Archive for the ‘Ferguson’ Category

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!!!!” (click here for post about Aunt Natalie).

This post tells what I know of Jennie Ferguson’s life (click here).

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

** Jennie’s birth year ?

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

jennie-ferguson-haines

Jennie relocated to Boston in the late 1870’s or early 1880’s where she likely was employed as a servant. She married there on 7 March 1882. Her husband was William John “John” Haines, born 7 Mar 1856 in Richibucto, son of John Haines/Hains and Alice Edith Childs. They likely knew each other before arrival in Boston, from Richibucto, as Jennie was a best friend to John’s sister Mary Haines (according to Mary’s diary).  The marriage record names Jennie’s parents as John and Elizabeth. The Rev. John Hood, who married them, is listed in Boston City Directories in that time period at United Presbyterian, corner of Berkeley and Chandler Streets (the church record of this marriage has not been located).

An entry in Mary Haines’s diary reads:

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

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

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

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

Other children’s names may offer clues: Ella May, Margaret Elizabeth, Minnie and Jennie (Edith, Alexander, John 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? Minnie has not been identified in records, but there was a Gordon family who resided near or next door to Elizabeth (Potts) Ferguson, Jennie’s probable grandmother, in 1861 in Weldford, Kent New Brunswick.

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

1861 Ferguson Family

In Weldford Parish, Kent, New Brunswick, 1861 (census page 27), an Elizabeth Ferguson was enumerated with her “brother” Archibald and his two nieces, 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. Mary Haines’ diary circa 1880-1883 mentions her visit home to Weldford.

south branch

1861

Right next door to Archibald Ferguson 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 as neighbors, between the Ferguson and Haines families.

Two pages away, and thus likely nearby, in this same census (page 25), listed just after the family of Thomas Gordon, is Elizabeth Ferguson, of the age to be Elizabeth and Archibald’s mother, 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 in 1932 where he names his parents as William Ferguson and Betsy Potts, he writes that his mother had 6 children, all of whom were living.  If Elizabeth had eight children, 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.  Or if his statement is accurate, it is possible two of these children were not born to Elizabeth (a land deed, discussed later in this narrative, names children 2-8 as heirs of William Ferguson).

Side note: Robert 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 could be her husbands (although there was a land deed filed in Weldford, 18 October 1844 where William Ferguson and his wife Betty sell land to John Graham – the deed reads that William appear on this date, if accurate he could not have passed six months prior to his appearance).  Jannet (Dunn) Childs, mother to Alice Edith Childs and James Childs, grandmother to William John Hains was 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

Elizabeth’s 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:

Andrew 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 probably 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).

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 his g-grand niece, 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), Sarah Jean (1919-1930)  and Hattie (1922-2011) before he died in 1923.  Elizabeth Mitchell mother, Elizabeth Mary Haywood was the daughter of James Childs’ sister, Jane Childs.

Jennie’s best friend, Mary Haines’s grandson Ralph Stevens, inherited a photo from Mary’s collection.  Sender is unknown. 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 her 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 may have considered them half siblings.

Billy and Bertha

I do not have a handwriting sample of Jennie, but do have James’ signature;  the “Childs” written on the photo differs slightly, James 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, however the handwriting is not different enough to say it the note on the photo was not written by him:

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 if there were one.

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 seems to have had a child named John Graham and she is buried next to Simon’s second wife Mabel Plume.  They could be 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 a maternal uncle.

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 October 2016 – We have a DNA match!!!!!!  The tree of a 94 year old tester, J.F., states he is the grandson of Archibald Ferguson, son of William Ferguson and Elizabeth Potts!!!  We mutually match four testers who have not responded to my inquiries (one with a 56 CM match and three in the 20-27 cM range), three of them have no family tree and the fourth has a sparse tree with no similar surnames or locations.

The largest shared match (56 cM) has an Acadian screen name.  When I select “in common with” I get 10 pages of Ancestry matches (thus a connection to my mother and not Jennie who is on my dad’s side)!  Same with one of the other smaller matches. The other two matches and I only have J.F. in common.

J.F. shares 68 cMs with me across 4 segments on Ancestry.com, thus about 1%  (he is not on GEDMATCH so I have been unable to identify specific segments).  A match of this size would predict us being about third cousins, so second cousins three times removed essentially falls into this range.

