Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Sorting out genealogical uncertainties arising from five John Rainey families in Orange County North Carolina about 1750
R.S. and J.D. Criddle

A. Abstract
1. Five John Rainey families lived within about a 30 mile radius in (the 1771 boundaries of) Orange County North Carolina. Four of the John Raineys personally resided in the area, while it appears that only the descendants of the fifth John Rainey resided there.
2. Members of these families share common given names making identifications difficult in many cases.
3. The families each resided at distinct geographic locations within Orange County, but clear separation of family property sites is confused by common names of geographic landmarks at the different sites. For example, there are three separate Cane (Cain) Creeks and three Mill Creeks adjacent to Rainey properties.
4. Raineys in the area can be grouped into the five families by combined analysis of land, court, and personal records. Separation by geographical location and distribution of land by sales or inheritances provide key insights into family identification.
5. Analysis of the combined records show that genealogists have frequently “hybridized” family units and misidentified relationships.
6. While it is clearly possible to identify John Rainey families at five distinct Rainey property locations, it is not possible to exclude the possibility that two or more of these Johns could be identical. Time and spatial distinctions make this unlikely, but we cannot say with certainty that John and Elizabeth Rainey from the Dan River area are distinct from John and Elizabeth from South Hico Creek, etc. Because no evidence has yet been found to argue for their identities, we list them separately here.
7. Our predominant focus is on the John Rainey family line that gave rise to David D. Rainey. However the overall results should be of value to others attempting to sort out additional Rainey lines in North Carolina.

B. Background
Genealogy links among Rainey families from Orange County North Carolina during the mid 1700s are being examined by a number of active genealogists. One impediment to progress in these studies is the seemingly ubiquitous use of given names for both the Rainey men and women. We find William, Thomas, James, John, Isaac, David, Elizabeth, Nancy, Jane, Jenny, etc. common in all the family lines. This study, focuses on John(s) Rainey, but will also help shed light on relationships and distinct differences among the Williams, and Jameses and other Raineys of the region in this era. In writing this report, we have chosen to leave spellings of Rainey, Raney, Roney, and other family names as they occur in the original documents.
The area of North Carolina considered in this study is all within the boundaries of Orange County as of 1771 (See locations indicated on the attached map #1. The bold lines indicate the 1771 boundaries.) The five John Rainey families lived within a region with radius of 15 to 20 miles in a small portion of the County. The Orange County boundaries of the time included present day Orange, Caswell, Person, and Alamance Counties, and parts of additional adjoining counties.
Identifying individuals and genealogical links within the Rainey lines is further complicated by the presence of still other John Raineys living elsewhere in North Carolina and in adjoining counties of Virginia. It is probable that many of these Raineys were related, though not necessarily closely. Family group sheets have been constructed with major missassignment of relationships and post facto hybridizations of families.

Conditions that must be recognized to interpret records of John Rainey
Beyond the complicating factor of common names among the John Rainey families living within this small geographical area, location names also lead to confusion. There are three Cane (Cain) Creeks and/or a Little Cane Creek cited in this area as property location markers. A John Rainey family lived near each. There are at least three and probably four Mill Creeks, often by a Cane Creek, and a John Rainey family lived near each of these. One John Rainey family lived on Country Line Creek while another lived on Cane Creek on the Country Line (i.e. Province Line, or border with Virginia). Some references to geographical location do not clarify whether they refer to the Country Line Creek or to the boundary line of the Country. One John Rainey, who lived on Country Line Creek, purchased land for his sons on Cane Creek and Hico Creek near Mill Creek. There is a Hico (Hyco) Creek and a South Hico Creek and these join into Hico River. In some cases Hico Creek is named North Hico Creek. There are also two Stony Creeks in the region used to identify land locations.
Records of Rainey-linked events are stored in Orange County, Caswell County, Person County, and Alamance County. Splitting Orange County into four counties was sometimes, but not always, accompanied by moving records. However, even after the split, some records for Caswell Co. were placed in Orange County files. In addition, some land transactions for Orange County were recorded in Granville County. As a result, court, land deed, and census records that simply refer to John Rainey or William Rainey or Benjamin Rainey, etc. of Orange County without additional information are not highly helpful in identifying individuals. Even records referring to John Rainey on Cane Creek are not necessarily helpful in identifying individuals. Sorting out these complexities requires a system of linking names, dates, places, and relationships. This is what is attempted here.

Procedures used in this study to arrive at genealogical conclusions
Step 1 was to annotate and tabulate by year of record all verifiable John Rainey family related references that could be located in government or personal sources.
Step 2 was to group the records and references by geographical location, where possible. This allows production of a map of locations where John Rainey families lived.
Step 3 was to sort all records in order of transaction date. This chronological listing allowed placing most of the Raineys cited in the references into distinct family and generational groups. Wills listing family relationships and inheritances were of great value in this construction.
Step 4 involved combining the information on geographical locations, family relations and chronological lists of transactions to produce five lists of records of Rainey families associated with five geographical locations through a period from the early 1750s to the turn of the century.
Step 5 was to create five lists of Raineys that outlined family linkages and locations.
Step 6 calls on DNA sequence data to help decide linkages.

Conclusions: At this time, three of the lists of John Rainey events and locations do not provide highly informative links to current generations of active Rainey researchers. The other two yield immediately relevant information that extends and corrects genetic linkages which have often been unrecognized, unconfirmed, or incorrect in previous analyses of family lines.

C. Locations of the John Raineys properties in Orange County (see step 2 above)

The five areas with major property holdings by Raineys in Orange County are outlined on the accompanying (1771) map #1. The scale at the bottom of the map indicates the distances between the five Rainey family land holdings. The Haw River area contained two John Rainey families, one predominantly on the west side of the river, and the other almost exclusively on the east. The two families were probably related (See DNA information below). The Raineys centered west of the Haw River increased their land holdings and became major land owners after about 1778. They obtained some property on the east side of the river and their holdings began to overlap with the east-side-of-Haw River John Rainey family. Descriptions of the five property regions follow:

Area 1. John Rainey north of the Dan River
This John Rainey will be referred to as the Dan River John from (current) Caswell Co. This region of NC was split from Orange County after 1777. Examination of map #1 shows that there is an approximately 10 square mile section of North Carolina land north of the Dan River and just east of Danville, VA. Cane Creek crosses the border with Virginia, runs southward through this section, and into the Dan River. There is a Mill Creek nearby and a small town of Milton just to the east. John’s property is described in various documents as being located north of the Dan River, on both sides of Cane Creek, and on the Country or Province Line. Thus, the location of this property is identified with high precision, (see map #2).

Area 2. John Rainey on Country Line Creek, in (current) Caswell County.
This John Rainey will be referred to as Country Line Creek John as his known initial properties of record lie along this creek. Country Line Creek runs diagonally southwest to northeast across much of Caswell Co. It empties into the Dan River at Milton very close to the property of Dan River John. The precise location of John’s initial property along Country Line Creek is currently not well defined, though locations of some of his later properties, particularly along Cane Creek, are. John acquired land not only along Country Line Creek, but also along the nearby Hico Creek (or North Hico Creek) and along Cane Creek in Person County near where Cane Creek crosses the county border between Caswell and Person Counties near Semora. This Cane Creek lies just north of and runs generally parallel to Hico Reservoir. The three major property locations of this John Rainey and family were probably within less than 5 miles of each other and certainly less than 10 miles.

Area 3. John Rainey of South Hico (Hyco) Creek, in (current) Person County near (current) Orange County.
This John Rainey will be referred to as South Hico John. The family’s properties were largely in Person County. South Hico Creek flows from southeast Caswell County into the area that became Person County (in 1791) and thence northeast into Hico Reservoir. The properties of this family are variously described as being near the head of South Hico Creek, near Orange County and near the Caswell County borders. Some of the property is in Person County on the west side of S. Hico and on the county line. This description locates one section of the property very precisely. Most of this Rainey family property of record was located within about a 5 mile stretch along the creek (see map #3).

Area 4. John Rainey of the west side of Haw River, largely in (current) Alamance County.
Two John Rainey families lived near the Haw River during the latter half of the 18th century. The Haw River forms a portion of the southern border between Orange and Alamance (formed 1849) Counties. The river runs from northwest to the southeast corner of Alamance County and on further south and east. A Cane Creek and a Mill Creek are both found on the Orange county side of the Haw. However there is another Cane Creek or Little Cane Creek on the Alamance County side of this river. It appears as though the John Rainey at this location did not personally live in North Carolina. The first generation of Raineys from this family to live in NC included John’s son William Rainey and William’s brothers.
This John Rainey will be referred to as West of Haw River John because of the locations settled by his family. The family had extensive land holdings along the Alamance County side of the Haw River, others along Cane Creek, and Great Alamance, and Little Alamance Creeks and some on the east side of the river. They also owned property near the center of Alamance County. These West of Haw River Raineys appear to be the objects of a large portion of the attention from currently active Rainey genealogists researching ancestors from Orange County. Many researchers have at times erroneously blended members of the east side and west side of Haw River Raineys into one family.

