Posts Tagged ‘Haines’

A Sailor’s Story; the sinking of the Ticonderoga

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

Dear Sis,

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

Your brother John.

Letter to Mary from John

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

ticonderoga photo

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

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

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

 

A short history of the Ticonderoga quotes several survivors:

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

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Frank Muller writes:

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

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

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

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

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

Muller’s story continues:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Muller’s story continues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bark_Stifinder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

discharge paper

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

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

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

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Source Citation

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

Source Information

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

Original data:

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

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

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

New York Tribune

 

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

Epilogue:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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His obituary reads:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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].

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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.

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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.

Saving the Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Grandson

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

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

may 28 3.jpg

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

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

284px-Longfellow_National_Historic_Site,_Cambridge,_Massachusetts

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

Marys chart

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

Mary 1880.png

mt vernon

bus card.png

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

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

The following day she adds:

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

Then on 1 Sepember 1880

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pictured below, Mary with Dicky and Harry:

SCAN1115SCAN1116

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On 24 March 1882 she writes:

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

Longfellow article.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

on 11 August she writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

boatship manifest

The journal comes to an end:

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

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

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

Edith Dana writes from Cambridge, 15 October:

Dear Alice,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you will write to me.

Yours very truly

Edith L. Dana

dana letter.jpg

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

Alice Longfellow sent a painting as a gift.

picture letter.jpg

wedding gift

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

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

Drawing to Mary [Allie] from Dicky:

A year after their European voyage, Edith writes saying:

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

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

year later letter

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

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

jenniejennie2

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

Dana Edith

Dana children 1893:

dana children.jpg

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

UPDATE August 2016:

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

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

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

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION

Haines Family Lore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Annie Elizabeth Morell (nee Haines)

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Land on Wall Street? 

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

wbbm-1018-cash

East Boston
15 March 1895
Mrs Lizzie Higgeland

Dear Daughter

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

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

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

John Hains

letter page 1letter page 2

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

trinity church

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

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

Image1

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

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

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

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

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

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

lawsuit

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

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

The “Real” Haines Story As Written by Others

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

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

Excerpt (to read the full article click HainesArticle).

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

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

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

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

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

Godfrey grave

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

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

HAINS

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

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

The book reads:

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

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

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Ropewalk

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

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

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

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

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

Principles of making a three strand rope

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Direct Line Ancestor

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

Margaret Hains

Joseph died in 1783.

Joseph death 1793Joseph death 1793 2

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

margaret's sons

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

haines Saunders marriage
Joseph Haines marriage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

margaret's death

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

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

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

CLICK TO ENLARGE

map-harrison

1868 map

2015 map

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

To The Honourable The Commissioners

appointed to examine the Claims of Persons

who have suffered in their Rights, Properties

& Professions during the late unhappy

dissensions in America, in consequence of

their Loyalty to His Majesty, and

Attachment to the British Government &c.

&c. &c.

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

County in the province of New-Brunswick

Most humbly shews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joseph Hains

Fredericton March 28th 1786.

——————————————————————————————————————————–

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

St. Mary’s 15th Jany. 87

Sir

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

I have the Honor to be with Great Respect

Your Most Obt.

hum. Ser.

Joseph Haines

Peter Hunter Esq.

Sec’ry

Commissioners

——————————————————————————————————————————–

St John 20th March 1787

Evidence on the Claim of Joseph Haines

Late of New York

Claimant Sworn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

——————————————————————————————————————————–

Timothy Witmore Sworn

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

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

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

He and his family were very Loyal.

