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:]:

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):

william and Ralph.jpg

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

FullSizeRender (22) FullSizeRender (20)

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

chick farm map

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

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

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

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

ralphs story

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

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

letter from bob to mom

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

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


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!


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

Chicken farm

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

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


Genealogy Cousin Sharing, Haines/Dunn/Childs

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

Peggy and Catherinepeggy and Lina

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

peggy nd ralph.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

group sheet chart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With kind remembrance I am yours affectionately,

Jessie Dunn Allan

People Named in the Letter

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

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


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  (

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..


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 (
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 (
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 (

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.


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 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.


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….

Major Brian Hall married to Polly/Mary Lane


Major Brian and Polly, sometimes called Mary (Lane) Hall were my 4th g-grandparents.

Brian Hall tree

Early Life

Major Brian (Briant, Bryant) Hall was likely born in Norton, Massachusetts around 10 April 1763 to Brian Hall and Abiah Crossman.

brian birth

When, his father died in 1778, Brian was just 15.

Brian is mentioned in father’s will and probate records.

brian will.png

He is referred to as “second surviving son, a miner” [minor]:

Duly we left of to Brian Hall a miner the second surviving son of said deceased Eleven acres and seventy three rods of land at the South end of the home farm bounded as follows Beginning at a large stump in the line of the widow third thence by the widow third to Josiah Hodges Land Hence. South twenty nine degrees East to Silvanus Branans Land thence by said Bramans Land north sixty six degrees east fifty two rods to a corner thence north thirty five degrees west eight and a half rods to a turn thence a straight line to the first mentioned stump together with one half the dwelling house to wit the with half and one half the cellar under said house and privilege to pass and repass through the other part of the house necessary to improve his own part and privilege to use the well and one half of the barn and all an __ Buildings Standing behind said Dwelling house with Liberty to move it off all which buildings being on the widows thirds. Said Brian to have the liberty to improve the same and also Eighteen acres and one hundred and twenty two rods of Land on the north west corner of the Lincoln farm lying on the West side of the road bounded as follows . Beginning at a heap of stones by said road a little to the South of a small brook thence west twelve degrees south forty eight rods to a corner thence south three and a half degrees East to the river thence up stream said river to Noah Wiswalls [?] Land thence by said Wiswall Land north twenty three degrees west forty four and a half rods to a corner thence North fifty four degrees east twenty one rods to a turn thence north seventy degrees east to the road thence by said road to the first mentioned corner and one third part of all the outland or any other Estate not particularly mentioned that was given to sons by the deceased being his full share of said estate appraised at one hundred seventy one pounds twelve shillings and eleven pence.

Ephraim Burr, relationship unknown, was named as Brian’s, and his brother Silas’ guardian in 1782. This wasn’t a “guardian” in today’s sense. Burr was appointed as guardian because there was an estate involved. Ephraim would not likely have legal custody of the children, just legal authority over the property they inherited.

Why not to Abiah? The Legal Genealogist’s blog explains – In Blackstone “Commentaries on the Laws of England” he writes: “a mother … is entitled to no power, but only to reverence and respect…”

The Legal Genealogist goes on to say:

…At common law, there were three essential types of guardians….The guardian by nature or guardian for nurture had the right to physical custody of a minor child. That was always the father or, if the father died without naming a guardian in his will, then the mother.The difference between the two was that the guardianship by nature lasted to age 21 and gave the guardian control over the child’s personal property. Guardianship for nurture lasted to age 14 and didn’t involve property at all. The guardian in socage was the one who had custody of a minor’s lands and person…. (read more here):

brian and Silas

What About School?

We don’t know if Brian attended school. Puritans believed literacy was a religious obligation, thus most children were taught to read by their parents, primarily so they could read the bible.  Any further education was typically determined by the social class of the family. Brian’s elder brother Isaac was our family’s first Harvard graduate in 1775, and both Isaac and Brian became Attorneys, so it is highly likely all the Hall boys were well educated.

A 1647 Massachusetts law mandated that every town of 50 or more families support a ‘petty'(elementary) school and every town of 100 or more families support a Latin, or grammar, school where a few boys could learn Latin in preparation for college, the ministry or law. In 1770, Boston’s public education system was quite unequal and narrow. School was available only to white boys, who typically enrolled at age seven. Choices were either Writing Schools or Latin Schools. It is also possible that in lieu of attending school the boys had private home tutors.