Area 5. John Rainey of the east side of Haw River in (current) Orange County.
This John Rainey family originally had properties on the waters of New Hope Creek which flows from west to east across Orange County south of the Eno River. Properties were also obtained near the head of Cane Creek and on Mill Creek, both of which flow southwest into the Haw River. Other properties are listed in the area called Hawfields on early as well as current maps.

Summary: The five land areas on map #1 are a major aid in establishing who belongs in each family. The land areas involved are therefore labeled by family name. The top (north) area (marked with forward slashes) is the region of Dan River John. The three small areas immediately south of Dan River (marked with back slashes) were inhabited by Country Line Creek John. Further south (with horizontal slashes) is the area of South Hico John. The largest and farthest south area indicates an overlap of West of Haw River John (vertical slashes) and East of Haw River John. (See Map #1)

Geographical location and time links among records of land holdings by Raineys in Orange County.

Area 1. John Rainey (Wife Elizabeth) of the Cane Creek area north of the Dan River on the Country line or Province line, Caswell CO.

Dan River John Rainey settled in the small region of North Carolina north of the Dan River in Person County during or before 1760 when he obtained land on Cane Creek John was probably born about 1720–1740 (location unknown). He died after 1784. His wife was Elizabeth (last name unknown) (see below for evidence).

Record of events:

1760, JOHN RAINEY was assigned 700 Acres (Warrant) on Cane Creek. This land began on Mayo’s property line and followed along the Country Line. [Orange Co. Records, Vol. I, Granville Proprietary Land Office Abstracts of Loose Papers]
1760, JOHN RAINEY, survey of 290 Acres of land at the above location. [Ibid.]
1761, JOHN RAINEY, 290 Acres on N. Side of Dan River and on Cane Creek. [Land Grant Records of NC, Vol. I] see also [The Granville District of North Carolina, Abstracts of Land Grants 1748-1763, pg. 85] John Rainey granted 290 acres on north of Dan River on both sides of Cain Creek joining the Country or Province Line.
1761, JOHN RAINEY noted in land grant records as being adjacent to several other properties named. [Ibid.]
1770, JOHN RAINEY sold 120 Acres along Country Line. Dower was relinquished by Elizabeth. This indicates that Elizabeth relinquished land for sale that was legally hers as wife of John Rainey. The land sold was initially bought by John from Mayo. This property was part of the initial land assigned to John Rainey above. The land was sold to J. Byrd from Pittsylvania Co., across VA line. [Ibid.]
1784, JOHN RAINEY and ELIZABETH RAINEY of Cane Creek are on the 1784 Tax Record for Caswell County.

No further records were found for John and Elizabeth at this location. However, records were found in records posted 30 years later for two other Raineys at nearby locations. We do not know the relationship between these two and Dan River John Rainey.

1817, JOHN RAINEY sold Lot # 23 in Milton City. Milton is near Cane Creek on the country line (Virginia line). The sale was witnessed by JAMES RAINEY. [Land Grant Records of NC, Vol. I]

1823, JAMES RAINEY witnessed sale of land on Mill Creek of Caswell County NC on the state line with Halifax County VA. [Ibid.]

No other land records were found. The court minutes and other records for this area need to be reviewed to see if they provide further information on how long John and Elizabeth remained in the area and whether they had children.

Conclusions: A John and Elizabeth Rainey were landholders of at least 1000 acres in the section of Caswell County north of the Dan River starting from 1760-61. Some land was sold in 1770. No record was found regarding the disposition of the rest of the land. It is possible that John and Elizabeth moved elsewhere about 1770 or before, because records of continued transactions relating to this land were not found. Though John and Elizabeth remained on the tax records of 1784, the 1784 and 1790 census records do not place a John Rainey in this area. There is no current evidence linking this John and Elizabeth to other Rainey lines in North Carolina but this should be investigated.

Area 2. John Rainey (wife unknown) of Country Line Creek in Caswell County [and sons on Country Line Creek, Cane Cr. (Person Co.) and N. Hico Creek Caswell/Person Co.]

Country Line Creek John purchased land on North Hico Creek about the same time Dan River John sold his land and essentially disappeared from the land records of North Caswell County. These two could be the same, but we have no record to tie them together.

1770, JOHN REYNEY bought 140 acres of land on N side of North Hico Cr, From Daniel Smith who got it from Charles Mulholland, who got it from Robt. Jones 1760.
1775, JOHN RAINEY purchased a “large tract” of land on Country Line Cr. [Orange Co. Deed Book No. 2 page 324]
1779, JOHN RAINEY had land adjacent to land of John Low on Country Line Cr. [Orange Co. Deed Book No. 2]
1779, JOHN RAINEY received land from the State of North Carolina on N. Hico Creek. Orange Co. [Land Deed Book A Page 430] Thus John had land on Country Line Cr. and also Hico Creek. [Same John? Evidence says yes, see below]
1779, JOHN RAINEY property on Hico [Hyco] Creek noted as being adjacent to properties of several others. [Deed Book A, Orange Co. Pages 343, 472, 476, 483]
1780, JOHN RAINEY had land adjacent John Low and of Hugh Dobbins on Country Line Creek [Deed book A page 511-512 also Book A page 530]
1781, JOHN RAINEY purchased land on Cain (Cane) Creek. [Orange Co. Deed Book B, page 636] Is this the same John Rainey? Evidence says yes, see below.
1782, JOHN RAINEY, will proved 1782. This will was written just prior to JOHN RAINEY departing to search for his mare. The will bequeaths land to: WILLIAM RAINEY, land on Hico Creek; THOMAS RAINEY, land on Country Line Creek; and JAMES RAINEY, land on Cain Cr. Therefore, there appears to be one JOHN RAINEY who is recorded as obtaining land in all three sites and who later gave them to three sons at time of his death. John also mentions items bequeathed to Elizabeth and to Jenny who probably are daughters. Elizabeth could also be the wife. There is nothing mentioned about a son named David or David D.
1782, WILLIAM RAINEY married Elisabeth Akels of Caswell County, JAMES RAINEY bondsman. [Index to Marriage Bonds, North Carolina State Archives 1741-1786, by Catherine A Jackson].
1783, JAMES RAINEY noted to have land next to J.J. Farley of Country Line Cr. [Orange County Deed Book B page 48] Thus transfer of the land referred to above to James in the 1782 will actually did take place.
1783, WILLIAM RAINEY noted as having land adjacent Mary Allen on Hico Creek [Orange Co. Deed Book B, page 12]
1783, WILLIAM RAINEY noted in several Deed Book entries to have land adjacent to THOMAS RAINEY and others on Hico Creek and on Country Line Creek.
1784, WILLIAM RAINEY and THOMAS RAINEY sold a portion of the land originally part of the JOHN RAINEY purchase of 14 Feb. 1775. The sale was also signed by Elizabeth. Orange Co. Deed Book C, page 77.
1784, WILLIAM RAINEY married Molley Wright of Caswell Co. [Index to Marriage Bonds, North Carolina State Archives 1741-1786, by Catherine A Jackson]
1786 ISAAC RAINEY married Sarah Malone, of Caswell Co. [Index to Marriage Bonds, North Carolina State Archives 1741-1786, by Catherine A Jackson]
1789, WILLIAM RAINEY married Chloe Malone of Caswell Co. [Index to Marriage Bonds, North Carolina State Archives 1741-1786, by Catherine A Jackson]
1792, THOMAS RAINEY married Jenny Samuel Caswell Co. [Index to Marriage Bonds, North Carolina State Archives 1741-1786, by Catherine A Jackson]
1793, JAMES RAINEY sold land to THOMAS RAINEY, 357 Acres on Cane Creek adjacent to Murphy and Moore. Witness WILLIAM RAINEY and BETSY RAINEY. [Abstracts Person County Deed Books, 1792-1825 pg. 25]
1795 THOMAS RAINEY Sold 1 Acre on Cane Creek Person County, Adjacent to Moore [Ibid. Pg 17]
1795 WILLIAM RAINEY of Person County witnessed slave sale. [Ibid. pg. 17]
1796, THOMAS RAINEY sold land on Cane Creek
1798, JOHN RAINEY married Nelley Neeley, of Caswell Co. [Index to Marriage Bonds, North Carolina State Archives 1741-1786, by Catherine A Jackson]

The Country Line Creek John Rainey family includes the John Rainey who prepared the oft-quoted January 1782 will as he was “about to leave in search of his mare”. His will dictated transfer of land to his sons William on Hico Creek, James on Cane Creek, and Thomas on Country Line Creek. The above information clearly documents the acquisition of each of these parcels of land by John and subsequent bequeathment of them to his sons. The story about searching for the mare appears to be quite popular with genealogy researchers and has enticed many to include this John as a part of their family line. The John who wrote the “mare will” has frequently been erroneously linked with Rainey family lines from other sections of Orange and Caswell Counties. More than once he has been suggested as a possible father for David Rainey in spite of David not being mentioned in the will. No link is established by our studies between John Rainey of Country Line Creek and Raineys of Haw River region where David D. Rainey and also where William and Mary (Able) Rainey lived. [Note, If any genealogists can conclusively tie their family links to this John Rainey family, it would be worthwhile to obtain a DNA sample for comparison with other Rainey lines.]
It is likely, but unproved, that this John had a wife Elizabeth. The land records indicate that John had sons named William, Thomas, and James. A female named Elizabeth (Betsy) is listed on or as a witness to the records, but from the information available this could have been either a wife or daughter.

