Posts Tagged ‘Weldford’

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].

Joseph death

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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A Letter from John Hains to his daughter Mary

I have encountered many a genealogist who document only their direct line. Many times, in documenting the lives of your collateral relatives (aka siblings of your direct ancestors) you will find that your distant cousins hold documents or photos that offer glimpses into the lives of your direct ancestors or help to break down brick walls.

For hundreds of years, people who wished to stay in touch with others had only one way to do it, they wrote letters, the only means of long-distance communication.  Today I share one such letter written by my 3rd great grandfather John Hains to his daughter Mary in which he names a number of his children, including my 2nd g-grandfather William John  (who was working as a chemist for Cabot in Chelsea, Massachusetts).

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John Hains was likely born 5 Mar 1824 in Fredericton, York, New Brunswick, Canada to Joseph Hains III and Nancy Ann Boone (see post here).  By 1848 he had moved to Richibucto, Kent, New Brunswick where on 17 Mar 1849 according to church records (1848 according to the family bible) he married Alice/Alise Edith Childs, daughter of Joseph Childs and Jannet Dunn.

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The couple had seven children: Joseph, Alexander, George, James, Mary Alice, William John and Elizabeth (aka Lizzie). Alice died in 1859.  John married second Jane Clare, daughter of James Clare and Elizabeth Langen.  They had four daughters, Alice, Annie,  Caroline “Carrie” and Christina.  John later resided in Derby and owned a farm in Miramichi.  He spent some winters in Boston, Massachusetts near (or with) a few of his children, who resided there.  John died 20 April 1901 in Derby, New Brunswick.

Censuses:

1851 – likely Richibucto (Kent County census records have not survived)
1861 – resides in Richibucto, age 37, native NB, G. Laborer, Episcopalian
1871 – resides in Richibucto, age 47, English origin, Laborer, Church of England
1881 – resides in Parish of Derby, age 57, English origin, Carpenter, Church of England
1891 – resides in Parish of Derby, age 66, born NB, parents born England, Mechanic/Bridge Builder, Church of England
1901 – resides in Parish of Derby, age 76, born 5 April 1824, born NB of Dutch origin, Farmer, Church of England/Episcopalian

**The original letter is held by Mary’s g-granddaughter who is one of our DNA matches! She shares 29.0 centimorgans across 3 DNA segments with my uncle, her third cousin, and 45 centimorgans across 4 DNA segments with me, her third cousin once removed.**

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Lower Derby

15 Jan 1896

Dear Daughter,

I received your kind and welcome letter which I read with much pleasure I also received your present which I much prised and for which I return many thanks I crave —- your indulgence for delaying so long in my answer one thing is my eyesight is getting so bad that I can only manage to write in clear weather besides I have had poor health since the winter set in but we have a fine winter so far.

As snow is concerned we have very little snow but cold weather. I had a letter from George a few days ago, he was in San Diego, he still has a notion of me going to San Diego, he thinks it would be better for my health, but I think I am too old and feeble to go so far. I also had a letter from John [William John] with my allotment in he has his land paid for he is thinking of leaving Calbot [Cabot] soon as Calbot [Cabot] is not doing with him as he promised. He wrote me that Alex was to see him lately about going into business, he was on his way to Portland to buy another Vessel that he was selling the old one. John says Alex is doing well at the fishing. Annie says she received your letter she has neglected to write but she will write soon. Carrie has another young son making three in all. So no more at present I remain your affectionate father

John Hains

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

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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.

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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.

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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?)

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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.

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

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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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Kent County probate records were destroyed by fire, however an 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.

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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 the John McWilliams listed 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.

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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. Mary kept in touch with her uncle James and his wife, the photo was included with a letter by Elizabeth (Mitchell) Childs.  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.

Billy and Bertha

 

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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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).

Another Ancestry.com tester, bwest984, matches my uncle at 26.8 cMs and me at 19.6cMs.  She is a 2nd g-grandaughter of William Ferguson and Betsey Potts, thus my uncle’s 3rd cousin 1x removed (they should share 0-156 cMs) and my 3rd cousin 2x removed (we should share 0-82 cMs) .

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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.

Solving a Mystery by Looking for Collateral Relatives!

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

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

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

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

group sheet chart

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

Here’s what I know:

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

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

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

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

group sheet

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

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Photos courtesy John Childs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She mentions the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Dunn 60
Uphemy Childs 29
James Raynalds 22

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

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

aunt-dead

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

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An old online message board post reads as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATE!!!

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

Richibucto

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

alice and Jannet

UPDATE June 2016:

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

Childs DNA Match

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