Brian married Polly (Polley/ sometimes named as Mary) Lane, 1 Jan 1788 (by Rev. Joseph Palmer), daughter of Ephraim Lane of Norton. The Lane family genealogy links her to William Lane who settled in Dorchester, MA as early as 1635. The family was thought to come from England.

brian Polly marriage

A land deed filed in Taunton on 23 December 1796 (vol 79, pg 569, recorded March 28, 1801) names Isaac White, wife Mehetable, Brian Hall, wife Polly and Chloe Lane (single woman) all of Norton selling land to Ephraim Lane also of Norton. The deed explains that this is piece of land that was left by William Stone to his heirs, one of whom was his daughter Mehetable Lane.  Mehetable is the late wife of the purchaser, Ephraim Lane, who is buying said land from three of her children/heirs, named as Mehetable White, Polly Hall and Chloe Lane. Witnesses are Nancy Hall, Silas Hall, Polly Lane and Ruth Phillips.

Later Years

According to “The Halls of New England” Brian was a farmer and landholder. There are numerous deeds registered in Bristol County with Brian Hall, as the seller of land, most in Norton with Polly Hall signing as his wife, giving up her right’s of dower/widow’s thirds. Brian is listed with the title “Esqr” indicating he was an Attorney.

Index images for Bristol County, Massachusetts include land deeds for Brian who married Polly (d. 1833), his father Brian who married Abiah (d. 1778) and son Brian who married Henrietta (d. 1839).

Grantor Index (seller), Excel summary: Deeds Brian Hall

brian grantor

Grantee Index (buyer)

Brian Grantee index

Revolutionary War and Town Involvement

Brian volunteered at an early age in the Revolution, he served for three months in a Company of State Militia, in Capt. Jabez Barney’s company, from Swansea, attached to Col. Luke Drury’s Regiment, in the expedition to West Point, 1781.

Colonel Luke Drury’s regiment was in charge of guarding the garrison at West Point, New York, a critical point in the navigation of the Hudson River. West Point was an area of strategic importance throughout the war as the Americans feared the Hudson River would be used by the British to separate New England from the rest of the colonies.

The time frame was during the siege at Yorktown, the last major battle of the American Revolution, when Cornwallis surrendered there on 19 October 1781.


Brian revolution

job freeman testimony

Brian subsequently became a member of the Norton Artillery Company in the old 4th Regiment. On 20 April 1797 he was promoted to Major. Brian and his sons were not among the list of Norton participants in the War of 1812 (History of Norton).  Brian was close to age 50 and all of his son, except Isaac, minors.

Brian took a leading position in public affairs as Town Moderator (1805, 1810, 1812), a member of the Board of Assessors for about twenty years (between 1795 and 1816), Selectman (1802, 1805, 1807-10), Representative in General Court (1809, 1812-13) and was appointed  Justice of the Peace, 21 June 1809. He was a prominent adviser in town and county affairs, and a member of the old Congregational Society.


Brian 1815

Norton – Town Assessors

1795…..Brig. Silas Cobb, Elisha Cobb, Brian Hall.
1796…..Noah Clap, Elisha Cobb, Brian Hall.
1797…..Noah Clap, Brian Hall, Joshua Pond.
1798…..Joshua Pond, Noah Clap, Brian Hall.
1799…..Timothy Briggs, jun., William Burt, Capt.Jonathan Hodges.
1800…..Major Brian Hall, Lieut.. John Hall, Capt.Jonathan Hodges.
1801…..Capt. Jonathan Hodges, Major Brian Hall, Lt.Elisha Cobb, Lt. Rufus Hodges, Lt. Samuel Hunt.
1802…..Major Brian Hall, Lieut. Elisha Cobb, Capt.Samuel Hunt.
1803…..Brian Hall, Samuel Hunt, David Arnold.
1804…..Major Brian Hall, Capt. Samuel Hunt, John Arnold.
1805…..Major Brian Hall, Capt. Samuel Hunt, John Arnold.
1806…..John Arnold, William Verry, Brian Hall.
1807…..Major Brian Hall, Lieut. William Verry, Lieut.John Hall.
1808…..Brian Hall, William Verry, Samuel Hunt.
1809…..Brian Hall, William Verry, Samuel Hunt.
1810…..Brian Hall, Samuel Hunt, William Verry.
1811…..Brian Hall, Samuel Hunt, William Verry.
1812…..Brian Hall, William Verry, Samuel Hunt.
1813…..Brian Hall, Isaac Hodges, Samuel Hunt.
1814…..Seth Hodges, Daniel Smith, Jonathan Newland.
1815…..Brian Hall, Isaac Hodges, Samuel Hunt.