Area 3. John Rainey (wife unknown, listed in some genealogists as Elizabeth, no references given) of South Hico Creek, Person County North Carolina

South Hico John Rainey and family owned property on South Hico (Hyco) Creek near the southern end of Person County and on Mill Creek of South Hico not far from the Orange County line. Some of the land was west of S. Hico on the Person-Caswell Co. line. The land parcels described here probably all lie within a 2 mi. radius. This John is referred to in some records as John Sr. He was probably born about 1720 and died after 1792.

Record of events.

1762, JOHN RAINEY Jr. bought land from J Grice. This was 225 acres near the head of S. Hico Creek. [Orange County Records Deed Book 2]
1763, JOHN RAINEY land on S. Hico Creek is recorded as being adjacent to land of Holenspack. [Orange County Records Vol. I Granville Proprietary Land Office]
1767 abt, John Rainey, (probably Jr.) married Jane Mitchell Person County
1784, JOHN RAINEY on tax record of Person County [Tax Records of Person County]
1792, JOHN RAINEY (probably Jr.) property on South Hico recorded as being adjacent to property of Malone and adjacent old property line of JOHN RAINEY. [Abstracts of Person County Deed Books 1792-1825] [Note, Children of John Rainey and Jane Mitchell married to Malone family, see below]
1792, JOHN RAINEY has land on S. Hico adjacent to land sold by Daniel Malone to Lewis Malone. [Person County Deed Books 1792-1825]
1792 JOHN RAINEY Sr. Recorded as owing money on debt ledger of estate of merchant John McNeill. John McNeill’s store was “near the Caswell-Person border and very near Leasburg.” near Caswell/Person County borders. [Person County North Carolina compilations. Land Grants, 1794, 1805, 1823 Tax Lists, Record Book Abstracts 1782-1820, Letter of Attorney, By Katharine Kerr Kendall]
1792, BENJAMIN RAINEY is recorded as owing money to same merchant owed by John Rainey. [Ibid.]
1792, THOMAS RAINEY married Rita Cooper, Person Co. [Index to Marriage Bonds, North Carolina State Archives 1741-1786, By Catherine A Jackson]
1793, JAMES RAINEY sold 357 acres (whereon Thomas Rainey lives) to Thomas Rainey, adjacent to Archibald Murphey, John Moore, Thomas Hamblet and Frances Hamblet. Witness WILLIAM RAINEY and BETTY (probably Elizabeth) RAINEY. [Person County Deed Books 1792-1825]
1794, JOHN RAINEY on Tax List St. Lukes District, Person County. [Person County North Carolina compilations. Land Grants, 1794, 1805, 1823 Tax Lists, Record Book Abstracts 1782-1820, Letter of Attorney, By Kathatine Kerr Kendall]
1794, JOHN RAINEY recorded as having land adjacent to Wells, on South Hico near head of creek.
1794, JAMES RAINEY married Nancy Samuel, Person Co. [Index to Marriage Bonds, North Carolina State Archives 1741-1786, By Catherine A Jackson]
1795, THOMAS RAINEY sold 1 acre on Cain Creek adjacent to Moore. Witness James Rainey. [Person County Deed Books 1792-1825]
1795, JOHN RAYNEY and WILLIAM RAYNEY are on tax records for St. Luke’s District. [Person County North Carolina compilations. Land Grants, 1794, 1805, 1823 Tax Lists, Record Book Abstracts 1782-1820, Letter of Attorney, By Kathatine Kerr Kendall]
1795, WILLIAM RAYNEY and THOMAS RAYNEY are on tax records for St. Lawrence District. [Person County North Carolina compilations. Land Grants, 1794, 1805, 1823 Tax Lists, Record Book Abstracts 1782-1820, Letter of Attorney, By Kathatine Kerr Kendall]
1796, WILLIAM RAINEY married Anness (various spellings) Haralson in Person Co. [Index to Marriage Bonds, North Carolina State Archives 1741-1786, By Catherine A Jackson]
1799, JOHN RAINEY Jr. Is recorded as witness to a will. [Caswell County Will Books 1777-1814]
1799, Thomas Rainey bought 120 acres on Double Creek of Hico from John Scoging.[Person County Deed Books 1792-1825]
1799, WILLIAM RAINEY of Person County bought 200 acres on waters of Hico and Eno River. This land must be in N. Orange County near Person County line. Witness ISAAC AND JOHN RAINEY, proved by ISAAC AND WILLIAM RAINEY.
1800, JOHN RAINEY, THOMAS RAINEY, WILLIAM RAINEY, of Person Co. In 1800 Census.
1805, THOMAS RAINEY, WILLIAM RAINEY and DAVID RAYNEY were on the Person County Tax records. [Person County North Carolina compilations. Land Grants, 1794, 1805, 1823 Tax Lists, Record Book Abstracts 1782-1820, Letter of Attorney, By Kathatine Kerr Kendall]
1812, DAVID RAINEY, son of JOHN RAINEY is given power of attorney to sell property belonging to JOHN RAINEY “on the site where he lives”. Witness was ISAAC RAINEY. [Person County Deed Books, 1792-1825]
1813, DAVID RAINEY sold property on South Hico Creek adjacent to JOHN RAINEY old line and adjacent to property of ISAAC RAINEY. [Person County Deed Book 1792-1825] Note JOHN RAINEY Sr. would be about 90 years old if still alive at this time. Most likely, in 1813, DAVID RAINEY used his 1812 power of attorney to sell property for his father JOHN RAINEY Jr. [Person County Deed Book 1792-1825]
1824, Land adjacent the JOHN RAINEY old property line and also adjacent to property of LEMUEL RAINEY was sold. [Caswell County Deed Book 1817-1840]
1824, Land adjacent to JOHN RAINEY property and adjacent to LEMUEL RAINEY property in Caswell and Person Counties (i.e. on county lines) was sold. (Possible that JOHN RAINEY Jr. and LEMUEL RAINEY were brothers or other near relatives.) [Caswell County Deed Book 1817-1840]

Summary: The time line, identical locations of property sites, and power of attorney given from father John to son David indicate that Rainey property was located in one small region and probably with only one Rainey family. There was a John Sr. born about 1720-40 and died after 1812. John Jr. born around 1740 to 1760 lived on the same land. David was born around 1760 – 80 and had a father John (almost certainly John Jr. based on ages). Benjamin and Isaac may be brothers of John Jr., and Lemuel may be brother of David based on ages and proximity of land locations. Nothing has been found to identify this John with any of the other Johns of Caswell, Person, or Orange counties in the mid 1700s. This family appears linked to Mitchell and Malone families for which considerable genealogy work has been done.

Area 4. John Rainey family West of Haw River, largely in Alamance County, NC

This West of Haw River John Rainey family has been the object of much genealogical investigation. This John Rainey was from Virginia and had a wife named Elizabeth Hunter. West of Haw John was the son of John Rainey and Elizabeth Strayhorn, also of Virginia. John had a son William (m. Mary Able), a grandson Benjamin (m. Nancy Sallinger) and a great grandson Benjamin Able Rainey (Rayney). There are no known records to indicate that West Haw River John personally emigrated to NC from his home in Virginia. Members of the family settled near the Haw River, mostly on the southwest side. Because of their proximity to another John Rainey family centered largely on the east side of the river, the records of the two families are sometimes difficult to separate. However, careful analysis of land deed records and other county and state records for the greater Haw River area, indicates there were only a small number of adult Rainey males through the middle years of the 18th century, allowing them to be separated by age, census, land, court records, etc . By the end of the century the larger numbers of Raineys with common given names makes this process more difficult and family records such as wills and marriage records are required to sort them out. (Note, a portion of the material assembled here is from Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarters (hereafter listed as P & Q). Much of this was assembled earlier by Ruth Herndon and printed in the Rainey Times, and used (with thanks) below.
To aid identification in the entries below, we have added a code to indicate names and generations. The bold letters J, W, B, D, JA, I etc. stand for John, William, Benjamin, David, James, and Isaac, respectively. The second term in the symbol indicates the number of the generation. Thus, John Rainey is generation 1, his children are generation 2, and so forth. For example W2 represents William in the second generation. B3 represents Benjamin in the third generation. When there is an ambiguity, either no code is assigned or the nature of the ambiguity indicated.

