Our search for information about the Haynes family started in 2003/2004 when we were researching Derek’s Grandmother, Agnes Rowles, formerly Mullaney, and we discovered from her birth certificate that her mother, Derek’s Great-Grandmother, was Clara Mullaney, formerly Haynes. On Clara’s marriage certificate (to Peter Mullaney, 4 August 1884, in Wolverhampton) her father’s name is given as Henry Haynes, occupation, labourer, and Clara’s age is shown as 20, making her born in about 1864.
We found Peter and Clara in the 1891 census, living in Sheffield. Clara’s birthplace is shown as Leek, Staffordshire, but her age is given as 24, giving a birth year of about 1867. Over the next two or three years, we became accustomed to treating Clara’s information with a pinch of salt!! Unfortunately, a search of the General Record Office (GRO) birth indexes didn’t reveal any trace of a Clara Haynes, with a father Henry, born in Leek about 1864 or 1867. Nor were we able to find any trace of Henry himself in census records at the time, or of Peter and Clara in the 1901 census.
We kept searching on and off over the next couple of years, in case some new information came online, but without success, although we did find a record on the International Genealogical Index (IGI) of a Clara Haynes, birth date in 1866 (not 1864 OR 1867), with father Henry, but this Clara was born in Priestfield, Staffordshire, not Leek. We looked at the information from the IGI, but as most of the family seemed to have died in America, and apart from one fellow-researcher, no other relatives had mentioned any American connection, we kept on searching.
We still found nothing that fitted any of the information that we had, but as more information became available online, especially census information, we could check censuses for other than Lancashire, and we managed to locate this same Haynes family in the 1861 and 1881 censuses. We were still unable to find any other records for a Clara Haynes that seemed to match the information we had, so we decided to investigate this family in more detail.
The search for Clara Haynes