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

page 1 claimpage 2 claimpage 3 claim

amount claimed 2amount claimed 3amount claimed 4amount claimed

Land Grants in New Brunswick

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

Joseph Haines Land Grants

Haines NB Land grant

Haines NB Land grant2

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

Haines deeds York

William Miller, Who Reportedly Took the Haines Land

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

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

For Example:

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

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

Interesting Developments

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

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

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

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

test

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

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

record-image_TH-1971-32715-20595-39

record-image_TH-1942-32715-20900-7

Joseph Haines, junior probate

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

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

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

boone map

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

Loyalist William Boone

During the American Revolution, conservative estimates claim that 10-15% of settlers in the thirteen colonies (or about a quarter of a million people), remained loyal to Great Britain (other historians quote figures upwards of 30%).  Since the winning side writes the history books, Loyalists are typically portrayed as traitors.  In reality, the Loyalists were simply loyal to their government.

loyalists

Loyalists came from every class and walk of life, with varying reasons for loyalty to the Crown.  Some had business interests in England and believed the connection guaranteed them a secure life with wealth and property; others chose sides based on specific events happening in their own communities; some had emotional ties to their mother country; and others were simply fearful of the British Army as there was a high probability that the British would prevail and later persecute the rebels.  Some choose the British side because their military was large and strong, thus offering protection against indians, pirates and other insurgents.

A common theme was the apprehension of replacing a stable and seemingly successful government with democracy, which they believe to be a form of mob rule, and thus a breakdown of law and order which would likely result in chaos. Although the King was said to be a tyrant, Reverend Mather Byles said it best: “Which is better – to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?”

In 1783,  upon the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which recognized the independence of the United States, exiled Loyalists returned to England or settled in another British colony. About 35,600, primarily English-speaking, Loyalist refugees fled, with few possessions, to the then isolated and untamed areas of Nova Scotia. At the time, Nova Scotia’s population was about 53,000, thus one can imagine the impact on demographics.

To each family, Nova Scotia authorities granted adequate food and clothing for two years, 200 to 1,200 acres of land and farm implements. The Loyalists initially resided in tents while they cleared the land, erected a house and barn and worked to produce crops to sustain themselves and their livestock while enduring harsh winters. They had access to the river only in the few months it wasn’t frozen. The wife of one soldier recalled:

We pitched our tents in the shelter of the woods and tried to cover them with spruce boughs. We used stones for fireplaces. Our tents had no floors but the ground… how we lived through that winter, I barely know…

There are many tales of the hardships faced by New Brunswick Loyalists. After that first hard winter of 1783, however, most New Brunswick Loyalists probably took the attitude expressed by Edward Winslow, just being pleased not to be ” in danger of starving, freezing, or being blown into the Bay of Fundy”

The Loyalists wished to separate from Nova Scotia; they felt that the government represented the Yankee population who had been sympathetic to the now Americans. The British administrators felt that the capital, Halifax, was too far away from the developing territory to allow proper governance. Thus, on 16 August 1784, the colony of New Brunswick was created, with Sir Thomas Carleton as its first governor.

Among this group, was the family of my 5th g-grandfather, William Boone.

boone tree

f066ecc5-5e2c-4327-8275-71c859ade292

William Boone was likely born to Mary Wightman and Samuel Boone, a Loyalist who was captured at Manor St George on Long Island by Major Bemjamin Tallmadge and taken as a prisoner to Camp Security in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Peter Force Papers, Series IX, Reel 105, p. 334), where he likely died, perhaps during the fever outbreak that hit the camp in 1782/3 killing many (history here) .

In the book Graveyards of North Kingstown, Rhode Island by Althea H. McAleer, is a transcription of Mary (Wightman) Boone’s tombstone, from work done by Harris, who visited on 28 Feb 1880, and referred to the cemetery as the “Old Boone Yard.”

“ Here lies interred Mary Boone consort of Samuel Boone Esq. He lies interred at Lemchester [likely Lancaster].  She died Sept. 12, 1782 in the 68th year of her age.”

William married Ruth Hill, 21 May 1761, in Rhode Island, and by 1774, according to census data, the couple resided on a farm in Exeter with eight children. His parents and several siblings resided nearby in North Kingston.

william marriage

boone

exeter

A genealogist  (year of writings unknown) documented much of their history. Below are some extracts posted to an ancestry message board. The writings are unsourced, but it seems that the writer had access to the family bible. We do not have access to the original, nor do we know who made entries in the bible and how long they were made after actual events. The names do match up to those listed in Boone’s will. The list includes two children who died at a young age, perhaps indicating that the writer had first hand knowledge.