Records referring to West of Haw River John Rainey family.
1. 1754, James Rainey and others were appointed as Grand Jurors in Orange County. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766]
2. 1756, ROBERT RAINEY received Letter of Attorney from Campbell and McCulloch. The letter was proved by JOHN RAINEY. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766]
3. 1757, WILLIAM RAINEY was granted 400 Ac. on west side of Haw River in (old) Orange Co. This land is currently in Alamance County. [Orange Co. Records Vol I, Granville Proprietary Land Office] W2
4. 1757, WILLIAM RAINEY Warrant for 640 acres on west side of Haw R, abuts Philips and Holt. Also, Survey of this land 1775. [Orange Co. Records Vol I, Granville Proprietary Land Office, Abstracts of Loose Papers] W2
5. 1757, ROBERT RAINEY (late of Ireland) received Power of Attorney from Henry McCulloch of England and Joseph Willock of Bristol England to sell lands on the PeeDee (further west in N.C.) and Haw Rivers. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766]
6. 1758,THOMAS RAINEY and others appointed Petit Jurors. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766]
7. 1759, THOMAS RAINEY and Thomas Cate appointed overseers of road from Courthouse to J. Wood’s ferry. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766]
8. 1759, THOMAS RAINEY (and others) appointed to lay out a road to John Wood’s ferry on Haw River. ROBERT RAINEY appointed as overseer. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766]
9. 1761, WILLIAM RAINEY (and others) lay out and open new road from Pine Ford on Haw River to fork of the Road Westward, and from Trollinger Ferry to the same road. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766] W2
10. 1763, THOMAS RAINEY vs. John Robertson case. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766]
11. 1764, THOMAS RAINEY vs. John Robertson case. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766]
12. 1764, ISAAC RAINEY vs. Jeremiah Duckworth case. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766]
13. 1764, WILLIAM RAINEY appointed constable “in room of Wm Blackwood”. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766] W2
14. 1765, WILLIAM RAINEY; William Millwee appointed constable “in William’s room”. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766] W2
15. 1766, JAMES RAINEY’s orphan daughter age 12 yr, under guardianship of Samuel and Elizabeth King. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766]
16. 1766, JAMES RONY (probably Rainey) will proved by oath of Mary Sample. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766]
17. 1766, JAMES RONEY age 14 years, a son of JAMES RONEY, deceased, bound to Frederick Black. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766]
18. 1768, WILLIAM RAINEY signed petition to Gov. Tryon, and signed Regulator advertisement. W2
19. 1777, WILLIAM RAINEY made Justice of Peace in Orange Co. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766] W2
20. 1777, WILLIAM RAINEY 1777–1785, numerous citations for court related actions. Of interest, Wm. was required to take oath of allegiance of “all male persons above the age of 16 years in 1778. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766] W2
21. 1778, BENJAMIN RAINEY appointed collector for Chatham District B2
22. 1778, WILLIAM RAINEY entered a claim to 3 acres of land on both sides of the Haw River including improvements. [Transcripts of the Entry Books for the County of Orange] W2
23. 1778, WILLIAM RAINEY claimed 640 Acres land on the waters of the Little Alamance bounding Haw, Mculloch Line and his own 80 acres. [Transcripts of the Entry Books for the County of Orange] W2
24. 1778, BENJAMIN RAINEY claims 320 acres on the waters of the (illegible) Branch, a branch of the Haw River, adjacent to WILLIAM RAINEY. [Transcripts of the Entry Books for the County of Orange] B3
25. 1778, BENJAMIN RAINEY claims 100 Acres on south side of Haw River bounding on river, a place called Bent Turning. [Transcripts of the Land Entry Books for the County of Orange] B3
26. 1778, BENJAMIN RAINEY claims 50 Acres on the East side of Stony Creek (of Haw River) [North Carolina Registration of Deeds, 1753-1793] B3
27. 1778, BENJAMIN RAINEY claims 50 acres on Little Alamance Creek by WILLIAM RAINEY. [Transcripts of the Land Entry Books for the County of Orange] B3
28. 1779, WILLIAM RAINEY (probably Jr.) was appointed to serve as juror in superior court. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766] W2
29. 1779, WILLIAM RAINEY granted 106 acres on the waters of Little Alamance beside road from Guilford to Hillsborough. [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] also [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] W2
30. 1779, WILLIAM RAINEY 150 acres on Seder Creek of the Great Alamance and on Little Alamance (two plots). [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] W2
31. 1779, BENJAMIN RAINEY granted 320 acres Great Branch of Haw River. [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] B3
32. 1779, BENJAMIN RAINEY granted 50.5 acres beside branch of Haw River including Rising Sun Spring. [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] B3
33. 1780, WILLIAM RAINEY and BEN (sic) RAINEY were assigned as laborers on road building under direction of Freedland. [Abstracts of minutes of the Court of P & Q Orange Co. Feb 1780]. Note this is most likely an assignment of a younger William, possibly born about 1760-65. The older William was Judge at this time and was not likely to be doing labor on roads. W2, B3
34. 1780, BENJAMIN RANEY granted 80 acres on waters of Little Alamance. [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] B3
35. 1780, BENJAMIN RANEY granted 100 acres NW by Haw River at place called the Bent. [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885]
36. 1780, BENJAMIN RAINEY called to jury of superior court. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766] B3
37. 1783, WILLIAM RAINEY sold 140 acres on south side of Haw R. to Rachel Phillips. Signed WILLIAM RAINEY AND MARY RAINEY, witness BENJAMIN RAINEY. [Orange County Records Vol II, Deed Books 1 & 2, Abstracts] W2 or W3
38. 1783, WILLIAM RAINEY and wife, deed to Richard Phillips. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766] W2 or W3
39. 1784, BENJAMIN RAINEY and Nancy (wife) sell 120 acres on south side of Haw River to Michael Holt. Part of a tract granted from State to Rainey. Signed BENJAMIN RAINEY, NANCY RAINEY [Orange Co Records Vol III, Deed Book 3, See also NC Patent Book 40:303] B3
40. 1784, WILLIAM RAINEY and MARY RAINEY, his wife, sold land to Wm. O’neal. Proved by WILLIAM RAINEY. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766] W2
41. 1784, BENJAMIN RAINEY, summoned by sheriff for May court. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766] B3
42. 1784, WILLIAM RAINEY appointed justice again. W2
43. 1785, BENJAMIN RAINEY and WILLIAM RAINEY witness and prove sale of land on waters of Great Alamance. [Orange Co Records Vol III, Deed Book 3, Abstracts]
W2, B3
44. 1795, BENJAMIN RAINEY Granted 50 Ac on the waters of Stoney Cr. [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] B4 or B4
45. 1799, BENJAMIN RAINEY and NANCY RAINEY sold 200 acres to William Baldwin on north side of Haw River. [Orange Co. Records, Volume XII, Deed Books 8 & 9]
46. 1799, BENJAMIN RAINEY has property adjacent to George Holt on south side of Haw River. [Orange Co. Records, Volume XII, Deed Books 8 & 9] B3
47. 1799, BENJAMIN RAINEY granted 300 acres south side of Haw River. [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] B3
48. 1799, BENJAMIN RAINEY granted 200 acres on south side of Haw River. [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] B3
49. 1799, BENJAMIN RAINEY granted 100 acres on waters of little Alamance. [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] B3
50. 1799, BENJAMIN RAINEY granted 144 acres Stoney Creek, Assigned by Luke Pendergrass. [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] B3
51. 1799, ISAAC RAINEY granted 130 acres on Great Branch of Haw River. [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] I4
52. 1799, WILLIAM RAINEY granted 100 acres on Great Branch of Haw River [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] W2
53. 1800, WILLIAM RAINEY purchased 7 Negroes from David Philips. [Orange Co. Records, Volume XII, Deed Books 8 & 9]. W2 or W3
54. 1801, BENJAMIN RAINEY and John Reeves 130 Ac on North side of Haw River. [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] B3
55. 1802 JAMES RAINEY married Elizabeth Barbee, Orange Co. [Index to Marriage Bonds, North Carolina State Archives 1741-1786, By Catherine A Jackson]
56. 1805, WILLIAM RAINEY and BENJAMIN RAINEY, deed of trust to William Cameron for 960 Ac for 2 tracts on south side of Haw River, first tract is where WILLIAM and BENJAMIN now live. Includes 16 Negro slaves. [Orange Co. Records Volume XV, Deed Book 12, 1805-1807] W2, B3
57. 1806, ISAAC RAINEY property line on Headwaters of Little Alamance R. [Orange Co. Records Volume XV, Deed Book 12, 1805-1807]
58. 1813, ISAAC RAINEY Married Elizabeth Kirk, Orange Co. [Index to Marriage Bonds, North Carolina State Archives 1741-1786, By Catherine A Jackson]
59. 1811, BENJAMIN RAINEY DIED 1811, (See next entry. Also, Newspaper notice of death in1811, indicating no other sons of WILLIAM and Mary Able, his parents.)
60. 1812, WILLIAM RAINEY died. W2
61. 1824, BENJAMIN RAINEY (Deceased) was assigned 317 Ac on Little Alamance Creek. [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885]
The west of Haw River John Rainey family was cited frequently in both court proceedings and land transfers. By the end of the 1700s, family numbers had expanded to make it difficult to trace further family relationships from land and court records. Birth, death, and will records are required to sort out the many William, Isaac, James, etc. Raineys in this family. There is a link between West of Haw River and East of Haw River John Rainey families through the Strayhorn family. Jeanette Strayhorn was the wife of a John Rainey father of the West of Haw John Rainey family. Gilbert Strayhorn and his associates were involved in land transactions with the East of Haw John Rainey Family. This information, combined with DNA data, suggests that there may be a common ancestor between the East of Dan and West of Dan families, possibly as early as two generations before the John Raineys of the Generation 1 in our summary.