J.F.’s other lines were reviewed.  He does have a number of French surnames, many of which are likely Acadian. We do not have any common matches back 5 generations on those lines. My mother is 50% Acadian, it is possible that we have common ancestors many generations back.  Given that we only have matches in common with four other testers (and I have about 1,400 Acadian 4th cousin or closer matches on Ancestry.com), despite endogamy, it is unlikely that Acadian ancestors back more than 5 generations could contribute such a high percentage of DNA and if it did, we might expect to see a number of smaller segments vs. just matching on four.

I have hopes that the tester will eventually upload to GEDMATCH (my mother’s results are there) so that I can further prove or disprove matches to my maternal Acadian line, and perhaps increase confidence this is a true Ferguson match.

UPDATE March 2017: My paternal uncle’s results are in!!  He would be a second cousin 2x removed to this tester if my theory is correct.  My uncle shares 183 centimorgans across 7 DNA segments. Second cousins 2x removed on average share 81 cMs, but the range (according to Blaine Bettenger) is 0-201.  dna test

The testers grandson also tested (thus my 4th cousin 1x removed and my uncle’s 4th cousin).  I do not share any DNA with the grandson, however my uncle shares 39 centimorgans across 3 DNA segments (average is typically 31 with a range of 0-90 according to Blaine’s chart).

One of Jennie’s grandchildren  has also tested and results are pending.

In summary, Jennie’s grandparents were most likely William Ferguson and Elizabeth Potts and Archibald was likely her uncle.  One of William and Elizabeth’s children was likely a parent to Jennie.  Although not proven, information seems to suggest that her mother might have been Elizabeth.

52 Ancestors, Week #19, Was Jennie a Tyrant??

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

Jennie/Jenny (Ferguson) Haines was my paternal grandmother’s paternal grandmother.

Jenny tree

jennie ferguson haines

Jennie Ferguson Haines

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Marion Haines White (Jennie’s granddaughter, left), Jennie Ferguson Haines (middle), unknown homemaker/friend (right)

Jennie was likely born in Richibucto, Kent, New Brunswick, Canada (according to daughter Jennie’s death certificate, all other records specify a generic birthplace of New Brunswick) about 1858 (although records place her birth between 1856 and 1864**) to John and Elizabeth.  She relocated to Boston in the late 1870’s or early 1880’s where likely she worked as a servant.

Jennie's death

In 1880, a Jennie Ferguson, age 22 of New Brunswick was listed as a servant residing at 96 West Newton Street, Boston (today known as South Boston).  None of the other residents were of New Brunswick. She does not appear in Boston city directories in the 1878-1882 time frame, and may not have held this job long.

1880

She married in Boston, on 7 March 1882, William John “John” Haines, then a carpenter (he had many occupations), born 7 Mar 1856 in Richibucto to John Hains and Alice Edith Childs. They likely knew each other before arrival in Boston, from Richibucto, as Jennie was very good friends with John’s sister Mary.

fee8c17d-1efc-4db2-99f4-6d618098c15c

Mary Haines, a nanny for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s grandsons, recorded in her journal a number of entries mentioning Jennie, including a description of the wedding:

1 October 1880 – “My sister is in Boston and also friend Jenny”.

25 December 1880 – “Christmas Day. I went out this afternoon with Jenny. Mrs. and Mr. Dana went to Cambridge with Dicky to lunch with his Grandpapa, Mr. Longfellow, and I had the afternoon to myself. I went in the evening to see the Christmas tree in Mr. Hamilton’s church; then went to the skating rink with Minnie Gordon and Jenny Ferguson two of my dearest friends in Boston. The band played and they all waltzed around on their skates”. 

6 January 1881 – “Jenny Ferguson and I went to see her [Mary’s sister]. She is much better and able to be up”.

2 February 1881 – “My sister and Jenny are going to a party tonight while I am left behind. I have seen the day when I would not be left behind. How sad I felt as I clasped on Jenny’s neck the chain and locket my dear brother has often clasped on my own neck”.

