Posts Tagged ‘John Hains’

The Short Life of Joseph Haines

Joseph Haines/Hains, my 3rd great uncle, was the elder brother of my 3rd g-grandfather, William John “John” Haines.  He was likely born in Richibucto, New Brunswick, Canada, 22 June 1849 to John Hains and Alice Edith Childs, the eldest of seven, a family of five boys and two girls.

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Joseph’s mother died in 1859, when he was ten years old. His father’s widowed sister, Patience, joined the family, likely to help raise the children.

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As depicted in his sister Mary’s diary, they were a close knit happy family, until their father remarried in 1865 (to Jane Clare) when Joseph was about sixteen. The couple added four children to the family, all girls.

Letters imply their step-mother was not well liked. In a letter to his sister Mary (original here), Joseph writes in part:

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

Probably the reason Joseph left home and became a ship’s mate.  Although no record of Joseph’s voyages have been located in Ancestry.com’s database, Seafarers of the Atlantic Provinces, 1789-1935 (brothers John and George are named in this database).

Despite a disdain of their step-mother, the elder children did seem to have a relationship with their younger sisters, based on their exchange of letters (Mary’s descendants hold letters from three of her four younger sisters).

When Joseph became ill, on 7 May 1879, he was admitted to St. Thomas Hospital in London, County of Surrey, sub district Lambeth Church.  After a lengthy illness, he died in his 32nd year, on 24 Jan 1881, and is buried at Norwood Cemetery, London. Cause of death was: “aneurysm of the thoracic aorta” [an abnormal widening or ballooning of a portion of an artery due to weakness in the wall of the blood vessel. A thoracic aortic aneurysm occurs in the part of the body’s largest artery, the aorta, that passes through the chest].

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In October of 1880, Joseph wrote to his sister Mary that his artery is getting hard or consolidated, he is likely to choke at any time while he is coughing, thus he can eat nothing hard like potatoes or apples.  The nurses make him soup, so he needs only to have it reheated at dinnertime.

He tells her that the doctor says that there is a 1 in 10 chance that he would go home.  He hasn’t been allowed out of bed for 6 months (although he did walk a bit without the nurse and the doctor would be angry if he knew as his pulse raised to 100).

He says he will never get better and will not be able to work. He tries to explain his illness – the artery is so large in his chest that it blocks other arteries so the blood doesn’t circulate as it should. Joseph includes a hand drawn picture:

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Joseph has found religion and Jesus a comfort and writes lengthy letters to Mary quoting the bible. He says that his life is in God’s hands.

He asks on a few occasions that she not mention girl’s names in her letters.  The nurse gets his letters downstairs and very often he lets her read them. He has had to burn a few so that she would not read them.

He speaks of receiving occasional letters from his father, sister Lizzie and brother Alex.  His writes of his brother “Johnie” (William John Haines, my 3rd g-grandfather) who is admittedly in a 5-year “wild and reckless” phase (read here):

April 1880…Johnie came twice with someone half drunk, he spent all his pay day in rum without buying any clothes for himself, so I could not help him when he went away as I had not a cent too much for myself….

Sept 1880…you grumble about Johnie being exposed by the family, but you screen him too much. That is really too bad that he has never went home, as he promised me when he left the hospital; the nurse gave him a Bible and I gave him a large quantity of books, some bought and some were presents to me, so that [is] the last I have heard of him, but still I am trying to make myself believe that he is short of funds and that he is working somewhere until he gets on his feet, so as he may go home respectable.

Joseph’s last days are captured in his sister Mary Ann “Alice” (Haines) Stevens’s diary:

1 Jan 1880:  This past year has been a very sad one for me.  My dearest brother Joseph entered the St. Thomas Hospital, London as a patient May 7, 1879. May 22nd I received a letter from him telling me all about himself. I shall never forget how I felt on reading his letter, and then to think he will never be the same active brother again. Today I am very dull and lonely for 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.  Today I am in the crowded city of Boston far from home and the brothers I loved so well.

Mary writes of receiving letters from Joseph every two weeks.  He seems to be improving and expects to be home by Christmas.  She records his birthday on 22 June.

1 Nov 1880: Received a letter from my dear brother, and photos of his nurses. He is still improving. He has charged me to keep Miss Corrie Rice’s [his nurse] photo for him. I have promised to do this and have given it a place in my album which was mine along side of his.

On 7 Dec 1880, Mary receives what will be Joseph’s final letter to her.  Over the next few months, she wonders why no others have come and prays that he is headed home.

5 Feb 1881: …My God, the sad, sad hour has come for me.  A letter this morning from dear Miss Rice informing me of the death of my dear, dear brother Joseph. He breathed his last on her own dear arm he loved so well, twenty five to five Monday morning, January 24, 1881.  She states that to the last, he said, “don’t weep for me dears, I am only going to Jesus”. Then he said goodbye, left his last message to me with her, for me, and his dying gift. Then he raised his dear hands as if to meet the Lord, and said come Lord Jesus and take me for I am waiting for you.  And his dear true spirit returned to God who gave it.