Brian in 1797 became a Mason.


Census data 

In 1790, Bryant Hall was enumerated in Norton, Massachusetts next to his widowed mother, Abiah Hall. Brian would have been 27, and is listed in a household with one male child under 16 (Isaac) and two women (wife Polly and daughter Polly).  Benjamin Stanley was enumerated directly after Brian. Benjamin was the father of Nancy Stanley, who became Brian’s sister-in-law by marrying Silas. Polly’s father Ephraim Lane was enumerated a few households away.

The town of Norton had 195 dwelling houses and 1,428 residents.

1790 census

In 1800, Brian is listed in Norton with a household of 9. In this year Polly had given birth to only 6 of the 8 children. The 9th family member is listed as a female age 26-45.  The census enumerator alphabetized the town, thus we can not determine who may have been Brian’s neighbors.  His brothers Silas and John 3rd were also listed in the Hall grouping. Abiah was not listed and does not seem to be enumerated with Silas or John 3rd.  She could possibly be the 9th individual in Brian’s household, enumerated in the wrong age bracket.

Under ten years of age – 2 (Brian age 3, Milton age 1)
Of ten and under sixteen – 1 (Isaac age 10)
Of twenty-six and under forty-five, including heads of families – 1 (Brian)
Under ten years of age– 2 (Sophia age 8, Marcia age 6)
Of ten and under sixteen – 1 (Polly age 12)
Of twenty-six and under forty-five, including heads of families – 2 (Polly & ??)

1800 census

In 1810, Brian is listed in Norton with a household of 10 next to Abiah and Silas.

Under ten years of age – 2 (Horatio age 8, Ephraim age 6)
Of ten and under sixteen – 2 (Brian age 13, Milton age 11)
Of sixteen and under twenty six – 1 (Isaac age 20)
Of forty-five and upward – 1 (Brian)

Ten and under sixteen – 1 (Polly age 12)
Sixteen, under twenty six–2 (Sophia age 18, Marcia age 16)
Of forty-five and upward – 1 (Polly)

1810 census

In 1820 the Briant (spelled Briatt) Hall household is listed as having 7 people. There are two extra females, one under age 10 and another between ages 10 and sixteen. The census was again alphabetized, thus giving us no insight to who may have been neighbors.

Ten and under sixteen years – 1 (Ephraim)
Sixteen and under twenty-six– 1 (Horatio or Brian or Milton – none of the boys were found enumerated elsewhere)
Forty-five and upwards– 1 (Brian)

Under ten years – 1 (???)
Ten and under sixteen years – 1 (???)
Sixteen and under twenty-six– 1 (Sophia or Marcia?)
forty-five and upwards– 1 (Polly)

1820 census

A letter written to support his brother’s application for a pension (below) indicates Brian relocated to Providence, Rhode Island in 1821. The reason for his move is unknown, but it appears that he and all of his children (all grown men and women) relocated to the area near Providence and Seekonk.

In 1830, Brian was recorded in Providence East Side of River, Providence, Rhode Island

Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9 (1 – ??? perhaps Augustus Hall, born about 1824, who in later years is found residing with Brian’s daughter Sophia and her husband Horatio Barney – his parents are unknown)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29 (2 – Horatio & Ephraim)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39 (2 – Brian & ??? – Milton and Isaac are listed at alternate addresses in the 1830 city directory)
Free White Persons – Males – 60 thru 69 (1 – Brian)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39 (1 – likely Polly who never married)
Free White Persons – Females – 60 thru 69 (1 – Polly)
White Persons – Aliens – Foreigners not Naturalized (1 – ???)
Total Free White Persons (8)

1830 directory

hope Street

Letter Regarding his Brother John Hall

When Brian’s brother John applied for a Revolutionary War pension, Brian wrote an undated letter [likely 1833] as follows:

I Brian Hall of Providence in the County of Providence and State of Rhode Island do testify and say that I am in my seventieth year of age, that I well remember John Hall of Norton in the County of Bristol & Commonwealth of Massachusetts that in 1776 said John Hall enlisted in the month of January in the Company of Capt Silas Cobb and marched to winter Hill and from there to Dorchester Heights [?] and was in Service until the British troops evacuated Boston. —- after serving three months That said John Hall in July 1776 again enlisted in Capt. Samuel Whites company and were ordered to New York then he returned home the winter following after serving five months.