Area 5. John Rainey from east of the Haw river in Orange County NC.
East of Haw River John Rainey settled in Orange County before 1753. He appears to be the father of William Rainey and grandfather of David D. Rainey. The records listed here are again coded for name and generation to help interpretation. In this section, several records referring to non-Rainey individuals involved with transactions of John Rainey and family are entered and will be used in arguments for establishing some family relationships.

Records Related to East of Haw River John Rainey and family in Orange County
1. 1743, John Rainey 18 Nov. Granted from Crown, 200 acres in Edgecombe (Pre-Orange County) County on the S. side of Roanoke joining ROUSE and the River bank. Colony of North Carolina 1735-1764, Abstracts of Land Patents Volume One, By Margaret M. Hofmann.
2. 1753, Two deeds from the Earl of Granville to WILLIAM CREIGE, 475 and 280 acres.
[Transcripts of the Land Entry Books for the County of Orange]
3. 1754, WILLIAM CREIGE, deed of sale to JOHN CREIGE. [Transcripts of the Land Entry Books for the County of Orange]
4. 1756, JOHN REANEY purchased land at New Hope Settlement from WILLIAM CREIGE (Craig). The land was on New Hope Cr. opposite the mouth of Richland Fork Cr. The settlement was formed by Scotch-Irish settlers. The father of Gilbert Strayhorn was a leader. Their initial settlement in America was about 12 mi. from Harrisburg PA. Gilbert STRAYHORN was born in PA in 1715. At the age of about 25 (1740) he went with the group to form New Hope Church and community on the New Hope Cr. in Orange Co. NC. This church group was linked with a church group in Hawfields, or Haw Fields, etc. Of significance to this report, the group included the Creige family. [New Hope Church, Orange Co. N.C., Irwin Craig, Reidsville, NC, Revised Edition, for reference see http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~Imoah/NCOrange/newhope.htm]
5. 1757, JOHN RAINEY was witness to letter of attorney for John Campbell [Abstracts of
the minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter (P & Q) sessions of Orange County in the Province of North Carolina, Sept 1752 through Aug 1776, Rainey Times Vol 3 pg 140]
6. 1758, JOHN RAINEY and MORDECAI GWINN (or Gwin or Gwyn) in court vs. James Carey. Note, the name Gwin comes up as possible brother-in-law of DAVID D RAINEY. [Abstracts of the minutes of the Court of P & Q sessions of Orange County in the Province of North Carolina, Sept 1752 through Aug 1776, see also Rainey Times Vol 3 pg 140] J1
7. 1758, JOHN REANEY sold the same land (237 Acres) (see above) back to JAMES CREIGE (son of WILLIAM CREIGE). [Orange Co Deed Book 1, p 153.] J1
8. 1759, JOHN RAINEY had JANE SAWYER, a child of 5 years, bound to him until she was age 18. [Abstracts of the minutes of the Court of P & Q sessions of Orange County in the Province of North Carolina, Sept 1752 through Aug 1776, see also Rainey Times Vol 3 pg 140] J1
9. 1761, JOHN RENEY sold 320 acres to John Craig. [Inferior Court of Pleas and Quarters, Orange County.
10. 1768, JOHN RAINEY signed petition to Gov. Tryon (as a Regulator) J1 or J2
11. 1778, WILLIAM RAINEY was granted 400 acres on Mill Creek of Haw River. Surveyed by T. Taylor, JOSEPH BAKER, WILLIAM RAINEY [Orange Co. Records, Vol IX, State Land Grants] W2
12. 1778, JOHN RAINEY, is mentioned in land grant on Little Cane Cr. by Hardins Creek, Haw River granted to J. McBride. This land is adjacent to land of JOHN RAINEY, and John Picard [Orange Co. Records, Vol IX, State Land Grants 1-500] also [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] J3
13. 1778, JOHN RAINEY appointed to attend court. J3
14. 1778, JOHN CRAIG entered claim to 200 Ac on the waters of New Hope Creek adjacent to his own land on the south east, including improvements. [Transcripts of the Entry Books for the County of Orange]
15. 1778, WILLIAM RAINEY claims 500 Acres on Mill Creek of Haw River bounding Thomas Lockard, John (illegible), Griffith Thomas, and others, including the improvements whereon DAVID RAINEY, JOS. BAKER and the said WILLIAM RAINEY now live. [Transcripts of the Land Entry Books for the County of Orange] W2
16. 1778, WILLIAM STRAYHORN enters a claim to 200 Acres of land in Orange County lying on the waters of Eno River for the use in behalf of the New Hope Congregation including New Hope meeting house. [Recall relation between STRAYHORN, CREIGE, and JOHN RAINEY. Also recall marriage of a John Rainey (Father of West of Haw JOHN RAINEY to JANETTE STRAYHORN) [Transcripts of the Land Entry Books for the County of Orange]
17. 1778, JAMES CRAIG claimed 168 acres on waters of Richland Fork, a branch of New Hope Creek. [Transcripts of the Land Entry Books for the County of Orange]
18. 1778, WILLIAM CRAIG claimed 200 acres on Back Creek, a branch of Haw River adjacent JOHN LOCKARD. [North Carolina Registration of Deeds, 1753-1793]
19. 1778, THOMAS LOCKARD entered a claim for 150 acres on the water of Little Cain Creek, a branch of the Haw River, adjoining JOHN RAINEY and McBride. [North Carolina Registration of Deeds, 1753-1793] J1
20. 1778, JOHN RAINEY claimed 350 acres on Cain Creek, branch of Haw River where John now lives. [Transcripts of the Land Entry Books for the County of Orange] J1
21. 1779, JOHN RAINEY, 325 acres on N. Side of Haw River at Cane Cr. at Hardins Creek. [Transcripts of the Land Entry Books for the County of Orange] J1
22. 1778, ROBERT BAKER claims 300 acres on the branches of New Hope Creek and Eno Creek bounding on land of Jos Haskins. [Transcripts of the Land Entry Books for the County of Orange]
23. 1779, ROBERT BAKER entered a claim to 118 Acres of land lying in Orange County on the waters of New Hope Creek by his other property and adjoining the lands of DAVID CRAIG, JAMES CRAIG and James Hastings including an entry of survey formerly in Granville offices.
24. 1779, DAVID RAINEY and WILLIAM RAINEY (and others) appointed to lay off new road. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766] W3 D3
25. 1779, WILLIAM RAINEY granted 400 acres on Mill Creek Orange Co. [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] W3
26. 1779, DAVID RAINY noted as having land adjacent to DAVID CREIGE [Father is John, see #2]. (Part of a tract from Granville to Michael Waldrop Feb 1761). [Orange County Records Vol II, Deed Books 1 & 2, Abstracts] Note: Michael Waldrope on 5 Feb. 1761 was granted 370 acres in Orange County Parrish of St. Mattews “on the waters of New Hope Creek joining a Stoney Nap and the said creek”. [The Granville District of North Carolina Abstracts of Land Grants 1748-1763, pg 100, M. Hofman]. Thus, the land purchased by DAVID RAINEY is on New Hope Creek D3
27. 1779, DAVID REANYS had land adjacent to John Hart. (Part of a tract from GRANVILLE to MICHAEL WALDROP Feb 1761). [Orange County Records Vol II, Deed Books 1 & 2, Abstracts] D3
28. 1779, WILLIAM RAINEY, granted 400 acres on Mill Cr. [Orange County Records Vol II, Deed Books 1 & 2, Abstracts, See also NC Patent Book 40:425] also [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] D3
29. 1780, JOHN RAINEY sold 35 acres on North side of Haw River in the Hawfields and a branch of Cain Cr. to Henry Pickard. Part of 325 Ac that was granted to JOHN RAINEY in 1779. [Orange County Records Vol II, Deed Books 1 & 2, Abstracts] J1
30. 1782, WILLIAM RAINEY deed to JOSEPH BAKER. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766] W2
31. 1781-82, JOHN RAINEY DIED 1782 (From Will of 1782) D3
32. 1784, DAVID RAINEY sold a portion of his land (148 acres) on Mill Creek to JOSEPH BARKER (BAKER). Signed DAVID RAINEY and JANET RAINEY, Witnesses JOHN RAINEY, CATHRIN RAINEY. (Note, DAVID RAINEY recorded with wife Jane, Jiny, Jinny, and with children Cathrin and John, Also JOHN BAKER appears to be brother of Joseph and brother-in-law of DAVID RAINEY) [Orange Co. Records, Volume XII, Deed Books 8 & 9] [Orange Co. Records, Volume XII, Deed Books 8 & 9] D3
33. 1785, JOHN RAINEY to work on road from Cane Creek to Meadow Meeting House. [Orange Co. Court of P & Q, 1752-1766]
34. 1787, DAVID RAINEY has property adjacent to land of John Hart “along Reney’s line”. Part of a tract from Granville to Michael Waldrop to John Hart Sr. [Orange Co Records Vol III, Deed Book 3, Abstracts] D3
35. 1787, JOHN RAINEY was appointed overseer in place of Thomas Couch. J4
36. 1788, JOHN RAINEY building road, Thomas Lloyd overseer. J4
37. 1789, DAVID RAINEY was one of a company of nine of the Orange Company of Horse employed to guard the removal of the money in the Treasury from Hillsborough to Fayetteville. Paid the sum of five pounds plus traveling expenses. D3
38. 1790 JOHN RAINEY was living with William in 1790 Census J4
39. 1796, WILLIAM RANEY (sic) Part of tract from WILLIAM RAINEY was sold by JOHN BARKER (BAKER) to JOSEPH BARKER (Baker), 55 acres on waters of Mill Cr. (JOHN BARKER witness). Note, JOHN BAKER is brother-in-law of DAVID RAINEY and son-in-law of WILLIAM RAINEY and MARY (ABLE). [Orange Co. Records, Volume XII, Deed Books 8 & 9] W2
40. 1798, JOHN RAINEY property line adjacent to land issued to Wm. Morrow on Haw River. [Orange Co. Records, Vol IX, State Land Grants 1-500] J4
41. 1798, DAVID RAINEY married NANCY DAVIS in Orange Co. Note this is David “L” Rainey. Nancy Davis family has land on New Hope Creek [Index to Marriage Bonds, North Carolina State Archives 1741-1786, by Catherine A Jackson] D4
42. 1800, DAVID RAINNEY in Orange Co. Census of 1800 D4
43. 1800, DAVED (stet.) RANEY in Orange Co. Census of 1800
44. 1800, DAVID RANCY AND DAVID RANCY Jr. in Orange Co. Census of 1800
45. DAVID D DIED 1802 (From will of 1802) D3
46. 1804, D. RAINEY Witnessed sale of property on Little Cane Cr. [Orange Co. Records Volume XV, Deed Book 12, 1805-1807] note, probably David L. D4
47. 1809, DAVID RAINEY married NANCY SHEPPERD in Orange Co. [Index to Marriage Bonds, North Carolina State Archives 1741-1786, By Catherine A Jackson] Note this is not the same David as in item 39 above. D4
48. 1831, JAMES RAINEY granted 136 acres on Waters of New Hope Cr. [Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Vol I, Orange County 1752-1885] J4