10 August 1881 – “I went to Boston today. It was an awfully hot day. I went out to Jamaica Plain. Saw Jenny”.

8 December 1881 – “Still no letter from Jennie Ferguson. How I wish she would come. Oh dear, how lonely I am”. 

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 with the Dana family soon after Longfellow’s death]

Jenny marriage

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

Jenny's children

children

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

1900 census

1910 census

Although they never divorced, Jennie and John separated. According to notes from Mary Haines descendants, Ralph and Peggy Stevens, John relocated for a time to live with his sister Mary in Vallejo, Solano, California, where he ran their chicken farm, while Jennie perhaps moved to Billerica, Massachusetts.

letter

Jennie sold the house 2 July 1913 to her son-in-law Albert Walsh (Ella’s husband).  John gave his daughter Jennie power of attorney.

power of atty

 

house sale

Neither Jennie nor John is found in the 1920 or 1930 censuses.

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 was Ella May Haines. Her father was William John Haines (I think). He was always called John, the William was never used, so I am not positive of the authenticity. However the William John sounds familiar.  He was married to Jennie Ferguson. It is a Scotch name [The name Ferguson is an Anglicization of the Gaelic “Macfhearghus”, son of Fergus, a personal name of old Celtic origin, Dumfries Fergusons claim descent from Fergus, Prince of Galloway]. Apparently her mother was Irish and her father was Scotch, as my mother said she was Scotch Irish. William John, her husband was English decent. 

Jenny Ferguson Haines was reddish blond and Catholic [John and Jennie were married by a United Presbyterian minister], had a violent temper and we were led to believe she was a tyrant and a kook. 

In June of 1936, this theory proved to be true. I did not know my grandmother, I thought of her as someone out of a story book. A character. I had an important date to go to a prom and a strange person came walking down the street and I called my mother to tell her that her mother was coming (I thought I was being funny, as she fit the picture I had in my mind about her). Low and behold she came to our door and it was she, the character lady, and she turned out to be exactly as I was led to believe. 

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.

City directory

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.  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. 

Grandma Haines [Jennie] was always on the move; but I think she claimed residency in Billerica. She died first and had a cemetery lot paid for. I know that when grandfather was told of Jenny’s death he died shortly afterwards and was buried in the same plot with his wife….

In a letter dated 2 January 1979, Jennie’s granddaughter Natalie (another daughter of John Galatis Haines) writes:

natalie letter

An excerpt from Wikipedia indicates that there may have been some truth to the story of Jennie selling her husband’s invention: “Samuel Cabot IV studied chemistry at MIT and Zurich Polytechnic (now ETH Zurich). After visiting factories in Europe, he was inspired to work on coal-tar based products. He set up a laboratory in Chelsea, Massachusetts and his brother Godfrey joined him in 1882. They produced household disinfectant, sheep dip, wood preservatives, and shingle strain using coal tar that was a by-product of the gas works in Boston”.  

Interestingly, a man of the same name, Samuel Cabot, held the Haines mortgage of $662.42 on Wordsworth Street. John & Jennie were to pay him $2.50 weekly plus 6% interest.

Nothing more is known of Jennie’s life.  Her granddaughter Natalie writes: “Jennie who died in her 80’s was living alone in a small house in rural Billerica, supported by two of her sons-in-law and a small Gold Star pension she swindled from her son Alec’s young widow Ina (he died aboard the Ticonderoga in 1918). Jennie was estranged from her daughters”. 

Craig Scott, G.G. (a professional genealogical and historical researcher for more than twenty-eight years, he specializes in the records of the National Archives, especially those that relate to the military),  writes in 2014: “Been thinking about this. What probably happened was a War Risk Insurance payout. There were no pensions, that I know of for WWI for guys who died. Just the insurance policy much like they have today. Those records were destroyed. However, I have seen the beneficiary forms in VA records. So you might try the VA, even though he died”.