THE HISTORY OF THE FLEWELLING FAMILY, OR, MY ANCESTORS
GEORGE HAVELOCK FLEWELLING, and others

THE BOONE FAMILY

William Boone Sr.1743-1829

William Boone and his wife, whose maiden name was Ruth Hayward [Ruth’s maiden name was actually Hill], natives of Suffolk County, England, came to America and settled about the year 1765 [unlikely – he was probably born in Rhode Island, where record of his parents marriage is found]. They were people of considerable means and importance, their lands comprising most of the site of the present city of Providence, Rhode Island. The title deeds of which remained in the Boone family, and were finally in care of Mrs. Robert Allen (a direct descendant); but were destroyed when their home on the Hanwell Road [in Fredericton] was burned a few years ago.

William Boone and family were compelled to abandon their home and property in common with others who remained loyal to the Old Flag at the close of the war, and came to New Brunswick in 1783 [other records state that the property was taken from him].  Arriving at St. John, where they remained for a time, we find him applying for lands first at Swan Creek in 1786; and the next year, on the Oromocto River, where he remained for a few years.

Part of his family, who by that time were mostly grown up, settled there; but he not being entirely suited with the location, removed later with some of the family to the Keswick [River], receiving a grant of some 868 acres of land, at what is now Burtt’s Corner.  His first house being built on the farm now owned by Thomas Fowler, and standing just back of Charles Inch’s residence.

He and his wife spent the remainder of their days there and are both buried in the Baptist Cemetery at Burtt’s Corner. Suitable monuments mark both graves. They had a large family, and below is the record as copied from the Family Bible.

Name  Born  Married  Died
William Boone  Aug. 22, 1743 none listed  April 28, 1829
Ruth  Feb. 25, 1744 none listed  May 12, 1833
Children
John  July 12, 1762 none listed none listed
 Samuel  March 9, 1764   March 21, 1785  Nov. 4, 1848
 William Jr  June 22, 1766  March 17, 1788  Nov. 17, 1849
 Hannah   Feb. 26, 1768  Dec. 8, 1788  June 17, 1860
 Mary  April 26, 1770 none listed  March 9, 1840
 Lucy  Aug. 5, 1772  Jan., 1805  Aug. 13, 1842
 Henry  July 4, 1774  June 8, 1798  June 14, 1846
 Wightman  Feb. 26, 1776 none listed  Dec. 12, 1778
 Howe  Dec. 12, 1777 none listed  Dec. 12, 1777
 James (Rev.)  May 8, 1780  Oct. 7, 1806  Oct. 23, 1865
 Elizabeth  Nov. 3, 1783 none listed   July 6, 1800
 George Sr. June 6, 1785  Oct. 18, 1809   Jan. 13, 1861
 Anna March 17, 1787  Oct. 14, 1842  Feb. 23, 1881

.

Travel to Canada

Other records confirm that Boone’s property at Rhode Island was confiscated; and further state he was imprisoned for twenty months after serving in the Hazard’s Corps (Refugees-irregulars who served without pay or uniforms and provided firewood, food, etc., to British establishments, to earn money).

“William Boon”, a Rhode Island farmer, his wife and six of their children (two under the age of ten) are recorded as passengers on the ship “Union”.  A Samuel Boon is also recorded, probably William’s brother, who’s wife and child remained behind in Rhode Island:

The Union was part of the “Spring Fleet” and departed from Huntington Bay on April 16th with the “Kingston Loyalists” and proceeded to New York, where forty-three of the passengers disembarked on April 23rd. The Union sailed for New Brunswick on April 24th with the remaining one hundred and sixty-four passengers. (this list indicates 209 passengers) The Union arrived at Partridge Island, NB on May 10th, and was moored at St. John on May 11th. The passengers did not land immediately, but “remained comfortable on board ship” until June 4th 1783 (passenger list here).