Summary of proposed relationships among Haw River Raineys

There are records of four early Raineys in the Haw River area of Orange County and Alamance County: John, Thomas, James, and Robert. (Note, the records do not seem to indicate more than one John in the area at this time. John received land from the Crown in 1743, this may be the same John). These four Raineys all appear to be in the age range from about 30 to 50 when records of their land transactions and court records begin in the mid 1740s to 1750s. A William and David appear quite early in the records but are evidently a bit younger than the other four. [Evidence supporting these conclusions: they were mature settlers who, by the 1850s, had teen-aged and older children, owned land, appeared in court, posted bonds, and were used as witnesses of various legal transactions.] James died in 1766 leaving two young teen-aged children, James and Ann as orphans. Neither of these orphaned children is found in any records from times subsequent to their placement in homes. Several records are found for Thomas during the period from 1756 to about 1765; then he too disappears from local records. Robert (“lately from Ireland”) makes a short appearance as a land salesman and road builder, with a few appearances in the local courts during the period from 1756 to 1759, but with no recorded land purchases in the area. This Robert Rainey was a land agent for some Englishmen, selling properties in the Haw River area and also for the PeeDee River area. It appears that he may have moved on to the other region after about 1759. We do not know the relation between this Robert and John and Thomas and William. Thus, we are left with most of the reference data concerning John and William, then some younger family members including the next generation William and David and their children.
Within the Haw River area, the Raineys can be separated geographically into two partially overlapping areas. The earliest John started with land near New Hope Creek and the New Hope Creek Church (see map #4). Also living in this area on contiguous plots were families named Baker, Craig, and Strayhorn. John Rainey purchased land from the Craigs. David had land about three miles from the contiguous plots on or adjacent to a Granville Land Grant to Michael Waldrop(e), (See map #4). Later records show John to also have land on Little Cane Creek by Hardins Creek and the north side of Haw River in Hawfields. John’s children (including William, David and John as indicated by his will) continued to live on or near both the New Hope and Mill Creeks. All of these locations are in current day Orange County on the Northeast side of the Haw River. This John Rainey and family had continual interactions with families who were part of the New Hope Church group, but we have found no evidence yet to indicate that Raineys were a part of that group.
In Contrast, the lands belonging to William and Mary Able Rainey and their child Benjamin were initially located predominantly on the southwest side of the Haw River and up the river in what is now Alamance County, though some properties were later developed on the east of the River as William and Benjamin became very large land (and slave) owners.
Genealogical records, particularly wills, were used along with the geographical data to identify some family relations and generate the relationships in the table below.
The records show that there are two separate family lines in the Haw River Area, each starting with a John born around 1700 to 1720. The West of Haw River John family line, is well documented in many genealogical studies. Currently, the first known individuals on this line appear to be John Rainey and Janette Strayhorn in Virginia. Their son was John Rainey who married Elizabeth Hunter, also in Virginia. They probably did not move to NC, because the younger John’s will was probated in VA. The offspring of John and Elizabeth were James (m. Nancy Samuel), Thomas (m. Elizabeth Samuel) and William (m. Mary Able). The later pair were parents of Benjamin (m. Nancy Sallinger), and grandfather to Benjamin Able Rainey, and so on.
The East of Haw River John line is the less well documented of the two lines. We propose, however, father John, son William (almost certainly married to a Mary, last name unknown) plus other children David D. and John. David D had a son David. These relationships are shown below.

Family lines for two John Rainey families living east and west of the Haw River, Orange Co., NC. These families are distinct, but probably related and are commonly confused and intermixed in genealogical records.

East of Haw River West of Haw River
-1 Unknown -1 John (m. Jeanette Strayhorn) (Virginia)
(born in Scotland?)
1 John (m. Elizabeth ?) b. ~1710 1. John (m. Elizabeth Hunter) b.~1720
2 William 2 James 1758 (Nancy Samuel)
2 David 2 Thomas 1763 (Elizabeth Samuel)
2 John 2. And daughters
2 Others? 2 William

2. William (m. Mary ?) b. ~1730) 2. William (m. Mary Able) b. 1737
3. William (m. Annice Haralson) 3. Benjamin,
3 David D (only child, Reverend)
3 Daughter (m. Gwin)
4 Grandson William Gwinn
3 Daughter (m. John Baker)
4 Grandson William Baker

3. David D. Rainey Sr. (m. Jiney/Jinsy/) 3. Benjamin (m. Nancy Sallinger) Jane) b. 1753 b. 1756
4 David (L.?/Lemuel?) 4 Nancy
4 John 4 Sally
4 James 4 Milly
4 Cathrin 4 William
4 Susannah 4 John (Went to Tennessee)
4 Jinney 4 Isaac
4 Marget 4 Benjamin Able
4 Mary

4. David (L?) (m. Nancy Davis) 4. Benjamin Able b. ~ 1788
(b. 1775, moved to Tenn.)
5 Catherine 5 Isaac
5 Chesley 1802 N.C. 5 John
5 William 1804 Tenn. 5 Daughters
5 Hannah 1806 (This line probably has 2 DNA
5 Anderson 1810 marker differences from David “L”)
5 Sarah 1812
5 Nancy 1813
5 Mary 1815
5 Doctor 1816
5 David Pinkney 1818
(note, two of females listed here
may be daughter-in-laws)

5. David Pinkney 1818
6. David William and 14 siblings
6. David William

What is the strength of the evidence for the proposed John relationships in the David D. Rainey line?