Jennie died 19 April 1938.  No obituary was found in the Boston papers or the Lowell Sun. The funeral home no longer has records from that time frame. No probate record was located in Middlesex or Suffolk, Massachusetts Counties. The death notice reads that she was “of Pinehurst Billerica”.  The “Certificate of Death”, gives her residence as 523 Columbus Ave., Boston;  Cause of death: br pneumonia & cardiac decompression. Her daughter Minnie was the informant and did not know the names of Jennie’s parents.  Jennie is buried with John at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Arlington, Massachusetts, ‘Q’ section, plot #566.

death notice

death cert grave

That’s it… I was unable to locate any record of Jennie in New Brunswick – there is no evidence of parents, siblings or cousins, where are they?  Was she unloved as a child? Did it cause her to become a tyrant?  According to one granddaughter, she helped sick friends and neighbors – could she have been all bad?  Her husband John loved her as did his sister Mary.  Did the financial pressures of a large family cause her to break? Or perhaps the effects of losing three children; her young son Joseph [no death record has been located, but the 1900 census states she gave birth to 8 children, 7 are living], her daughter Jennie, at age 22, of influenza followed by lobar pneumonia and her son Alexander, who at age 31, died in WWI, aboard the steamship Ticonderga, which was torpedoed while on her way to France.

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** 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

UPDATE: Another blog post with a theory of Jennie’s birth family here.

Solving a Mystery by Looking for Collateral Relatives!

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

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

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

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

group sheet chart

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

Here’s what I know:

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

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

UPDATE: May 2016 – new facts related to Alice –  Blog Post – Losing a Mom, Alice/Alise Edith Childs

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

group sheet

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

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Photos courtesy John Childs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She mentions the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Dunn 60
Uphemy Childs 29
James Raynalds 22

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

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John Haines writes a letter to his daughter in Feb 1895, presumably Mary as the letter was found in a collection belonging to her grandson. In 1895 Mary was living in Michigan.  John writes, “Remember me to the family and your aunt Euphemia and family” (based on census data, it appears Euphemia Childs may have been residing in Wisconsin in 1895).

aunt-dead

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

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An old online message board post reads as follows:

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

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

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

(3)  Christopher Childs, abt. 1829 – 1891: he was Presbyterian, lived in Richibucto  in 1871 and had children named Janet, Joseph, Euphemia, Margaret, Elizabeth, Christopher & John (all similar family names). He married Elizabeth Crossman. In 1881 brothers Christopher & Robert Childs were living next door to one another in Richibucto;  the 1891 Richibucto census lists a father of England and mother from Scotland; he died in 1891, no parents are named.

(4) Elizabeth (Childs) Davis, abt. 1830 – 1912: she was born in New Brunswick and names her parents as Joseph Childs (born England) and Jannet (born Scotland) in her New Hampshire marriage record 18 May 1875. Her husband (Benjamin Davis) died in Concord, NH on 3 Jul 1885 and is listed as a widower. She was 45 when they married, it does not appear that they had children together (Benjamin’s will lists children Benjamin and Augusta – he was married at least 3 imes). She is later found as Elizabeth Knapp living with her brother James in BC in 1911. Her 1912 death record lists her as a widow and names her parents as Joseph Childs and Jean Dunn.

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

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

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

(8) Nicholas Childs (female), abt. 1837 – 1919: listed with parents Jannet/Joseph in 1861 census, father Joseph in 1871 & living with her brother James in 1901 and 1911 in Westminster, British Columbia.

(9) James Childs, abt. 1840 – 1923: listed with father Joseph in 1871 census – in 1881 he is living in Weldford with his wife Elizabeth Ferguson, listed as Presbyterian, dad is from England, mother from Scotland and has sons named James, Joseph & John (all similar family names – although John might be Elizabeth’s son). In 1901 he is living with his wife and sister Nicholas in Westminster, British Columbia. In 1911, James is with his wife and sisters Nicholas and Elizabeth in BC, all listed of English origin. In 1913, Elizabeth died and he married second Elizabeth Mitchell; they had three children, one of whom was named Janet Bertha Edith.  The marriage record names James’ parents as Joseph Childs and Janet Dunn. In 1921 he and his family were enumerated in New Brunswick; the document claims his parents were born in Scotland. His 1923 death certificate names his father as Joseph born in Scotland.

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

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

UPDATE!!!

In the summer of 2014, my husband and I visited Richibucto.

Richibucto

We visited the cemetery and found that the graves of Jannet and Edith Alice are indeed very close together.

alice and Jannet

UPDATE June 2016:

And we have a DNA Match!!  On Ancestry DNA, user aoife3 matches my DNA as a predicted cousin. The match is Euphemia (Childs) Quint, I am in the process of verifying this line but it looks promising!

Childs DNA Match

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