They shortly disembarked onto a small sloop and set sail up the St. John River to Belleisle Bay. Despite their caution in looking for a good place to settle, when they first arrived, they found “nothing but wilderness,” and the “women and children did not refrain from tears” Nevertheless, it was not long before an area at the head of Belleisle Creek was laid out by a surveyor who reserved land for a church and a school, as well as setting out lots. The Loyalists named their new village Kingston. By the time winter set in, according to Walter Bates’ account, “every man in the district found himself and family covered under his own roof… enjoying in unity the blessings which God had provided… in the country into whose coves and wild woods we were driven through persecution.”

Read more of their experiences here

union boones

fleet

Butts orner

Memorial

Almost all land in New Brunswick, then called Nova Scotia, was Crown owned. Settlers wanting land, petitioned the Governor of Nova Scotia, usually noting the location they wanted. The request was made in a document, called a “Memorial”. The document might be written by the petitioner, but usually was prepared by a notary or Justice of the Peace (typically the requester had limited reading/writing skills).

Once approved, the Surveyor-General of Lands was directed to survey a certain tract or number of acres in a specified location and issue a certificate permitting the grant. The Provincial Secretary’s Office, drafted the grant which was signed by the Attorney-General and the Governor. A transcript of the final grant was also entered by hand into large bound record volumes kept in the Crown Lands Office.

The official grant was a large document on heavy paper with the Great Seal of the Province (a large embossed red wax disc) attached to it with a ribbon. This often was a prized possession, and many documents exist today with descendants.

Claims and Memorials
Memorial of William Boone of Rhode Island

To the Honble Col. Thos. DUNDAS and J. PEMBERTON Esqrs. two of the Commissioners appointed by Act of Parliament to enquire into the losses of his Majestys Loyal Subjects in America. The Memorial of Wm. BOONE of Rhode Island now of the County of Sunbury in New Brunswick.

Most humbly Sheweth

That Your Memorialist was possessed of considerable property in Kings County in Rhode Island untill the commencement of the late dissentions in America, at which time he was called on to aid and assist his Majestys enemies in America and on his refusal was insulted, abused and imprisoned, his effects and property taken and sold to the ruin of himself and family and he obliged to flee to his Majestys Troops for protection and during his continuance with them did his endeavour to annoy and distress those who attempted to subvert the British Government in America and in consequence thereof he was taken a prisoner and continued as such for near twenty months.

That Your Memorialist not having an Opportunity at this present [time], of procuring Deeds and other necessary pieces of writing to support his pretensions, but expecting hourly to receive the same, together with the evidences of Capt. Wm. CLERK, Mr. George SWEET and Joseph RATHBONE, all of this Province and others who will prove his Loyalty and Losses most humbly prays that your honours will take his distressed circumstances into consideration, as he having a large family to support in a wilderness Country, could not make a personal application in England, and from the same cause is prevented from an attendance on the honourable Commissioners at Halifax, but humbly hopes that his Claim will be admitted and that he may be allowed to prove the facts before the Commissioners when they arrive in New Brunswick.

And he is as in duty bound will ever pray

William BOONE

Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 80, folios 42–43.

Notes continue saying that Boone under oath says he is of Rhode Island, now of Sunbury County, New Brunswick and from 15 July 1783 to 25 March 1784 he resided in the County of Sunbury and Nova Scotia and explained why his claim was late as per the above.

CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE A LARGER VERSION

Boone Memorial pg 3

Boone Memorial pg 1Boone Memorial pg 2

(GRANT BOOK DATABASE)
BOONE, WILLIAM
Volume: A, page 198, Grant number 98
Original province of registration: Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia registration date: 1784/06/14
New Brunswick registration date: 1785/01/20
Accompanying plan: No
Acreage: 200 acres
Place and County: GAGE TOWNSHIP OF, Sunbury County

Boone land grant page 1

A number of land transactions are recorded in Sunbury County, the site where they initially settled, before removing to Burtt’s Corner in York County.

land indexes Sunbury

boon york

William and Ruth are buried in the Burtts Corner Community Cemetery in the Baptist Cemetery section.