In June or July 1777 said John Hall again enlisted in Capt. Silas Cobbs company and was ordered to Swanzy [Swansea] in said county of Bristol to guard that shore and that he was in General Spencer’s expeditions to Rhode Island and served seven months.

In July 1778 the said John Hall again enlisted in Capt. Samuel Whites company and was ordered on to Rhode Island and was in General Sullivans [?] expedition and served four months.

In June 1780 s[ai]d John Hall again enlisted in Captain Abner Howard Company and marched on to West Point, was stationed there and served six months.

In October & November 1778 John Hall engaged with one Norton a Waggon Master that he drove his Fathers Team  and was employed in Transporting Articles for the army at Providence and served two months.

I further testify and say that I the said Brian Hall was born in said Norton and always lived in said town until 1821 when I moved to Providence.  Brian Hall



Brian died on Jan 14, 1833 in Providence, Rhode Island.

HALL Maj. Brian, formerly of Norton, Mass., at Providence, in 70th year, soldier of the Revolution, Jan. 13, 1833 – THE RHODE ISLAND AMERICAN


He and Polly are said to be buried in Norton Common Cemetery [although a visit here did not find them in the family grave site with Brian and Abiah and siblings Seth, Isaac & Prudence], West Main Street Rt 123 near Olympia Street or elsewhere.

In the 1836 Providence City directory, a widowed Polly is found residing at India Point, the same address as a few of her sons.

Polly 1836

india point

No death record has been located, the The Halls of New England states Polly died 3 April 1846.

No probate records were located in Massachusetts or Rhode Island for Brian or Polly.


(1) Polly was born in Norton, 28 June 28, 1788.  Polly died 27 August 1834, single, at age 46 in Providence, Rhode Island.  The same article tells us that her mother’s sister,  Chloe Lane, age 76, also single, died the same day.  Nothing more is known of Polly’s life.

Polly death providence

(2) Isaac was born in Norton, 24 October 1790.

Isaac seemed to have a bit of an issue with money, he was committed to the Providence County Jail for debts owed in Sept., Oct. & Nov. 1825 – more here Isaac Hall Prison Committments – Debtor. He is listed in Providence the 1830 & 1832 directories as a laborer residing on Angell St., however he was not found in the 1830, 1840 or 1850 census.

It is possible that Isaac had a child Augustus, born about 1824.  Augustus, a fisherman, and Isaac, a laborer, are found residing in the home of Isaac’s sister Sophia Barney in Seekonk, Massachusetts in 1855.  Augustus resided with the Barney’s through at least 1880. He was enumerated as a fisherman, running an oyster saloon and a laborer. He had epilepsy. His birth/death records have not been located.

In 1865, Isaac, a laborer, was found as an inmate in the Norton, Massachusetts almshouse. He died of “old age”, single, 16 Dec 1869 in Norton, Massachusetts. His death record lists him as a farmer.

(3) Sophia was born 1 August 1792.  Sophia married Horatio Barney of Seekonk, son of Israel (a marriage record was not located but Horatio Barney and wife are listed as heirs in her brother Brian’s probate records). A land deed transfering land in India Point from several Hall siblings to their brother Milton is recorded in Rhode Island where a Horatio Barney is listed as husband to Sophy, signed as Sophia (vol 77, pg 184, March 1838).

No record has been located, however Halls of New England claims that they had a child, Ephraim H. (who died age 1); Vital records and censuses name a son Briant Hall Barney b. 1831 (he is called Israel B. in 1855). He married Sarah J Goff of Rehoboth and had at least eight children. He died 11 April 1904 in Providence.

Sophia died 11 March 1862.

Horatio remarried six months later to Ardelia A Evans.  They had two children. Mary Sophia who died after five days and Delia Maria who married Charles Carpenter.

