].  John and Jenny walked into the room arm in arm. Our cousin Albert and Miss Annie Stickeny stood up with them. John looked so happy. It did my heart good to see him. We had a very happy evening. Some of the party stayed all night”.

24 March 1882 – “My dear brother John was baptized. How nice it was to see him. He seemed to be in real earnest”.

28 March 1882 – “I went to Chelsea to spend the evening with John and Jenny”.

2 April 1882 – “I went home to my brother’s, and took tea; and spent the evening with him and his wife”

3 April 1882 – “Brother John and Jenny, my new sister, came over to spend the evening with me. This is my last evening in Boston for a long time for tomorrow we are to leave for New York, and from there to Europe” [Mary was traveling as a nurse with the Dana family soon after Longfellow’s death]

John became a citizen of the United States on 4 Dec 1890 (cousin James Emero signed as a witness):

Naturlization WJ Haines

John and Jennie had eight known children, the first born about nine months after the marriage: Edith, John Galatis, Alexander, Ella May, Margaret Elizabeth, Joseph (who died as a child), Minnie and Jennie.

The 1884 through 1890 city directories place the family in Chelsea, Massachusetts.  On 2 November 1892 the family purchased a home, and 5,000 square feet of land, on Wordsworth Street, in East Boston (on the corner of Homer near Bennington – the southwesterly portion of lot #256) – they were enumerated there in 1900 and 1910.

lot

After raising their family, John and Jenny separated.  A letter dated 20 March 1976 from Jennie’s granddaughter Ruth (Walsh) Frawley, to another granddaughter, Marian Haines (daughter of John Galatis) reads:

My mother did not seem to have much love for her mother; but her father was her pride and joy. John her father was a part time minister in the Congregation church at Orient Heights and a Chemist.  He invented disinfectant and had a small lab in the backyard [note: city directories do confirm that William John Haines reported his occupation as “chemist”, working from home, from 1906-1908] . Jenny sold the formula to Cabot Chemists and that was the last straw. So they separated. Never legally divorced, as in those days it would have been a disgrace, my mother felt, despite her tyrannical ways, her husband was very much in love with her.

My mother was nineteen and Minnie Haines Collins was 15 and Jenny Haines Johnson was 13. When Jenny and John separated and gave up the homestead, my mother took Minnie and Jenny, her two young sisters to live with her.

After the separation, in 1920, John moved to Vallejo, California and ran the family Chicken Farm: story here.  Below he is pictured with his sister Mary and nephew (Mary’s grandson, Ralph Stevens).

Mary Steves her brother W John Haines nd grandson Ralph Stevens

When Mary died in 1924, John returned to Boston where he resided with his son John’s family and a few years later with his daughter Ella’s family, then was placed in a rest home where he resided until his death, 21 October 1939.

the letter from Ruth (Walsh) Frawley continues:

 Approximately 13 years later I can remember Minnie meeting my grandfather John at the train. He was returning from California, from a 4 year visit.  Then he lived with us for many years. When I was 16, which must have been 1934, my grandfather had a shock and John Marshall and Bill Collins [sons-in-law] decided that he should go to a rest home. I was furious and too young to do anything about it. As a youngster, I thought those places were a place to get rid of people. 

haines obit

“Certificate of Death” #71; Registered No. 8936 lived at 206 Neponset Ave. Boston cause: cere. hemorrhage & art. sclerosis Buried at Mt. Pleasant Cementary ‘Q’ section, plot #566 Grave head stone: 1853-1939

grave

 

 

Losing A Mom, Alice/Alise Edith Childs

Alice Childs.png

Alise/Alice Edith (Childs) Hains, my 3rd g-grandmother, was born 19 April 1822, married 17 March 1848 and died 8 November 1860, age 38 [gravestone reads 1859 and age 37], according to entries in a family bible [a possession of the descendants of Alise/Alice Edith’s daughter, Mary Alice (Haines) Stevens].

edith Haines birth

Haines Childs mrriage

Her parents were likely Joseph Childs (of England) and Jannet Dunn (of Dumfries, Scotland):

Joseph CHILDS Northumberland Co. Janet DUNN married: 3 Aug 1821 Carleton Parish by J Wheaton wit: George Pagan, B Goldsmith – EARLY NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY MARRIAGES transcribed by D. Purdue from PANB Microfilm # 15488

To read more of their family, click here.