The line from present generations back to David D. is well established. We will start with the question of what is the proof that David D. is the son of a William Rainey who is not the William Rainey, husband of Mary Able and father of Benjamin. Let the David D. line be indicated by E.(east). Let the Benjamin line be indicated by W(west).
1. First, much genealogical, land record and court evidence indicates that the William Rainey in the E family line (E,W2) differs from the William, husband of Mary Able (W,W2), though they lived at the same time and in very nearly the same geographical location. William (W,W2) appears to be younger by a few years than William (E,W2). William (W,W2) and Mary Able are reported in a contemporary newspaper to have had only one child, named Benjamin. The William and Mary Able line could thus only include David D. if a second wife is postulated. WilliamW was a very prominent person of the area so it is unlikely that he had a second wife and sons other than Benjamin without leaving a public record. In addition, the birth dates for WilliamW and for David and his siblings seem to exclude the two-wife hypothesis. WilliamW was born in 1737, BenjaminW in about 1756, and DavidE in 1753. It is not feasible from age considerations that David and three siblings could have been the products of a first wife. Also, land records indicate that Mary Able was still alive at the time David was born, excluding the possibility that David was a product of a second wife of Benjamin. This leads to the conclusion that David was not the son of William and Mary Able.
2. Property transaction records indicate two distinct, though adjacent, regions where William Rainey(s) owned property. Thus there is either one William with two property areas, or two Williams.
3. Land in one of the regions, became the property of David and the sons-in-law of WilliamE and their descendants. The land in the other region was owned by WilliamW and Mary Able and subsequently was sold or owned or jointly owned by Benjamin and other descendants. Thus, the Williams appear to be distinct and it is possible to identify each from the disposition of their land holdings and their children.
4. Next, a will, filed by WilliamE in 1779 and proved in 1813, lists a brother David and sons William and David plus grandsons William Baker and William Gwin (No Benjamin.) This indicates that WilliamE had two daughters who married son-in-laws named Gwin and Baker. The WilliamE filing this will is distinct from WilliamW, the father of BenjaminW. Note also that part of a tract from North Carolina to William Rainey was later sold by John Barker (Baker) to (his brother?) Joseph Barker (Baker), 55 Ac on waters of Mill Cr. (John Barker witness). The 1790 census lists John Baker Sr. and William Baker living with David Rainey. Based on the contents of the will, these are probably the brother-in-law and nephew of David and son-in-law and grandson of William.
5. Evidence that David D. is the David mentioned in the will of WilliamE comes from land records, census records, relationships with the Gwin and Baker family. For example, in 1782 William Rainey deeded land on Mill Creek to Joseph Baker, brother of John Baker. This keeps the land in the extended family.
6. In 1784, David D. and wife Janet (Jiney, etc.) sold a portion of their land on Mill Creek to Joseph Baker. This was witnessed by John and Cathrin Rainey, which are names of children of David D., but these children would be young for witnessing a transaction. The witnesses could have been uncle and other relative). Again the transaction keeps the land with the extended family as neighbors.
Conclusion: David D was indeed the son of WilliamE, the brother of another William, and the brother-in-law of John Baker and (?) Gwin. Neither of these Williams were the WilliamW, husband of Mary Able and father of Benjamin.

Now, what is the evidence that the William Rainey, shown above to be the father of David D., was the son of John Rainey? [All references in this section are to members of the E family]
1. JOHN REANEY purchased land at New Hope Settlement from William Creige (Craig) in 1756. The land was on New Hope Cr. opposite the mouth of Richland Fork Cr. in the area of subsequent William Rainey family land holdings. John subsequently resold the land to John Greige. Note that land held by James Craig (see map #4) was stated to be on Richland fork Creek. This identifies precisely the location of the land purchased by John Rainey and places it near land subsequently owned by David D. Rainey.
2. JOHN RAINEY and Mordecai Gwinn participated together in a suit vs. James Carey in 1758. Thus there was an association between the Gwin family and John Rainey. Later, William Rainey had a daughter who married a Gwin.
3. In 1778, JOHN RAINEY owned land on Little Cane Cr. by Hardins Creek of the Haw River adjacent to J. McBride and John Picard. Also, in 1779, JOHN RAINEY purchased 325 Ac. on N. Side of Haw River at Cane Cr. at Hardins Creek. These land holdings were in the same location or immediate vicinity of lands owned by William Rainey and David Rainey.
4. WILLIAM RAINEY granted land to John Craig, probably his son-in-law.
5. In 1779, David Rainy the son or brother of William Rainey had land adjacent to David Creige whose father was John Creige. (See item 1).
6. Robert Baker had land on New Hope Creek adjoining lands of David Craig and James Craig (probably David Craig’s brother) in 1779.
7. In 1778, James Craig claimed 168 Acres on waters of Richland Fork, a branch of New Hope Creek.
8. In 1778, William Craig, father of James Craig claimed 200 Acres on Back Creek, a branch of Haw River adjacent JOHN LOCKARD.
9. In 1778, THOMAS LOCKARD entered a claim for 150 Acres on the water of Little Cain Creek, a branch of the Haw River, adjoining John Rainey and McBride.

The conclusion that JOHN RAINEY was the father of WILLIAM RAINEY is built on both of them being at the right places and times, a chain of sequentially shared family property, and common geographical areas of their land holdings. Close associates of John Rainey show up in dealings with WILLIAM and then DAVID D. RAINEY. Lands initially owned by JOHN RAINEY (or nearby neighboring lands) show up in ownership by William and David, consistent with their being son and grandson. JOHN RAINEY had land next to Lockard, which was next to Craig, which was next to Baker. John bought land from Craig. Baker became a son-in-law and at one time lived with his son in the house of David D. The case for John being William’s father is thus reasonable and quite strong, but not complete.

DNA data and Family relations
The two John/William Rainey families from the Haw river area are related. DNA from a descendent reported to be from WilliamW Rainey married to Mary Able with son Benjamin, differs in only two of twenty-five markers from the DNA of direct descendants of DavidE D. Rainey. This suggests that while David D. and Benjamin are closely related, they (with a high probability) do not have the same fathers. The DNA samples were taken from Rainey males who are about 6 to 7 generations removed from (E,W)W2. The probability of having two mutational events giving rise to these differences in that number of generations is small (but not zero). WilliamE and WilliamW are more likely related by a not-too-distant common ancestor allowing more generations for mutation. Possibly, the grandfathers, or great grandfathers of the two Williams were the same.
A link between the two families at the JohnW and Janet Strayhorn level is suggested by transactions between JohnE and his family and several members of the Strayhorn family. We noted that JohnE bought land from William Craig of the New Hope Church settlement. The father (name uncertain) of Gilbert Strayhorn headed this group. In 1778, William Strayhorn entered a claim to 200 Acres of land in Orange County lying on the waters of Eno River for the use in behalf of the New Hope Congregation including New Hope meeting house (See map #4). John Rainey subsequently bought land from William Craig, who was part of this group and subsequently resold it to William Craig’s son. Thus there is a reported link between the E and W families within a few generations before WilliamW and WilliamE. This supports conclusions from the DNA analysis. The relationship between the two families could have occurred at the JohnW and Janet Strayhorn Rainey level or earlier. If putative father, uncles, or brothers of JohnW can be located within genealogy records, their descendants DNA could test whether they may have fathered the JohnE line.

Final comments:
We certainly have not exhausted all references to the Rainey lines with this document and it is probably not error free. We have, however, provided a clear framework with reference sources upon which other researchers may hang their data. Some of you may know of important documents that we have missed. We hope you will call these to our attention and help us make additions to this document. To keep presentation simple, we have not included all known siblings, children, etc. for the individuals listed, though in some cases much of this is known. Should you wish to add to or correct our data and assumptions, please contact us at: jdc4rainey2003@yahoo.com and we will endeavor to update our efforts.
If you desire an e-mail file of this report, send us your request along with an e-mail address.
The methods of DNA analysis will continue to yield interesting information. We don’t need additional samples from fathers or brothers of individuals who have already been tested. However, if you believe your line traces back to the Dan River, or Country Line Creek or South Hico Creek areas, or if you have questions whether you link to one of the two Haw River Rainey families, it would be very valuable to have DNA tests to help establish these relations. There are many additional reasons for obtaining DNA samples for your family line to extend the Rainey DNA study beyond the narrow focus of this report. For information on how you can participate, contact Marynell Bryant at mbryant@1starnet.com.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

If you have information to post to the Blog or corrections to suggest, e-mail the informtion to

or to

and we will post it. No photos.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

There are several biographies and life sketches of David William Rainey, but this is the only one, of which I am aware, written by himself. It came into my possession through Enid Durham when I made contact with her in 1998 or 1999. She is somehow connected with David William's fourth wife, Ruth Comish Larsen, who outlived David William. Apparently several of his records, etc., were passed down through 'Aunt Ruth's' children from her first marriage. JDC


[Paragraph 13 indicates that this history was written in 1931]
(Given to Jean Dewey Sisson by Enid Durham, Feb. 19990

I, David William Rainey was born of goodly parents, January 6, 1858 in Provo, Utah. David Pinkney Rainey was my father; Dorothy Jane Dennis was my mother.