(4) Marsha was born in Norton, 10 December 1794. She married George Samuel Sutton of Seekonk. A land deed is recorded in Rhode Island where a George Samuel Sutton is listed as her husband (vol 77, pg 184, March 1838, see Sophia above). A second land deed is recorded in Rhode Island where Marcia purchases 1/7 of the land previously owned by Brian Hall (her brother) and Henrietta Huchins in India Point (vol 77, pg 61, November 1839). Marcia Sutton is listed as married to Samuel Sutton of Seekonk.

Hall’s of New England states that she had 3 children: Marcia M. (died age 2); George L. (married Mary Eddy & Mary Brayton); Mary H. (married Nathaniel Stanton, W.H. Trim & Victor Broughton).  George and Mary are listed as part of the family in the 1850 census.  George’s marriage to Mary Eddy, daughter of Comfort, was recorded 22 Jun 1856 in Seekonk, they had a child Georgianna.

Marsha is said to have died November 16, 1862 at age 67. No record of this has been located.

(5) Brian was born 24 May 1797.  Brian married Henrietta Huchins, of Providence, daughter of Richard. She is mentioned as his wife, giving up rights of dower in numerous land deeds through 1838, a year before his death.  They had a baby age in February 1835 who died at 2 weeks of age.

Brian & Henrietta own a piece of land called India Point in Seekonk (after his death we find siblings Horatio & Ephraim L. and widow Polly living here). Seekonk was at times part of Rhode Island and part of Massachusetts in the area of East Providence. The portion of what was Seekonk is now Providence, Rhode Island situated at the mouth of the Seekonk and Providence rivers and at the head of Narragansett Bay, Providence quickly went from a poor farming community to a bustling seaport in the colonial era.

In March of 1838 Brian sells the land to his brother Ephraim L. Hall. The land is then resold to various siblings as described below. Prior to these transactions brothers Ephraim Lane, Horatio and a widowed Polly were living on this land.

Rhode Island, book 70, pg 415: Brian Hall and wife Henrietta of Seekonk sell for $1,000 to Ephraim L Hall of Providence on March 10,1838 land at so called India Point 20×80 feet plus a house of the same lot Josiah B____ (?) purchased of John Brown Esq by deed book 24, page 273 in the records of Providence.

Rhode Island, book 77, pg 38: Ephraim L. Hall of Providence for $200 sells in Nov 29, 1839 to Milton Hall of Providence 1/7th of land at so called India Point 20×80 feet plus a house of the same estate he purchased from Brian and Henrietta Hall in March 1838.

Rhode Island, book 77, pg 50: Ephraim L. Hall of Providence for $200 sells in Nov 29, 1839 to Horatio Hall of Seekonk 1/7th of land at so called India Point 20×80 feet plus a house of the same estate he purchased from Brian and Henrietta Hall in March 1838.

Rhode Island, book 77, pg 50: Horatio Hall of Seekonk for $200 sells in March 9, 1840 to Milton Hall Providence of 1/7th of land at so called India Point 20×80 feet plus a house of the same estate he purchased from Brian and Henrietta Hall in March 1838. Note that this is about the time that Horatio moved to Malden, MA.

Rhode Island, book 77, pg 61: Ephraim L. Hall of Providence for $200 sells in Nov 29, 1839 to Isaac Hall of Providence 1/4th of land at so called India Point 20×80 feet plus a house of the same estate he purchased from Brian and Henrietta Hall in March 1838.

Rhode Island, book 77, pg 61: Ephraim L. Hall of Providence for $200 sells in Nov 1839 to Marcia Sutton wife of Samuel Sutton of Seekonk 1/7th of land at so called India Point 20×80 feet plus a house of the same estate he purchased from Brian and Henrietta Hall in March 1838.

Rhode Island, book 77, pg 184: Polly Hall of Providence, Isaac Hall of Providence, George Sutton and wife Marcia of Seekonk, Horatio Barney and wife Sophy of Providence for $200 sell (no date but filed Mar 28, 1840) to Milton Hall of Providence 1/7th of land at so called India Point 20×80 feet plus a house of the same estate which Ephraim L Hall purchased from Brian and Henrietta Hall in March 10, 1838.