Alice/Alise Edith was buried in the churchyard of St Andrews Church, Rexton, Kent County, New Brunswick. She left a husband John Hains, son of Joseph Haines and Nancy Ann Boone and seven young children: Joseph (b. 1849), Alexander (b. 1850), George (b. 1851), (James b. 1853), Mary Alice (b. 1855).William John “John) (b. 1856, my gg-grandfather) and Edith Elizabeth “Lizzie” (b. 1858)

church

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Jmes and edith haines death

In 1861, Joseph and Jannet resided in the Parish of Richibucto, New Brunswick (http://tinyurl.com/lltgpj9).  Their widowed son-in-law, John Hains, resided nearby.  John’s sister Patience (Hains) Ameraux/Emroe, was residing with the family, likely caring for the motherless children and household, while John worked as a laborer (http://tinyurl.com/kzxexm2):

John Hains 37
Joseph Hains 11
Alexander Hains 10
George Hains 9
James Hains 7
Mary Hains 6 (also enumerated with her maternal grandparents as age 7)
John Hains 4
Elizabeth Hains 3
Patience Ameraux 45

A few years later, John remarried to Jane Clare with whom he had four daughters.  In a poem, one of the children (likely Joseph, Alexander or George) wrote of the marriage and the loss of his mom:

mother poem

mother poem 2mother poem 3

Daughter Mary, who was residing in Boston, returned to Richibucto and writes of visiting her mother’s grave on 15 May 1880:

I have today for the first time in my life visited dear mother’s grave alone. This dear grave has grown green with 20 years and I still sadden. There are other graves, but no loved one by her side. I am indeed lonely.  My heart yearns for dear brother Joseph who lies sick in the hospital in London. For he is my favorite brother, and with him I have everything and without him nothing. Goodbye dear sacred spot in the little churchyard. Goodbye friends and childhood spots I once loved so well. Goodbye all.

May 15 diary

Mary’s descendants have Alise/Alice Edith (Childs) Hains bible.

Inside is a lock of hair! Could this be of my 3rd-great grandmother?

alice edith's bible pg 4.jpg

My family has no photos of Alise/Alice Edith (Childs) Hains. However, her daughter, Mary tore a photo out of a magazine and wrote: “Like my mother’s face”.

looks like alice edith haines

Sadly we do not know much more of this matriarch’s life; surviving letters paint a picture of the Hains children being a close knit, loving clan who had quite a bit of fun together, likely attributable to loving parents. Although step-mother Jane was loathed by these children (the feeling seemed to be mutual), they adored their father and surely missed and longed for their dead mother.

 

Tragedy, Remembering James Haines, a Young Life Lost Too Soon

Relationship JAmes

According to a family bible, James Haines, my 3rd Great-Uncle was born 1 July 1853, likely in Richibucto, New Brunswick, Canada.  He joined brothers Joseph, Alexander and George, as the fourth born, to John Hains and Alice/Alise Edith Childs.  By 1859, children numbered seven, with the addition of sisters Mary and Lizzie and a brother, William John “John” (my 2nd g-grandfather).

James birthday

James was seven, when his mother died, in 1860.

By 1861, his father’s sister Patience (Hains) Ameraux/Emroe was residing with the family in the Parish of Richibucto, likely helping to care for the young children and household, while John worked as a laborer.

James 1861

Their life was a good one.  On New Year’s Day, 1880 his sister Mary writes in her journal:

Today I am very dull and lonely, for when we were all seven children at home with my father, how many happy days we had together, and this is one of the days we all loved so well.

mary Jan 1

On Christmas Eve 1880 she writes:

Part of the day was pleasant, and part of it was not so pleasant.  I have been thinking of that night 16 years ago when we were all seven children together with dear father. How happy we were; and tonight I sit so far from home and all alone.