Mary continues:

He was a good kind true brother, always pleasant, always full of fun. He was tall and handsome. Had beautiful form, quick step, and just as light as it was quick. He had beautiful (neither light nor dark) curly brown hair when he let it grow, but he frequently kept it short. He had hazel blue eyes, red cheeks, his complexion fair. Wore his beard French style. His features were very even. In fact his face and form were handsome. He was very affectionate and generous. Always happy himself and liked to see everyone the same. If he had anything to divide, always gave the largest and best half away. I have lost dear friends but have never experienced anything like this…I miss his dear letters and his kind words of love and advice. All the pet names we called each other are fresh in my mind.

Many friends sent poems offering their condolences.  Mary mourned. She received a second letter from Miss Rice saying that she followed Joseph’s remains to his resting place on 31 Jan and saw them lay peacefully in the grave.

Mary speaks of reading Joseph’s dying gift to her, a book.

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She describes a letter from Miss Rice filled with yellow buttercups and daisy’s from Joseph’s grave and tells how Miss Rice planted the forget-me-not seeds which Mary had sent to England.

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Mary reminisced of Joseph frequently:

16 May 1881: Five years ago today my dear brother Joseph came home from sea.  I shall never forget how happy I was to see him.  How I bounded to the door to meet him.  Little did I think then it was the last time I would meet him there, or welcome him home.

12 July 1881: This is one of the days we all looked forward to with so much pleasure at home, the Orange parade**.  Seven years ago today I went to the grand parade with dear brother Joseph. What a lovely time we had.

**July 12 is the date that commemorates the Battle of the Boyne, and the victory in 1690 of a Protestant army led by William of Orange over A Roman Catholic one led by James II, the deposed English king….the Orange Lodge, an extreme anti-Catholic organization rooted among the Scots-Irish, Protestant culture of Northern Ireland wielded considerable and often provocative power. Scots-Irish immigrants to English Canada brought their Orange loyalties, and anti-Catholic attitudes with them. The Orange Parade would have been put on by the Orange Lodge, which was an association of Northern Irish Protestants, The Orange Lodge became politically powerful, well into the 20th Century it was virtually impossible for anyone who wasn’t a member of the Orange Lodge to get elected to city council. The annual Orange Day parade was one of the biggest public events in the predominantly “white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant (WASP)” city of the time.

23 Aug 1881: Five years ago today I spent the day mending dear brother Joseph’s clothes…Then I packed his trunk, putting in all the little surprises, presents that he was to find when at sea.  Oh dear, how lonely I felt as I sat down and looked at all the things all packed up and ready to start.  When just then I heard on the stairs, the well known proud step of my brother, and as quick as I could, I brushed away my tears and tried to smile. But he saw me and said, now Mary, why can’t you be like other sisters and let me go away in peace, and not act as if I were never coming back again.  You know seafaring men can’t all stay at home and as long as my heart is on the sea then I must work.  And you know Mary I have the same God on the sea as on land and he will take care of me, and I will always write to you, and I will come home before long, and we can have another good time…..

Mary, cousin Jenny and Joseph then went for a walk.  Mary recalls:

I will never forget how particular he was about my dress saying, now it may be some time before you have the pleasure of walking with as fine a looking man as me. So go take off that horrid looking dress and put on the one I like best to see you wear.  So I did, and as I came downstairs again he met me at the foot of the stairs, and in his own mischievous way he offered me his arm.  And said he only wished I was his bride and showed how he would walk with me if I were.

All hands laughed, and although I was not in the mood for laughter, I had to laugh. So we three walked on together little dreaming it was our last walk forever on earth, and so it proved to be. We talked over all our childish days, things we used to do and say, and had many good laughs. It was the last time I ever heard him speak of dear mother and he turned to cousin Janet and said “Mother laid the cornerstone of my heart”.

This day was spent very pleasantly. Joseph stayed most of the day upstairs where I was spinning and told sea stories. This was the last day we were together and in the evening his friend Robert Morton and he went to make a few calls.

The sun rose bright and clear (25 Aug 1876) I rose early and went to my brother’s room to have the last conversation with him. I tapped on his door and there was no answer, so I walked in. He was still sleeping. I sat down on the bedside and he woke up saying “darn glad you came, for I want to talk with you”. I put my arms around his neck and kissed him. He kissed me for the last time.

I never shall forget all this kind advice, and all the kind words he said. I went to the kitchen, got his breakfast ready, and he was soon ready to start on the train. Well 6 o’clock came at last, and when I got him seated at the breakfast table, I asked him if there was anything more for me to do. No dear, he said, looking up at me, unless you wash and mend my cap. And I had to laugh for he was so comical. Then I stole upstairs and gave that to my tears.

But I was not there long when I heard the sweet voice of my brother calling. He and all the family but me had gathered in the front entry. Through my tears I called one goodbye, God bless you, and a safe passage across. I look from my window and they’re on the front doorstep he stood. I shall never forget how handsome he looked, even more beautiful than ever as he tripped off up the road leading to the station where he was to take the train.