Henrietta Hall b. about 1796 died on 11 March 1838 and is buried at the same cemetery where Brian is buried a year later.

HISTORICAL CEMETERY #: PV001 NORTH BURIAL GROUND, Providence, RI Location: 20 ft west of NORTH MAIN ST at TEL pole # 140 100,000 burials with 40000 inscriptions from 1711 to 2000

A marriage intention in Seekonk was made between a Brian Hall and Lucy Mason about a year later on 23 March 1839. There is no marriage record found. Five days later Brian died on 28 March 1839 at age 42.

Brian’s brother Horatio had two daughters (one died at age 5) that were named Lucy Mason Hall. There is a Mason mentioned in Brian’s inventory as owing $3.00 and his probate records mentions property owned near the Mason’s. A few years later on March 13, 1842 another intention in Seekonk is found between Lucy Mason and Abel Cooper.

Partial transcription of Brian’s probate records can be found here, all of his siblings are named as heirs.  Additional details of his life were documented in another blog post here.

(6) Milton was born 19 October 1799. He married, 20 Nov 1824, Rosanna Pitman b. England who likely died young. No further information has been located (Halls of New England, which is riddled with errors, lists a maiden name of Cheney, which may be an associated name or maybe just be an error) .

Milton Pittman marriage

They had one child, Milton L. P., b. June 1826, who married Ellen Maria Dart, in Wrentham, he became a Boot Maker and later Postmaster, they had 3 children: William Pitman, Edward Milton and Emma Carrie Dart.

Milton Pittman death

On 24 April 1849, Milton was issued a Seaman’s Protection Certificate in Rhode Island.  He was listed as being born in Norton, age 45 with a dark complexion.


By 1850 he is a miner in  Tuolumne, California, living at Don Pedro’s Bar (one of the most famous gold mining centers).

Milton resided in California for several years, returned to the East Coast and married, 1 June 1856, Ursula Maria Vose of Wrentham, daughter of Stephen Vose (he is listed as a laborer and reports it is his second marriage).

Milton marriage 2

They had one child Harrison Vose “Harry” (who married Annette B Dupee of Medfield and had at least three children – Marion Inez, Frances Dupee, who died as an infant, and Bertha Annette). In 1860 & 1870 Harrison and his mom are found residing in Wrentham, 1860/5 with his grandparents and in 1870 with his grandfather. The 1865 state census Ursula Maria is noted as “married”.  In 1880 & 1900, mother and son are residing together, his mother is noted as “widowed”.

Family lore claims that Milton return to California.  In 1860 through at least 1866, he is a miner in Don Pedro Bar, Tuolumne, California and by 1870 a miner in Mariposa, California.  In 1872 when he registered to vote in Mariposa, he was listed as the Tollkeeper for Myler’s Bridge.

Milton toll keeper

He possibly died there, no death record was located.

(7) Horatio is my 3rd g-grandfather whose life is outlined in a separate blog entry here

(8) Ephraim Lane was born 16 October 1804. He married Lydia Woodward of Rehoboth, daughter of Samuel, and had no known children. He was residing on Hope Street, Providence as early as 1830 and in later years India Point with an occupation of “furnace”. The 1860 census has him in Providence, Rhode Island as a “toll keeper”. Lydia died in Seekonk 17 Feb 1865; in 1865 Ephraim was residing with a Ross family in Seekonk.

His death was recorded in Norton and lists him as a mechanic, he died on 22 January 1870, from diabetes, at the age of 66.  His death records lists him as “married”, however no record was located indicating a second marriage.

In summary, descendants of Brian Hall and Polly Lane came from Sophia, Marcia, Milton and Horatio.  Additionally, Augustus Hall, who likely never married or had children, was probably also a grandchild, parents unknown.


My Acadian 30 – week #15, Nathalie Sarah Boudreau


In 2007, I joined  It never occurred to me that online, unsourced trees were inaccurate.  I essentially “copied” my entire Acadian family from potentially erroneous public trees and never looked back.  Although my newer entries are sourced, a visit to Stephen A. White, at Moncton University’s Centre d’Études Acadiennes [Center for Acadian Studies] in 2014,  revealed a number of errors. I am determined to start from scratch, and verify that I have all available records beginning with the 30 direct ancestors, connected to my maternal grandmother. This includes her parents, grandparents, g-grandparents and g-g-grandparents.

yvonne roy

To keep the project manageable, I will write of one ancestor in each post.