Mary Dec 24

A few years after his mother’s death, James’ father married Jane Clare [online unsourced trees give a date of 29 May 1865; but given the age of their eldest child, they could have been together earlier]. By 1871 the pair had three daughters (the eldest age eight), residing with them in the Parish of Richibucto. Family letters imply that Jane was loathed by her step-children, and the feeling was mutual.  James’ elder brothers had departed the uncomfortable environment and gone to sea, while James’ sisters were sent to live with relatives; only James and John remained at home, working as laborers.

James 1871

The gay and gleeful childhood home described in sister Mary’s journal, was no more, likely driving James and John to join their brothers at sea.  In 1875 James sailed on the Merchant Fishing Vessel, Mary E. Daniels, out of Gloucester, Massachusetts.

daniel ship

 

map james

Sadly, on 3 Mar 1875,  James, a fisherman and boy of 21,  drowned someplace between Gloucester and Georges Bank (a large elevated area of the sea floor between Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia).  His death was recorded in Gloucester.

James death

James death notice, with tribute, was in the local paper:

James obit

“Lost at sea” is the ultimate tragedy.  Historians estimate that over 8,000 fisherman of Gloucester have perished since the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, at Cape Ann, in 1623.  Overall 1875 was a tough year:

James recap

About a month after James’ death, the Schooner Mary E. Daniels arrived from Georges with 115,000 pounds of codfish, one of the largest hauls of the season.

James fish

On 7 May 1875, brother Alexander writes of James death to his sister Mary:

….Dear sister, you wrote to me to know how brother James was lost, or if he will ever be found.  He was lost overboard about 50 miles from Cape Ann in the act of taking in the foresail in a gale of wind, and was not missed until a half an hour after. And he was then five or six miles astern. As for his body being found, that is impossible, for it is likely devoured by the finney tribe ere it was many hours in the water.  I have a photograph belonging to him that he had taken before he left Richibucto, and he has had some in Gloucester. And if I can find one of them I shall have some copied off to send to you and father….

letter from Alex page 1 letter from Alex page 2 letter from Alex page 3 letter from Alex envelope

His sister Mary, recorded the death in her bible and in her journal, sad thoughts on his birthdays:

Jmes and edith haines death

July 1 [1880]: This is another day to make me feel sad and gloomy, dear brother James’s birthday.  How I wish I could forget these sacred days.

James bday

July 1 [1881]:

This is poor dear James’s birthday, but he lies sleeping beneath the dark blue sea.

James bday 2

My Aunt Natalie and her sisters were poets, I suspect this tradition came from the Haines side of our family; Alexander Haines, wrote a poem of remembrance, for his sister Mary, date unknown:

My Brother

I had a brother James by name
And he loved most dear
But now he’s gone and left us here
To shed for him salt tears

He was a gay and brisk young youth
His heart ner harbored fear
But now he’s lost and left his friend
Tho for him shed many a tear

He’s but a boy in years yet a man
Both hardy, stout and brave
But now he lies with many more
On their wide and watery grave
It’s little I thought when amongst that crowd
I saw his smiling face
That in one short week he would sink in the deep
To be food for the finney race

On board of a vessel on Georges Bank
Was the crowd in the last verse named
But it’s little I thought when I saw him then
That I would ner see him again
The Mary E Daniels was the vessel that took
Him away from Cape Ann Shore
And that same vessel was the one that robbed
A father of a son he adored

by Alexander Hains, Gloucester

poem Jamespoem James2

Rest in Peace Young James……We Remember You Always.

Fisherman statue

The Haines Chicken Farm, Vallejo, California circa 1920

My 2nd g-grandfather, William John Haines, “John”, born  7 March 1856, Richibucto, Kent, New Brunswick, to John Haines/Hains and Alice/Alise Edith Childs, married Jennie Ferguson, daughter of Elizabeth Ferguson, on 8 Mar 1882 in Massachusetts.

John and Jennie had eight known children: Edith, John Galatis, Alexander, Ella May, Margaret Elizabeth, Joseph (who died as a child), Minnie and Jennie.  Much of their story can be found here

wj haines chart

A letter dated 20 March 1976 from John and Jennie’s’s granddaughter Ruth (Walsh) Frawley (daughter of Ella), to another granddaughter, Marion (daughter of John Galatis) reads:

…My mother did not seem to have much love for her mother; but her father was her pride and joy. John, her father, was a part time minister in the Congregation church at Orient Heights and a Chemist.  He invented disinfectant and had a small lab in the backyard. Jenny sold the formula to Cabot Chemists and that was the last straw. So they separated….[city directories indicate William John Haines was a “chemist”, working from home, 1906-1908]

After separation, John rented a room at 5 Dwight Street, Boston.

