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.

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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….

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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!

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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

Remembering Little Arthur Collins and his Family

135 years ago this month, three-year old Arthur Collins died.  He is not related, but the words in Mary (Haines) Stevens’s diary, my gg-grandfather’s sister, touched me:

Feb 3 1881: This is dear little Arthur’s birthday; a dear child I once took care of. He is three years old today;

Mar 15 1881: Received a letter from Mr. Collins which hastens me to the death bed of little Arthur;

Mar 19 1881: A telegram came this evening telling me of his death;

Mar 21 1881: I followed the remains of little Arthur to its last resting place and gazed on his dear little face for the last time. As I saw him lay in his little casket, I felt as if I could not have it so. He was covered with flowers. I took a lovely basket of white roses and smilacks.

Mar 21 1882: One year ago today dear little Arthur was buried.

Mar 22 1882: I had Mrs. Collins, dear little Arthur’s mama, to see me.

Massachusetts Vital Records report that Arthur died in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts of Meningitis.

arthur death

Arthur’s parents were Edward Augustus Collins and Sarah Elizabeth Powers, both born in Salem. The couple married 27 August 1868.  Edward, a Civil War veteran, was the son of James Collins and Hannah Bickford Larrabee.  Sarah the daughter of Joel Powars (Powers) and Eliza Francis.

marriage

Arthur was the couple’s fourth loss.  Other children:

  • Frank A. Collins died 1 December 1871; 13 days old, of nervous prostration (extreme mental and physical fatigue caused by excessive emotional stress; neurasthenia)
  • Frank P. Collins died 5 October 1873;  1 year, 10 months, 19 days, of dysentery
  • A stillborn brother, unnamed, died 13 Oct 1876.

Little Arthur’s life was recorded in only one census – in 1880, he was two.

arthur 1880

Edward who was 5’8″ with a light complexion, brown hair and blue eyes, collected a small Civil War pension (initially $4/month, later $10) for serving in Company A, 23rd Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers from 4 Sept 1861 to 11 May 1863 when he was honorably discharged (he also served another 90 days of service between May and August 1864). He claimed this service caused near deafness after the battle of New Bern (14 Mar 1862, North Carolina). He does clarify that: “at home he can hear what his wife says by having learned the notion of her likes”.  He further complains of hemorrhoids and internal bleeding.

collins civil war

In a handwritten letter he describes his service and disability:

page 1 page 22

During his life, he worked as a seaman/mariner, ran a small grocery, worked as a barber and ship chandler. He died suddenly,in 1895, of heart disease, at Salem Harbor while rowing a boat.  He was 57.

death.png

death collins

In 1900, his widow, Sarah, age 62, was living in Salem with her brother Charles Powars, he petitioned on her behalf for a widow’s pension.

She owned two homes – 38 Essex Street, Salem valued at $3,100 with a $1,000 mortgage (a portion rented at $11/month) and 46 English Street, Salem, valued at $1,500 (rented at $10/month).  Her annual rental income was $252 annually; $70 was needed to cover costs of city taxes, water, etc., leaving her just $182 for repairs and to support herself.  She is unable to work due to physical disability.

Brother

tax Salem

Her claim was denied, the determination that she was not in need of additional income.

She never remarried. She died of Chronic Bright’s disease, 5 May 1905, age 63.

Remember little Arthur; remember his parents who buried their four children….how many lives this family, now forgotten, must have touched….

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 a house in Billerica;
  • If she is really the Jane Ferguson in the 1861 Canadian census, her age was 4, thus she was b. abt 1857

jennie-ferguson-haines

Jennie relocated to Boston in the late 1870’s where she initially was employed as a servant. She married there, 7 March 1882, 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 her 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.

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”.

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 (also Galatis).  Jennie named her first son John Glatis Haines.  Glatis is not a name that was used in the Haines family, so perhaps it is linked to the Fergusons.

Records were examined in New Brunswick and no individuals with a surname like “Garfield” or “Glatis/Galatis” seemed to be associated with Fergusons. Both surnames 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 parternal gg-grandmother. Yesterday, I posted her story (read here) on a New Brunswick Genealogy Facebook page. A reader pointed to a potential Presbyterian Ferguson family that I had not considered.

1861 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.

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?)

delayed birth.jpg

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.

land deeds ferguson.jpg

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

land purchase.png

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 in likely 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].

map.png

Weldford Scots.png

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 year 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

 

 

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