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Extract from Boone’s will:

BOONE, William
Parish of Douglas, York Co., Yeoman. Will dated 22 April 1826. Proved 8
June 1829.

He asks first for a decent Christian burial.

He leaves his dearly beloved wife, Ruth, fifteen pounds annually until her death, in lieu of her thirds; bed, bedding, furniture, half a dozen silver tea spoons and “a small room in my house and to be found with fire wood cut suitable length for the fire place Winter and Summer”.

He leaves to his beloved son, Henry, a lot of land bought from Jacob Knai.  To his beloved son, George “my homestead of this my farm” and land, which he describes. Both sons are named executors.

He leaves five shillings each to to his well beloved Samuel [he does not call Samuel “son”; this may be a transcription error], beloved sons William and James Boone; and three pounds each to his well beloved daughters Mary Jones, Lucy Estey, Elizabeth Lawrence, Ann Haines and Hannah Coggeshall.

It is further understood that all household goods which have not been given to Ruth, my well beloved wife, I bequeath to my beloved son George Boone, each and every one of those my children freely to be possessed and enjoyed.

Witnesses: Joshua Stone, Samuel Boone, Thomas White

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Served in the Merchant Marine – Radio Officer Uncle John “Jack” Galatis [Glatis] Haines, Jr.

Jack jr

My grandmother Edith’s brother, John Galatis [or Glatis] “Jack” Haines Jr., was second of eight, born 11 Sept 1910 to John Galatis “Jack” Haines and Edith Bernice Lansil  in the Allston section of Boston.

Jack jr birth

allston1910

By Jack’s second birthday, the family had moved to Melrose, Massachusetts.  As the family grew, the Haines’ moved frequently between Melrose, Malden and for a short time to Saugus.

jack and EdithEde and jack

JACK PIC
Pictured: Edith (E), Jack (J) and Doris (D) Haines

In 1920, the family was living in Malden, Jack was a 9 year old student.

1920 jACK

There were some hard times in Jack’s young life.  The Depression had disrupted the family with a move to a less expensive house in a less expensive town. The children slept using winter coats in place of blankets; blankets being an unaffordable luxury.  One story tells of Jack’s dad, Jack Haines Sr. coming home after a very late trip through the city on Christmas Eve, carrying a floor to ceiling tree which he and my mother decorated while everyone else slept. Foreverafter they told the story of how he scouted the town for a marked-down tree but the only ones he could find had been abandoned hours earlier. As he picked one up and started for home with his cache, a policeman suddenly appeared and asked what he was doing. The truth of six children sleeping at home with nothing to look forward to except Christmas morning, prompted the policeman to turn his back and walk away as he shouted, “I didn’t see a thing! Merry Christmas!”

Although times were tough, through her poetry, Jack’s sister Natalie recalls a house filled with joy:

You’re Only Young Once

… A rhyming version of Depression days

Natalie Thomson

Depression Days were then at hand
(Financial woes throughout the land.)
A seventh child was added to
A family which grew and grew.

Their worries big, their money small,
Their laughter rang from hall to hall.
Each day brought on a new event
From buying shoes to paying rent.

They picked blueberries in the sun
And sang on rides ’til day was done.
The castles were all made of sand;
The water cool, the sunshine grand.

The root beer was, of course, homemade;
Each holiday, a new parade!
The bonfires bright, who can deny,
Were better than the last July.

The icy tunnels dug in snow;
The car would need a push to go.
The swan-boat rides meant trips “in town”.
The clothes were mostly hand-me-down.

The marks in school were of the best…
Such praise for every “A” in tests!
A photograph in groups, you know,
Would find them always in front row.

The house was clean, there was no clutter,
But, oh, “Go easy on the butter!!”
The Market on those weekend nights,
With pushcarts for their city sights.

Their visiting was done in groups,
But picnics called out all the troops!
A wink from Dad, a smile from Mum,
Would mean a happy time to come

With dishes washed and windows closed,
The bathroom busy, off they’d go!