John Haines Dwight Street

In a letter to his sister, Mary Haines Stevens, 27 July [likely 1918] from Boston, John implies a breakup:

Dear Sis, have not heard from you in quite a while, did I offend by my strange statement about my son, but i want you to know he is no good [likely John Galatis Haines], he aided his mother to break me up in business and when they got possession of it, they began to rage each other and soon broke up, so you can understand how i feel towards them. i am now living a happy lonely life, hoping to hear from you soon, i remain your brother John.

letter from John to Mary

John and Mary’s siblings, George Haines and Lizzie Haines Heggland died, and the pair corresponded of jointly inherited property in California.

On 12 September [likely 1918] from Boston, John writes:

Dear Sis just rec[eived] your letter today was glad to hear from you, i had a letter and documents from your lawyer but i considered him insulting and did not answer him, but will sign and forward the papers to you, and if i should come you can give me a small corner on a rainy day, if i come i will fix it up for you.

my address is 5 Dwite St Boston care Mis Sulivan

i am rooming and take my meals in a restaurant, i am surprised that there is anything left from George’s estate, do what you think is best.  Edith is working in Lowell, will write a long letter next time, i am sending you back the envelope, you will laugh to see it, i have hid it away from everybody and enjoying good health and a fair share of the world’s goods.

i met the old lady the other day [Jenny ?], she turned her back on me, she has got quite vain, she dies [dyes] her hair brown, so you see what I am missing, believe me she is some babe.

i have a nice room and enjoy the evenings reading. my youngest boy is on a troop ship he has maid [made] a number of trips to France, my oldest boy is working in the fo__ river yard, they are launching a destroyer every four days, he gets 65 dollars a week, Minnie is working at a bank on State St, good by[e] for the present.

another letter 2letter page 2page 3page 4

Next on 30 September from Boston, John writes:

Dear sister Mary, just rec[eived] your two letters tonight , i am mailing you a quit claim on Lizzie’s land so the home will be yours, and make that man put everything back as it was. i think the fairest way to settle George’s land is for you to sell the land and divide it fifty fifty, if i should come out i will fix up your little home for you, if this propishing [? proposing/proposal] meets your approval go ahead and sell George’s land, i remain your brother John

another letter

On 2 October, John writes:

Dear sis i wrote that letter in hast[e] but on careful thought you had better sell the land in napa and reserve the other land, we can divy fifty fifty on the napa land for i may have Christmas din[n]er with you and then we can make plans for the future. your brother John

That was my son Alex’s letter [he encloses a letter he received from Alex who was aboard the Ticonderoga in WWI], he is on a troop ship, he has be[e]n acrost [across] a number of times. i mailed you the quit claim yesterday.

john pg 1 john pg 2

The next letter written was postmarked 17 October 1918, a few weeks after his son Alex was killed [read Alex’s story here: https://ticonderogashiplog.wordpress.com/]:

Dear Sis,

I am moving tomorrow near my work _ a steam heat, elec[tric] lights, write to Boston Consolidated Gas Co Everett, ____, Mass.

Use your own judgement about the property.

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

An undated letter, likely in the same time frame:

Dear Sis – Rec[eived] your letter i read the case of your cousins husband in the Boston paper and wondered who he was.  you can send the deed to me and i will have it filled out and send back. You can send the check to the gas works making it payable on the National Shaumut Bank of Boston.