Prior Weeks (click on a name to read the sketch)

Generation 1

Week #1 – Yvonne Marie (Roy) Billings

Generation 2

Week #2 – Pius/Paul Dost Roy

Week #3 –  Marie Laura “Laura” Melanson

Generation 3

Week #4 –  Docité OR Dosithée Roy

Week #5 – Victoire LeBlanc

Week #6 – Magloire Melanson

Week #7 – Ausithe/Osite Dupuis

Generation 4

Week #8 – Joseph Roy/Roi (King)

Week #9 – (Judith) Angélique Belliveau

Week #10 – Georges LeBlanc

Week #11 – Madeleine LeBlanc

Week #12 – Laurent Melanson

Week #13 – Pélagie Leger

Week # 14 – Jean-Bénoni DuPuis

15. Nathalie Sarah Boudreau, likely the daughter of Thaddee Boudreau and Louise/Lucille Melanson, was probably born in April in either 1826/7 or 1828 in Memramcook, Westmorland, New Brunswick, Canada.

There is no baptismal record at Memramcook during any of these years of a Nathalie Boudreau, or of any other Nathalie who might have been known by the name Boudreau.(however her civil death record dated 1908, indicates she was born at Memramcook eighty-one years earlier). The 1901 census puts her birth at April 1826, rather than 1827, and the 1861 census places her birth in 1828).

Renowned Acadian genealogist Stephen A. White and my mtDNA results offer evidence of Nathalie’s parentage, Stephen writes:

There were only four Boudreau families in Memramcook who were having children in 1828, and among these, that of Thaddée Boudreau and Lucille Melanson appears to be the only one with a “gap” in which Nathalie might have been born, and this “gap” coincides with early 1828. (They were married in January 1827, but their first previously known child was born near the end of 1829.) So, it looks like Nathalie could have been a daughter of that couple, and that the priest for some reason forgot to
record her baptism. Thaddée and Lucille also had a daughter named Domithilde, who in 1857 married Denis Dupuis, another son of Joseph Dupuis and Anne Richard. As multiple intermarriages among Acadian families were common, this makes it seem all the more plausible that Nathalie was likewise a daughter of Thaddée and Lucille.

If the above suppositions are correct, then your maternal-line ancestry would run back to Geneviève Lefranc through Apolline Forest (m Joseph Melanson), Anne Bourque (m to Paul Forest), Marie Thériot (m Jean-Baptiste Bourque), Marguerite Cormier (m Claude Thériot), Marguerite LeBlanc (m François Cormier), and Catherine Hébert(m Jacques LeBlanc). Catherine was of course the daughter of Geneviève Lefranc and Antoine Hébert.

My mtDNA results do match those of other testers (nine as of this posting, but with one mutation, 16189C ) who report lineage to Geneviève Lefranc (all trees have been verified): click here  to view mtDNA results at compiled by Lucie LeBlanc Consentino.


mtdna results

mtdna linda.png

Nathalie is not with this family in 1851, nor was she located elsewhere in the Canadian census returns.

If she is part of this family, her known siblings include:

  • Henriette baptized 26 Oct 1829 in Memramcook, married Olivier Moise Bourgeois, died 22 March 1899 in Memramcook.
  • Domitille baptized 4 June 1832 in Memramcook (listed with the family in 1851 census)
  • Osite baptized 15 December 1834 in Memramcook (listed with the family in 1851 census)
  • Euphémie baptized 28 Aug 1837 in Memramcook (listed with the family in 1851 census)
  • Delfin born bout 1840 (listed with the family in 1851/61 censuses)
  • Ferdinand born about 1844 (listed with the family in 1851/61/71 censuses), by 1900 he was residing in Fitchburg, Massachusetts where he died 11 November 1917. He married Domitilde Gautreau, according to death records, daughter of Thaddee Gautreau and Marguerite Melanson. She died in 1913.