Jack, a good-looking boy, graduated from Melrose High School in 1928 [A copy of the yearbook has not been located, but according to Melrose Library Staff, he is listed as a sophomore in the 1926 yearbook].

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In 1930, 20 year old Jack was living with the family in Melrose working as a bank messenger.

1930 jACK

At age 22 and a resident of Saugus, he became a Mason of the Mount Vernon Lodge, Malden, Massachusetts.

mason card

In 1940, 29-year-old Jack (who spoke directly with the census enumerator) had removed from the family homestead and was boarding at a home in Boston, paying $12/month, working as a bank clerk at First National Bank of Boston, making $1,160 annually, a large salary in comparison to fellow boarders and neighbors. His obituary further tells us he was employed by the Old Colony Bank and Trust, Boston for many years.

1940 jACK

Jack married Allene Day, born 28 June 1909, in Hartford, Michigan, to William and Katie (Rice) Day.  The pair likely met in Boston, where Allene attended Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing and attained a Registered Nursing degree in 1941. Their marriage was registered in Malden in 1942, just months before Jack’s father’s death, 10 days prior to Christmas. Did Jack come to the aid of his widowed mother who had lost everything in the Depression?  We don’t know.  Jack and Arlene soon relocated to Michigan where they likely had two sons born 1943 and 1945 [no births were located in the Massachusetts indices].  For reasons unknown, by 1947, Jack and Allene separated and Jack left Michigan and appears to have had no further contact with his children. Jack and Allene’s divorce was finalized on 3 Dec 1951 in Kalamazoo, Michigan and in 1965, Allene married second Porter Dent of Vicksburg, Michigan.

By 1947, Jack was serving in the Merchant Marine. He was a Radio Officer given the nickname “Sparks” (as were most others in his field).  It is worth noting that one serves in the Merchant Marine (never plural) someone who serves in the Merchant Marine is a sailor or a seaman or their rank (Captain, Mate, etc.) they are never referred to as a Merchant Marine.

It took a special personality to work as a Radio Officer, most were loners (some not by choice as  many got hooked by the “Well paid to see the world” publicity).  Jack was alone in the radio shack most of the time. Others crew members had the chance to interact and speak of projects they were working on.  No one understood the radio operator’s duties.  Few visited “the shack”, the noise of Morse code and static drove most away quickly.

Sparks

The school where Jack received his training in unknown, but we can surmise that all schools in that era had a similar program and philosophy.

The Radio Training Station on Gallups Island in Boston, in 1944, described the requirements for the position:

“As Radio Operators, we will be the voice and hearing of the ship. Upon our ears will fall the first warning signals of danger and upon our shoulders will be placed the responsibility of flashing the first call for help in the event of disaster. In short, the success or failure of a voyage may well depend upon our skill and knowledge.

So important will be our future duties that we are receiving a very practical technical course of training. It includes code, touch typing, operating procedure, radio laws, regulations, international conferences, radio theory, practical laboratory work, operating positions, construction of composite transmitting and receiving equipment, radio-frequency and audio-frequency amplifier systems and related subjects.

Code is, however, one of our more important studies, for once we are assigned to active sea duty we must be able to carryon as efficiently as if we had been constantly engaged in the work for some time and that means taking messages on typewriters as fast as they come over the earphones.

Learning code is a fairly simple task, consuming but a comparatively short time. Building up speed, however, is quite another story, for it takes practice and concentration to acquire the art of copying and sending at rates generally used in commercial work

Before we came here most of us thought of code only in terms of dots and dashes. The letter A, for example, was dot dash, while the letter D was dash dot dot. One of the first things they taught us when we got here, though, was to forget all about dots and dashes and to think of code in terms of dits and dahs.

Now, the letter A is dit-dah, while the letter D is dah-dit-dit. In the beginning code is shot to us at such a low rate of speed, that letters are easily distinguishable. It is more difficult, however, as trans- mission becomes more rapid, to distinguish between letters. Consequently, more than half of our school day is spent in practicing code.