Jenny is tooling around with Alice Emroe, the Emroes are a bad lot, there is only one good one among them, that is Jim, i have not seen him for years, your brother, John [James Ameraux/Emroe is the son of Patience Haines, John and Mary’s aunt]

john letter to sis

In a letter dated 7 Dec [likely that same year], John further expresses interested in coming to California and asks for a chicken:

Dear Sis rec[eived] your letter, i want you to come to Boston next summer and we will go to our Old home town and go back to Cal[ifornia] together. i have too [a] young couple who are going with me to settle down, he was in the navy and is very happy [?] he wants to buy that lot of land in Vallejo but i stared [steared] him of[f] as of i want him to go out and look the field over and then buy, his wife is an angel. How many foot of land is there in that lot, is it a corner lot or center lot.  Let the Napa land go for what you can get for it.  I am alone in the world, get me a chicken when I come, brother John.

john dec 7 letter pg 1 john dec 7 letter pg 2

In February [likely 1919] John writes again from Boston:

Dear sis just rec your letter tonight and am more prompt in answering, you are mistaking about me not coming, i am leaving boston the first of august, i lent a young couple two hundred dollars on a short loan, they were to raise a loan and pay me back, they could not raise the loan as they had no security to give so I told them they could pay me five dollars a week without interest, if i only get part of it by the first of august i will come, i have some stock in the company, i can turn into cash so i will have a little start when i get there, i shall perhaps come by water and see the canal, there are nothing here for me to stay for, remember me kindly to george and mildred, i remain your brother John.

I am sending you my identification card, it will tell the story.

feb letterpg 2 feb letter

Later in 1920, John made it to California.  Below he is pictured with his sister Mary and nephew (Mary’s grandson, Ralph Stevens)

Mary Steves her brother W John Haines nd grandson Ralph Stevens

In 1978, John’s nephew Ralph wrote to my Aunt Natalie (John’s granddaughter):

Note English cap and hanky in pocket – your Grandpa was a dude when he dressed, smoked long clay pipes, had neat pen knives.

FullSizeRender (22) FullSizeRender (20)

Ralph wrote a short narrative of his “favorite” Uncle John and the Chicken Ranch (which he describes as “Home Acres” between Vallejo and Benicia, opposite Catholic Cemetery):

chick farm map

…When Uncle William John inherited half interested in the house at 235 Wilson from Aunt Lizzie, generous brother that he was, he quit-claimed his interest to his sister [Mary]. He and grandma had an understanding that for his share he would have the privileged of living at the house, if he so chose. He was in Boston with his children at that time but soon decided to move to Vallejo.  Uncle John was my favorite man in those days and I shadowed him at every opportunity.

He told me wonderful stories about his many years at sea in the merchant fleet. He had been all over the world and shipwrecked several times. Also he was an expert whittler and bought me fancy jack-knives, which my mother promptly took away since I was only about five.  However she later gave them to me and I promptly lost them all. I remember my favorite one was shaped at the handle like a ladies leg. I remember when he came home with that one, my mother saying “What a thing to buy for a five year old”.

Despite Uncle John being such a neat guy, for some reason Grandma could not abide the old sailor and we inherited him at our house.  I was overjoyed that my favorite man would be living with us. Not so sure mother shared my anticipation, but good Christian that she always was, she agreed, and Uncle John came with his duffle and sea chest.

This raised a question. What could Uncle John be employed at age sixty plus. Dad’s brother John Robert [Stevens] wanted to move to California but had a really fine position with Deluth Railroad, with steady income, pension benefits and all the goodies that go with a middle executive position in a small but very stable railroad that hauled iron ore to the smelter year after year, from the world’s largest open pit mines in the world at that time.  But he and dad had a really good thought. We will set Uncle John up on a Chicken Ranch and Uncle Robert would move in and take over when it began to produce. But that is another story.

ralphs story

Robert Stevens wrote his mother often, and many times asked about the chickens, one example, 8 May 1922:

….How is everybody and the chickens? I suppose Uncle is having an awful time fighting disease and lice. Do not let him work too hard Mother as I know he would kill himself to make a success out of them.  He sure is a good old scout and we sure miss him. When are they figuring on buying new chicks?…

letter from bob to mom

Ralph when writing of his grandmother Mary adds more of his Uncle John and the ranch:

…They decided on a chicken ranch as a family business. Mary arranged for her retired brother William John Haines to move to Vallejo to start the business. [Mary’s] Son George purchased a small ranch between Vallejo and Benicia and stocked it with 5,000 chickens, and Uncle John, an old sailor man, was not a good manager, as he was well into his sixties.  The ranch did not do well….