Fernand death.jpg

  • Rosanna born bout 1851 (listed with the family in 1851 census)

She married Bénoni Dupuis at Memramcock on 3 August 1852.

nathalie marriage

Known children included:

  • Eustache, baptized Memramcook, 30 Jun 1854 [8-64]; appears on a farm in Malakoff with his parents, brother’s Ferdinand’s family and finally Phillias’ family; no marriage or children found; likely died 10 Apr 1914 in Scoudouc (laborer, died of dropsy after six months illness – record here).
  • Marie, baptized Memramcook, 13 May 1857 [8-131]; buried Memramcook 14 April 1868  [M-53].
  • Ferdinand, twin, baptized Memramcook, 15 Nov 1859 [9-20]; married Olive Melanson, daughter of Laurent Melanson and Pelagie Leger (his sister Osite married Olive’s brother); he was buried 1890 at Scoudouc, age 30 [record here].
  • Phillias #1, twin, baptized Memramcook, 15 Nov 1859 [9-20]; buried Memramcook 25 Dec 1859 [9-24]
  • Phillias #2, baptized Memramcook, 15 Jun 1862 [9-90]; married Adeline Melanson, daughter of Hippolyte Melanson and Anne Melanson; in 1911 he was enumerated on the farm in Malakoff.  He likely died 5 Dec 1918, in Malacoff, age 56 from Influenza.
  • Antoine, baptized Memramcook, 16 Oct 1864 [9-174]; buried 1876 Scoudouc, age 12 [record here].
  • Ausithe/Osite, baptized Memramcook 16 Jun 1867 [M-27A] – see sketch week #7.
  • Marie Bibianne, baptized Scoudouc 15 Mar 1871 [15]; married Jaddus Melanson, son of Pierre Melanson and Madeleine LeBlanc, in Scoudouc. She died 1 Dec 1950 in Springhill Jct., Cumberland, Nova Scotia from Breast Cancer (record here).

1861 Census – see Benoni’s sketch for images/details.

In 1861, Benoni, Nathalie and their three children, with several of Joseph’s siblings, resided on a farm adjacent to his father’s, in Scoudouc, which in 1866 became known as Malakoff (by 1898 Malakoff was a farming and lumbering settlement with 1 store and a population of 150 so it was likely a smaller community in 1861).

1871 Census – see Benoni’s sketch for images/details.

In 1871, the family is enumerated on the same farm.

1881 Census

Benoni died between 1871 and 1881, likely after 1875.  His death entry has not been located in parish or civil records. Nathalie Sarah’s father Thaddee passed away on 15 October 1875, in Memramcook, New Brunswick, at the age of 70.

In 1881, a widowed Nathalie is enumerated in the household of her son Ferdinand along with several of her children, in Scoudouc at Dorchester Road, Shediac Parish, a farm which Ferdinand had purchased of his father in 1875, for two hundred pounds. Ferdinand later took a mortgage on the land; which was noted as land in Malakoff.

The census microfilm is unreadable in places, the family is indexed on as:

Ferdinand 20, farmer
Natallie  53, [Nathalie]
Eustash  26, farm laborer [Eustache]
Phillias  18, farm laborer [Philias]
Osite  14, [Ausithe]
Bibienne  9, [Bibianne]

1881 Nathalie

1891 Census

Her son Ferdinand passed away on 17 September 1890, in Scoudouc, New Brunswick, at the age of 30.

By 1891, Nathalie  resides with her son Philias’ who appears to be running her deceased husband’s farm with his young family.  Her son Eustache and her daughter Ausithe Melanson and their families reside nearby (or perhaps on the same farm). The census notes that Nathalie can not read.

Philias, 27
Adeline,  27
Adnas, 2
Elizabette, 8/12
Natalie, 64

1891 Nathlie

1901 Census

Her daughter Osite/Ausithe passed away on 28 August 1897, in Scoudouc, New Brunswick, at the age of 30. Nathalie resided next door to her young grandchildren by Ausithe, Laura and Melesse Melanson who were ages five and two. Nathalie’s  mother Lucille Louise passed away on 27 September 1898, in New Brunswick, at the age of 95.

In 1901, Nathalie  continued to reside with her son Philias and his family on the farm.  Her son Eustache resides with them:

Philias, 36
Deline, 36
Edna, 12
Honoré, 9
Celine, 5
Arthur, 3
Zelda, 2
Nathalie, 74
Eustache, 40

1901 census


Nathalie died on 07 May 1908 of “general disease” in Scoudouc, Westmorland, New Brunswick, Canada.

nathalie death

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