Each man has his own individual equipment which consists of headphones, speed selector panel, a hand sending key and a typewriter. Code is sent by hand and automatically by code sending machines, which can be regulated to any speed by the instructor.

Before graduating we must be able to copy mixed Code Groups at the rate of 18 words per minute. The ability to do this enables most of us to make plain language copy at the rate of 24 or more words per minute. Before we can get to the point of taking messages on the typewriter we must become fairly efficient at typing. We are learning the touch systems in the best “secretarial” manner and before graduation are able to type at the rate of 35 words per minute which is sufficient for practical operating work. 

While code is one of our most important studies here, other subjects of equal or near equal consequence require a great deal of our attention. Take, for instance, radio theory. In order to thoroughly understand how to make necessary repairs we have to know why our equipment functions as it does. Fundamentals of electricity, which many of us studied in high school under the general heading of physics, have to be thoroughly understood. Ohm’s law, and others, have to be more than a series of memorized words.

Today’s radio equipment is much more complicated than it was during the days of the First World War, with the result that a good portion of our time is spent in the service laboratories learning how to repair receivers, transmitters, direction finding apparatus and other paraphernalia that we may be called upon to service in mid-ocean

Most interesting to all of us, perhaps, is the actual watch standing that we do. In this phase of our work, we take live messages from the air and learn through experience the routine of shipboard procedure.

Upon completion of our course here we take the usual Federal Communications Commission examinations which are given at the Custom House in Boston. In the first place, requirements for obtaining the coveted second class license [Jack held a first class license!] are that the applicant must send and receive code at the rate of 16 words per minute mixed code and successfully pass the required elements of the test covering the rules and regulations, basic and advanced radio theory and operating practice.

Strange as it may seem, we complete our work here in somewhat less than half the time required for a like course of study in recognized civilian schools. This is due in great measure to the fact that our curriculum was outlined and prepared by men who are thoroughly familiar with all aspects of radio work. We put in a full six hour day in class, lectures and laboratory work, and facilities are available for an additional three hours at night for those requiring extra study, or wishing to practice.

Then, of course, we have to work hard in order to keep abreast of the schedule that must be maintained. A good deal of outside study is required. Textbooks, especially prepared by members of the faculty, are used in our class work, while standard electrical textbooks and technical magazines are used for reference purposes and may be drawn from the more than 3,000 copies in the school library.

Add to these the fact that all of us who were admitted had to measure up to the educational standards set by the Maritime Service and you begin to see why this intensified course is so successful. Among other things, a high school education that included at least one year of algebra is necessary for admittance to the school. Physics, though not required, is a subject that should have been included in our high school work

At the conclusion of the war we’ll be members of a Merchant Marine that will be the queen of the seas – members who will enjoy the privileges and pay of specialists aboard ship.

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A rare look into the duties of a Radio Operator [click on any image to see a large version], examples include:

Keep emergency life boat transmitter battery charged.

Have an understanding with Master, Mate and Armed Guard CO as to procedure in time of distress.

Burn and destroy the ashes of any paper on which there is classified information.

Don’t break radio silence.

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Online records provide details of at least 26 voyages where Jack was stationed on the vessel Kyska (all-purpose cargo ship with 5 holds, 6,190 gross tons built in Mobile, Alabama).

Kyska

A 38-year-old Jack is first found, after having served one year, departing New York on 7 May 1948 arriving in Yokohama, Japan 18 Jul 1948.  He reports to be 5’10”, 165 pounds and of English descent.

jACk manifest 0

In the years that follow Jack travels to Kobe, Moji and Yokohama, Japan; Davao City, Philippines; Campbell River, British Columbia; New York; California; Seattle, Washington; and Portland, Oregon.

By 1953, a 5’11”, 185 pound Jack is reported as a radio officer who had served at sea for six long years. He is one of the few onboard without tattoos or scars.