IMG_4683

What Ralph neglects to mention is the “Rooster Story” as relayed to me by his daughter Catherine:

As a small boy, about age six, it was Ralph’s “job” to feed the hens. He was terrified of the rooster [a farm typically just had one rooster] who went after him daily.  His father suggested that he carry a stick to protect himself. Ralph, far from dainty, took it a step further.  He brought a two by four! The rooster was beaten to death. Boy was everyone mad!

a1ef9694-a1fc-4680-8ed4-573b0e9ac1a8

77eacff2-0421-41cb-8bc6-94c57592ee50 212f7f25-3a98-4b2a-a5b3-c4553093971e

Chicken farm

We do not know much more of the Haines/Stevens farm, but historically in the early 1900’s, families who had flocks of this size sold eggs as their primary income source (the average chicken would lay between 80-150 eggs per year). Chicken meat was a delicacy being reserved for special occasions and holidays only (although as an adult Ralph had an aversion to chicken; anytime a chicken died or was injured from becoming stuck in the coop wire, they would have to eat it – apparently he was made to eat plenty in his younger days!).

After his sister Mary’s death in 1924, John returned to Boston where he resided with his son John’s family and a few years later with his daughter Ella’s family, until his death, 21 October 1939.

 

Genealogy Cousin Sharing, Haines/Dunn/Childs

This week I traveled to California to meet my third cousin, once removed, Catherine, and her 92 year old mom, Peggy. Peggy’s husband, Ralph Stevens, was a nephew of my gg-grandfather, William John Haines, through his sister, Mary (Haines) Stevens.

Peggy and Catherinepeggy and Lina

In the 1970’s Peggy and Ralph discovered their love of genealogy.  They typed hundreds of letters, read through microfilms, ordered documents, placed ads in magazines seeking cousins and visited libraries, cemeteries and ancestral homes.  They never used a computer. Ever.

peggy nd ralph.jpg

Through ads, they connected with my Aunt Natalie, our family genealogist, in 1978.  The pair became long distance cousin-friends sharing not only genealogy, but children’s accomplishments, life’s challenges, Christmas cards and ultimately of the death of Natalie’s husband Ed in 1984.  Ralph passed in 1990 and Peggy found the hobby now lonely, without a partner to share discoveries.  She hasn’t revisited their work in 25 years.

Over the years, Ralph, Peggy and Catherine corresponded with loads of cousins. Apparently I was the first to visit!   I had a wonderful stay and loved hearing family stories, sharing meals, seeing artifacts and meeting the cats; I believe we will become cousin-friends too.

They shared over 1,800 documents!  No that’s not a typo – I scanned 1,800 letters and photos in two days!  There was more.  I ran out of time.  I estimate that it will take me over 500 hours to go through what they have generously shared.

My Aunt Natalie had a few brick walls.  One of her biggest? She was unable to identify the parents of Alice Edith Childs, wife of John Hains/Haynes, my 3rd  g-grandmother.

I haven’t uncovered a document that names Alice Edith Childs parents, but indirect evidence, when correlated, appears to point to Joseph Childs of England and Jannet Dunn of Dumfriesshire, Scotland – as discussed in a previous blog post – click here to read

group sheet chart

Although also indirect evidence, a letter in the Stevens’ files from Jessie (Dunn) Allan written to Ralph’s grandmother Mary (Haines) Stevens definitively points to our Childs/Dunn connection:

56 Williams St.
Moncton N.B.
Feb. 22, [19]25
Dear Mrs Stevens,

I remember you very well indeed when you used to come to our old home in Harcourt and have often wondered where you were now living.

I have before me a letter from you to my cousin Robert Richardson (who died in June 1922).

His wife gave me the letter some months ago, I said I would write you, as she was not well, and with a great deal of care on her mind since my cousin’s death.

And I am ashamed that so long a time has gone by without my having written, my life is a busy one, but that is not sufficient excuse.  I should have taken time for it and am really sorry for my neglect.

In reply to your enquiry as of the purpose of his trip to Scotland, it was not his mother’s family’s money that he inherited.

It was his share of his father’s, the Richardson estate which he came into when he came of age, and that was the business which took him there.

