Brothers Henry and Thomas Haines
My cousins and I have been at a brick wall for quite some time in researching the origins of our ancestors, Henry and Thomas Haines.
As briefly as possible, what we know about them follows:
Henry Haines, whose birthdate may be between 1817-1826, and birthplace in NJ or PA, migrated westward, settling in Sandusky, Ohio in the 1840s. In 1848, he married Elizabeth Bickley, a native of Oswego, NY. At least nine children were born to them, and those surviving beyond infancy were named Mary Elizabeth, Henrietta, Harriet, William Henry, Jessie, Ellen and Elizabeth. The surname of the family in Sandusky eventually came to be spelled "Haynes".
Henry was listed as a coppersmith in the 1850 census, but subsequent censuses and other sources list him as a steam engineer. He was engineer of the steamer "Island Queen", which plied Sandusky Bay and nearby Lake Erie, and he was wounded by gunfire in an aborted escape attempt by Confederate prisoners from the Johnsons Island prison camp in Sept. 1864. He later operated a steam derrick on the B&O railroad docks in Sandusky. Henry died Oct. 6, 1895, and is buried in Oakland Cemetery, Sandusky.
Henry's brother, Thomas Haines, was born Feb.1, 1826 in Philadelphia, PA, according to military pension records. At a very early age, he joined the U.S. Navy, serving from 1840-1862, including action in the Mexican and Civil Wars and stationing in the Orient. Thomas married a widow with two children, Emeline (Fox) Welsh, in 1864, settling in Reading, PA. Beyond stepchildren Charity and Samuel Welsh, Thomas and Emeline gave birth to five sons, named Jediah Philip, Henry J., John Fox, and twins Thomas Lincoln and George Washington. Emeline died in 1876, and Thomas moved to Ohio with the four youngest boys. Eventually three of them entered an orphanage at Alliance, OH, though Thomas remained in the area and apparently maintained contact. Thomas died June 23, 1901, a resident of the National Military Home in Dayton, OH. He is buried in Aulenbach Cemetery, Reading, PA.
Thomas' occupation was always given as boilermaker. During the Civil War, his naval classification was Second Class Fireman and later First Class Fireman. His last known civilian employment was as a boilermaker for Russell & Co., Massilon, OH, 1889-1890. He often marched in parades for patriotic occasions wearing his naval uniform, and was known in Reading as "Sailor Haines". He was an early member of the G.A.R.
There has been speculation that Henry and Thomas are sons of Jedediah Haines and his wife Charlotte Gentry, of Mannington Twp, Salem Co., NJ, though no proof has thus far been found. Jedediah drowned in Salem Cove, Salem, NJ in 1833, falling from the sloop "Mary Ann". A tantalizing clue may come from notes from an apparent interview of John Fox Haines by researcher John Wesley Haines, in which it is stated that Thomas and Henry's father was a sea captain who was knocked overboard and drowned at Philadelphia. John Fox also claimed that the mother remarried after Jedediah's death, and additional children were born, but the surname is unknown.
If anyone can offer information or guidance to us in our research, we would be extremely grateful. This mystery has had us baffled for more than 30 years.
Wayne Pfaff, Ohio.