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One of the biggest risks of taking information about ancestors from a website is that, no matter how well sourced the source is, there is always room for errors.
I’ve used one particular website for Northamptonshire relatives for years… but only recently did it occur to me to check for the all important baptism (which I previously did not have access to) before heading back another generation. It’s a mistake I will both regret and celebrate for some time to come.
John Haynes’ baptism proved elusive for many years but with access to Northamptonshire baptisms on Ancestry, the break through was all I needed.
Perhaps here, I should start with his marriage.
John married Jane Kingston Bevis on 16th October 1861, aged 23. Over the next 22 years, John and Jane had 11 children: John, Matilda Jane, Annie Maria, Selina, Julia, Harry, Willie, Nelly, Tom, Emma Louisa and Clara.
You may notice that the father column for John simply says ‘deceased’. I have seen this on many occasions in my tree. Sometimes, the father is genuinely deceased but, more often than not, it has indicated that perhaps the father was ‘not known’.
I then searched for his baptism… It was indeed a fruitful search. John Haynes was baptised on 16 Sep 1838. He was recorded as the son of single woman, Sarah Haynes, a lace maker from Greens Norton. Sarah was around 17 at the time of John’s baptism and her home was with her parents, George and Elizabeth.
The 3-year-old John and his young mother are living with George, Elizabeth and Sarah’s brothers, Richard and John, on the 1841 census. A curious fact though, and possibly a hint at who the father was, John’s surname is recorded as Burrows. The other members of the household are recorded as Haynes and the surrounding neighbours do not contain a Burrows family. I can also find no record of this John Burrows in the 1851 census.
John had 2 other siblings, James and Elizabeth. A further four siblings were born after his mother’s marriage to James Taylor: Sarah Jane, Mary Ann, Henry and Matilda.
Through 1865 to 1870, I have found 3 newspaper reports of instances where John Haynes was brought up in front of the Towcester Petty Sessions.
The Bedfordshire Mercury reports on the 15th April 1865 that John Haynes was sentenced to five days for ‘being drunk and disorderly at Greens Norton’.
The Northampton Mercury reports on the 27th July 1867 that John Haynes, a labourer, was charged with ‘drunk and riotous conduct, at Greens Norton’. He did not show and the case was adjourned.
The final one was reported on 21st May 1870 by the Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press. This is perhaps the most interesting one where ‘John Burrows, alias Haynes, of Greens Norton, who had been previously convicted, was, on the information of Mr. J. M. K. Elliott, of Heathencote, convicted of unlawfully killing a hare at Towcester, and ordered to pay £4 16s or to be imprisoned for two months hard labour.’
This is possibly the evidence I have been looking for that the John Burrows recorded on the 1841 census and my John Haynes are one and the same. It isn’t conclusive proof, of course, but it goes quite far in supporting my theory.
By the time of the 1901 census, John and Jane had moved away from Greens Norton. They are recorded together, with youngest son, Tom, in Club Mill Cottages, Newbold, Derbyshire.
Jane passed away in 1906. John continued to live in Club Mill Cottages with the couple’s youngest child, Clara and her family.
In 1925, John’s death was registered in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
There is enough of John’s life to begin to build a picture of the man he may have been but there is far from enough evidence to support too many assumptions.