There has never been any of the Dunn estate come to any of the heirs. We have always understood that there was some property held be the crown, but no one of the connection has ever been able to find out anything very definite about it.  In these unclaimed estate cases there is always so much expense, and so much red tape in order to prove claims, that it is a weighty undertaking and no one ever had the necessary means to spend on it.

Your uncle, Robert Childs, made an effort, I believe, I remember that he wanted the heirs to contribute to a fund to send someone over, but it never came to anything.  However it seems that he made the trip on his own resources some time later (so I was told by Myra Quint McLean, who visited us eight years ago) but he did not get anything by it.

Myra could tell you more than I could, really did not think much more about it never having attached much importance to it as those old country fortunes are usually so hard to materialize.  Myra was living in Spokane when I last heard of her in poor health. I do not know her address but I think I might be able to get it for you through some of the Christy connection as John Christy’s widow and son live somewhere near there I think.

Or there is a Mrs McMillan (I think that is the name) living in Vancouver who may know something about Robert Childs trip to Scotland.  She is your first cousin, a daughter of Alex Morton.

Well now, that is about all that I know to tell you and it is not of very much encouragement is it.

We have a baby photograph of one of your daughters, Edith, sent us in the days when you lived in Marquette.

My old home was broken up years ago, after my father’s death in 1909.

We passed through much sorrow in a few years.  My sister Mariela died in 1907, my father in 1909.  Mariela’s only child, a young man, in 1910 and my sister Isabel in 1911.  Isabel left a son he is working in the Government Railway Offices here.  Isabel’s husband and I were married four years ago. And we with Gilchrist, the son, have been living here for three years.  My mother lived to be nearly eighty nine and enjoyed good health up to the last year of her life.

My brother Stephen has four children, all married except for the youngest who teaches in Winnipeg. Last summer she went on the Teachers Exchange and has been teaching in London, England. Since then she will soon be coming home now as the exchange is just for the year.  Her Christmas holidays were spent in Italy so she is seeing something of the world.

Now, I must close this lengthy epistle and hope it finds you in good health, I should be please to hear from you at any time and would try to do better in replying than I have this time.

With kind remembrance I am yours affectionately,

Jessie Dunn Allan

People Named in the Letter

Particulars of folks named in the letter, further corroborate this Childs/Dunn presumption:

Jessie [Payne] Dunn Allan, writer of the letter, names her parents as Andrew Dunn and Jane Quint, when she marries George Howe Allan in 1921.

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Andrew Dunn’s obituary (dated 1909) lists his parents as Robert Dunn and Janet Armstrong.  Robert Dunn (see my earlier referenced blog post) is likely the brother or cousin of Jannet (Dunn) Childs.

Andrew Dunn obit.png

Robert Childs

Robert, named as Mary’s uncle in the letter, appears in the 1861 censuses with his likely parents Joseph and Janet Childs.  Mary Haines, granddaughter,  resides with them. They were enumerated in Richibucto, Kent, New Brunswick  (http://tinyurl.com/lltgpj9).

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

Alex Morton

Mary (Haines) Stevens kept a diary [transcribed and published by her grandson Ralph Stevens and his wife Peggy] recording events of the three year period  (1880-1883) she was employed by Mrs. Richard H. Dana of Boston . Mrs Dana was the former Edith Longfellow, daughter of Professor Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of Cambridge. Mary was nurse to Edith’s two sons Dicky and Harry. Mary wrote frequently of her family..

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She mentions the following:

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

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

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

Myra Quint McLean

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

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

Robert Richardson

Robert’s death certificate (dated 1922) reveals that Robert’s middle name is Dunn.  His mother was Margaret Dunn, likely a daughter to Robert Dunn, thus as she indicates, a cousin to Jessie Dunn Allan.

death certificate richardson

So there you have it!  Off to add all these folks to my tree and read through more documents!

Five Generation Chart

Genealogists on Facebook have been posting five generation charts, which show the birthplace of  their ancestors through gg-grandparents. J Paul Hawthorne inspired the idea, and Miriam Robbins posted an Excel template here.

Here’s mine!

I have color coded by state/country.  If after gg-grandparents my ancestors were in the United States or Canada, I indicated where the earliest known ancestor from that branch came from.

Linda Chart.png

 

And here is my hubby’s:

John Little

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