He lands in Honolulu, Hawaii 10 Dec 1951, them on 24 January 1952 departs New Orleans, Louisiana where he lists his sister [my grandmother] Edith as a contact on a voyage headed to multiple ports.

jACk manifest 5

2 September 1952 he was engaged at San Francisco on a mission to Yokohama, Japan through 17 October 1952 when he landed in Seattle, Washington. Interestingly, he reports his race to be Welsh [he ancestry was approximately 25% Welsh, 68.75% English and 6.25% French].

jACk manifest 2

A day later, 18 October 1952 he again departed to Yokohama, arriving back in Seattle 11 December 1952.

jACk manifest 3

On 1 February 1953 he sailed from Portland to Yokohama, returning to Seattle 30 March 1953.

jACk manifest 4

Jack rarely had time off the ship.  A sampling of voyages in this time period included:

  • departed Los Angeles 6 April 1953 to Yokohama, returning to Seattle 27 May 1953
  • departed San Francisco 2 June 1953 to Yokohama, returning to Seattle 25 Jul 1953
  • departed Seattle 27 July 1953 to Pusan, South Korea via British Columbia, returning to Seattle 21 Sep 1953
  • departed Los Angeles 13 November 1953 to Muroran, Japan, returning to Seattle 2 Jan 1954
  • departed Seattle 24 April 1954 to Yawata, Japan, returning to Seattle 15 Jun 1954
There are a few books available on radio operators that are recommended reading by the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Research Center:
Sparks at sea: the experiences of a ship’s radio offices
by Chandler, R. W.
From the high seas to low comedy : memoirs of radio man Monroe Upton.
by Upton, Monroe.
Wake of the wirelessman /
by Clemons, B. J.

 
In later years, Jack relocated to New York and for about 20 years was employed by RCA Global Communications. He retired a few years before his death and resided in North Tonawanda, New York.

RCAGlobal

Jack was a member of the American Contract Bridge League and won or placed in a number of local tournaments in Tonawanda as early as 1964.

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He also belonged to the International Propeller Club of the United States, a business network dedicated to the promotion of the maritime industry, commerce and global trade.  The Propeller Club aggressively promotes the maritime industry through many of its programs and partnering with other similar organizations. Their goal is to educate legislators and the public as to the importance and necessity of all waterborne commerce.

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Jack’s youngest sister Natalie, describes this chapter of her eldest brother’s life.  She writes:

“My active involvement in the arrangements and decisions, which, of necessity, I had to make following his unexpected death, caused me in the days and weeks following it to do an enormous amount of reflection and in-depth contemplation about his life — as I knew him, as others knew him, and as he might have known and/or seen himself.  I am far from being the psychologist or the writer who could, at this point in time  accurately tell anyone about Jack.  But to answer the question, “What has he been doing?” over the last 35 years, I’ll address myself to that.

As I know it, he spent many years (I don’t know the exact number) after leaving Michigan, in a Merchant Marine as THE radio operator on ships that touched ports throughout the world, most often in Japan, whose culture he learned, respected and seemed to like very much.  He was extremely proud of holding a master radio operator’s license (no small feat), enjoyed being known by the traditional maritime nickname, “Sparks” while at sea, and felt comfortable with the Petty Officer rank he held aboard ship…a notch above seaman and a notch below officer.  He was capable of easily mingling with both groups.

In later years, when both his energies and the glamorous escape of the sea diminished, he worked on land, still as a communicator, for a company with large shipping interests on the Great Lakes and off the New England Coast [RCA Global Communications, New York].  He retired on Social Security a few years ago.  His pension ended upon his death.

Most of the time, while working in private industry, he lived in upper New York State, alone, as he seemed to prefer. He visited us often here in Malden whenever “the spirit moved him” and one of the ways in which I saw him was a man who wanted to be unencumbered, yet who couldn’t completely relinquish all of his family ties.

He was avidly interested in the keenness of playing bridge and was competitively active in the local club; good enough to often participate in their tournaments. He was equally proud of his membership in the Masons, keeping his dues up to date in the Malden Lodge until the end, although he had not actively participated in it for many years”.

Jack died suddenly 31 May 1979 in North Tonawanda, Niagara, New York and was buried Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose, Massachusetts alongside his parents. 

Jack jr death

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