The last words ever I heard him say were, “goodbye Mary”, and never since his death have I ever been called by the name Mary but I think of him dear boy for that is the last remembrance I have of him. And to be called by that name always sends a pang to my heart to think of him [in her younger years Mary was called Alice or Allie, her middle name]. I sat for a little while, then I went to the room that he occupied when home but everything was gone belonging to him. I did not sit there long till the train on which he was to go came along, and there on the platform stood my dear brother Joseph waving goodbye to all. I waved my handkerchief till he was out of sight and the train entered the big cutting [she later says that this event took place at her Aunt Mary (Childs) Morton’s home in Restigouche].

Mary later (in 1882) travels to Europe as a nursemaid for Henry Longworth Longfellow’s grandchildren and has the opportunity to visit Joseph’s grave twice in Norwood Cemetery and to make aquaintence with his nurses at the hospital near the Westminster Bridge. They point out Joseph’s former bed, #28, in Sister George’s ward.

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Mary did try to reach another of her brother’s nurse decades later at an address in Ireland, however the letter was returned as undeliverable.

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Saving the Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Grandson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following day she adds:

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

Then on 1 Sepember 1880

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pictured below, Mary with Dicky and Harry:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On 24 March 1882 she writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

on 11 August she writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The journal comes to an end:

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

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

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

Edith Dana writes from Cambridge, 15 October:

Dear Alice,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you will write to me.

Yours very truly

Edith L. Dana

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

Alice Longfellow sent a painting as a gift.

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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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The Haines Chicken Farm, Vallejo, California circa 1920

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

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

wj haines chart

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

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

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

John Haines Dwight Street

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

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

letter from John to Mary

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

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

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

my address is 5 Dwite St Boston care Mis Sulivan

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

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

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

another letter 2letter page 2page 3page 4

Next on 30 September from Boston, John writes:

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

another letter

On 2 October, John writes:

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

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

john pg 1 john pg 2

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

Dear Sis,

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

Use your own judgement about the property.

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

Your brother John.

Letter to Mary from John

An undated letter, likely in the same time frame:

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

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

john letter to sis

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

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

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

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

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

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

feb letterpg 2 feb letter

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

Mary Steves her brother W John Haines nd grandson Ralph Stevens

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

william and Ralph.jpg

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

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

chick farm map

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

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

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

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

ralphs story

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

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

letter from bob to mom

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

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

IMG_4683

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

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

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Chicken farm

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

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

 

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

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

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

Jenny tree

jennie ferguson haines

Jennie Ferguson Haines

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

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

Jennie's death

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

1880

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

26 January 1882: “John came over from Chelsea this evening. We had a lovely time together. Jenny Ferguson my dear friend came down from Richibucto. She was here tonight.  Just came on the boat today. I am so glad to see her. She is my dearest friend”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jenny marriage

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

Jenny's children

children

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

lot

1900 census

1910 census

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

letter

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

power of atty

 

house sale

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

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

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

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

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

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

City directory

My mother was nineteen and Minnie Haines Collins was 15 and Jenny Haines Johnson was 13. When Jenny and John separated and gave up the homestead, my mother took Minnie and Jenny, her two young sisters to live with her.  Approximately 13 years later I can remember Minnie meeting my grandfather John at the train. He was returning from California, from a 4 year visit.  Then he lived with us for many years. When I was 16, which must have been 1934, my grandfather had a shock and John Marshall and Bill Collins [sons-in-law] decided that he should go to a rest home. I was furious and too young to do anything about it. As a youngster, I thought those places were a place to get rid of people. 

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

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

natalie letter

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

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

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

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

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

death notice

death cert grave

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

———————————————————————–

** Jennie’s birth year ?

  • The Boston Globe death notice lists her as age 82 (b. abt 1856);
  • Her death certificate puts her age at 74 (b. 1864);
  • Her gravestone reads 1858-1938;
  • the 1880 census puts her age at 22, b. abt 1858 (assuming it is really her and not someone of the same name – she is working as a domestic);
  • She is listed as age 23 when she married in 1882 (b. abt 1859);
  • the 1900 census lists a birth date of Jun 1866, age 33 and says she was married 18 years. If correct, this would put her age 15 at marriage;
  • the 1910 census gives her age as 51 (b. 1859);
  • 1930 census, there is a woman of the same name as an inmate at a hospital in Boston, age 73, b. 1857 – not sure if this is her as she supposedly owned a house in Billerica;
  • If she is really the Jane Ferguson in the 1861 Canadian census, her age was 4, thus she was b. abt 1857

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

Solving a Mystery by Looking for Collateral Relatives!

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

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

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

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

group sheet chart

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

Here’s what I know:

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

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

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

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

group sheet

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

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Photos courtesy John Childs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She mentions the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Dunn 60
Uphemy Childs 29
James Raynalds 22

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

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

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

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An old online message board post reads as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATE!!!

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

Richibucto

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

alice and Jannet

UPDATE June 2016:

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

Childs DNA Match

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