When I was two years old we moved to Cache Valley, Our first house in the city of Richmond in Cache Valley was a dugout. As we were moving into it I sat down in my little rocking chair, saying, wisely, ‘This is quite comfortable’.

I remember when the soldiers came up from Fort Douglas to fight the Indians on Battle Creek in 1863, North of Bear River, and of their returning victorious, but with many wounded soldiers.

The Indians were a constant menace to the white people. I used to go out on the hills after the horses, and was always in fear of the Indians.

Once a year the family took a trip down to Pond Town (now Salem) for molasses, fruits, etc. We would go down about conference time and stop over at Salt Lake to attend the meetings.

I helped my father on the farm until I was 16 years old; after that I went off to work. I went down South of Salt Lake to work on a road from Sandy to Bingham Canyon, where contractors were planning to build from Sandy to the Jordan River.

The next year I worked for my Uncle in Little Cottonwood Canyon, hauling ore from the Flagstaff Mine to the smelter.

The next year I worked for my Uncle freighting to Montana from Franklin, Idaho. The Utah Northern Railroad had reached to Franklin from Salt Lake and was to be constructed from there into Montana. But then the freighting was done with mule teams. I used mule teams with two or three wagons in the train. I continued at freighting until just before I got married. I had stayed with it until I was able to get twelve mules and three wagons of my own.

I got married March 24th, 1880, to Mary Maria Olson, daughter of Christopher M. Olson, and Caroline Olson, after which I quit freighting and went to working on the Utah Northern Railroad until it was completed into Butte, Montana.

I had already purchased forty acres of my father’s homestead, but we lived with my mother-in-law for about two years, because we had no house of our own.

While living with my mother-in-law, our first child was born May 8th, 1881. We named her Florence May Rainey. In Jan. 1888, my wife and I took a trip to Salt Lake and went through the endowment house and were sealed to each other by Daniel H. Wells.

Later, I bought twenty acres more land and the improvements on a place joining my first forty acres. However, after I bought it, I went back to Montana with my wife and here two sisters, and worked on the Northern Pacific Railroad, which went through Missoula, Montana to Portland from St. Paul.

After the summer was over, I went back to Cache Valley and continued to work on my place until the early spring of 1888. We had two more children born while living on the farm. Ivy Irene, born Feb. 22nd, 1884, who is still living now, 1931. The other Claudine was born August 9th 1886 and died April 3rd, 1887.

David William, Jr. was born July 4th, 1888, while I was away working. He is now a dentist in Los Angeles, California.

Ruby Marion was born on Salt River [blank] County, Idaho, April 14th, 1981.

I went to Star Valley in the early spring of 1888 and bought a place and then took up a homestead. After David William Jr. was born and my wife was able to move, which was not until Aug. 1888, I moved my family to Star Valley – the town of Freedom, Wyoming, which was on the border of Idaho.

I bought a dairy outfit and went into the dairy business – making cheese and milk and butter.

In 1892, Sept. 2nd, I went to Canada to marry Janet Hanson in polygamy, which was after the manifesto had been issued, however, Wilford Woodruff who had issued the manifesto gave me a recommend to President Card in Canada to perform the marriage ceremony. On the count of the law of the United States and the church I left my second wife in Canada for two years.

In the meantime my first wife, who I had left in the United States left Star Valley to return to Cache Valley.

The next summer she and I were living in Star Valley and continued with the Dairy business. There Christie Jane was born, Nov. 18th, 1893 and died Nov. 13th, 1900.

When I returned to Canada, Christie was a week old, leaving my wife’s mother and a hired family in charge.

In June 15th, 1893, the first child of the 2nd wife was born – Julia Teola, she still lives in Star Valley, her husband is a successful merchant and farmer.

After I took her (my 2nd wife) back to Star Valley Lawrence Irvin [Ivan according to other records] was born May 23rd, 1895, he is still living in Mt. Home, Idaho and [?] had the Ford agency there.

Alta was born May 15th, 1897 and died June 16th, 1926, leaving three children.

Verna was born August 3rd, 1899. She lives in Logan, Utah. Her husband is prosecuting attorney of Cache County – Newel Daines.

Gladys was born July 28th, 1904. She married Roy Williams of Marysvale, Utah while teaching school there.

Fern was born Dec. 31, 1903 – married Mr. Deweyville [correct name is Arlen G Dewey, who was from Deweyville.] [I?] moved to Afton and started a modern dairy, going to business with the stake president and his counselor.

My first wife, Mary Maria Olson died July 20th, 1903, Afton, Wyoming.

When my first wife died, she had eighty acres near town; my 2nd wife had a 120 acre place farther out. When my first wife died, I tried to get my 2nd wife to move into the place where the new house was, but she refused – and while I was on a fishing trip with some friends down Snake River, she took 14 head of milk cows and my small dairy outfit and the house-hold furniture and returned to Freedom to her mother, refusing to help take care of my other children.

I told her if she refused to help me raise my children, I’d get some one who would.

After that I married a widow, Mrs. Margaret Burton Barlow, in 1904. We had one daughter, Dorothy Ellen, named after her two grandmothers. She was born May 7th, 1906. Is now a school teacher in Salt Lake City.

My third wife, Margaret B. Rainey died Feb. 10th, 1908. In Afton, Wyoming. [She died in childbirth and the baby girl was buried in her coffin as well.]

My first wife’s daughter, Josephine Rainey died July 26th, 1919 at Rigby, Idaho.

I married Mrs. Ruth Comish Larsen of Cove, Utah, May 15th, 1912. We moved out of Star Valley living there until Sept. 1917 – when we moved back to Cove, Utah. We lived there until Nov. 1920 when we moved to Harbor City, California, where we have continued to reside since.


When I was little a group of 20 or 30 Indians at a time used to come to the houses and dance and sing to get flour, bread or other provisions. We used to hire the squaws to pick up potatoes, receiving potatoes as pay for their work.


I have been Sunday School Superintendent.
A counselor to Bishop Covington and at the present time am working in Genealogy, in the San Pedro Ward.



While living in Wyoming, a man by the name of Weber who had been in bed so long he was covered with bed sores, called for Bishop Lowe and his counselor Allred to come and administer to him. They went a distance of 25 miles to comply with his desire. I was also invited to go along. After the administration they claimed some spirit that should not be there would have to leave. A woman arose and said it might be her. She left and they went in the prayer circle and then administered to him he was promised that he should get well immediately – Which was literally fulfilled.

In San Pedro, California, a new convert to the church was not expected to live. All the doctors had given her up, and by the power of the Priesthood, she was restored to health and strength. That sister is Gladys Love Merrill.

When I went to Canada the second time to see my 2nd wife, her mother had gone up there and prejudiced her so against me, she would not let me see the baby nor kiss her, although her mother herself had urged and planned the marriage. Later I found out it was some foolish jealousy over a woman who had never been anything but a friend. I planned to return home, not knowing how to make things right, but that Sunday in church, Apostle John W. Taylor, preached a sermon telling how terrible it was for individuals to make trouble between husbands and wives or between friends. The sermon was so powerful my mother-in-law repented and the trouble between us was settled, although Brother Taylor knew nothing of our difficulties. I have always felt that the Lord directed him to speak for my benefit.

I have received a great testimony of genealogical work and a strong desire to work in the Temple of the Lord for the redemption of the dead. For I see very plainly that it is the most important work to be done in the church.



Florence-----------------May 8th, 1881
Ivy Irene-----------------Feb. 22nd, 1884
Claudine----------------August 9th, 1886
David William----------July 4th, 1888
Ruby Marion------------April 14th, 1891
Christie Jane------------Nov. 18th, 1893
Ethel Lucile--------------Mar. 6th, 1896
Josephine----------------Jan. 26th, 1899
Ralph----------------------Aug. 11th, 1902

In Jean Dewey Sisson’s computer files this document is saved as D.W.Rainey3.doc

In Nov. 2003, my nephew Dale S Dewey stayed in our home for most of a week while we worked on family history. I had a great time listening to his memories of my mother, his Grandma Dewey. Before he left, I asked Dale if he would write down some of the things he shared with me and he agreed. Less than a month later, Dale's father, Spence A Dewey, died (Dec. 20, 2003). I knew Dale had many things on his mind with this death and the usual bustle of Christmas, so I didn't expect to hear from him soon. However, on Christmas morning, the following E-mail was awaiting me. What a lovely Christmas gift, the first I 'opened'!

Dale gave me permission to post this on my Rainey/Dewey BLOG site so that others could share in his memories of this quiet, humble woman who touched so many lives for good.

Memories of my Grandma Dewey
Dec. 24, 2003
By Dale Dewey – grandson

My grandmother, Fern Sophronia Rainey Dewey, was one of the most influential people in my life. During my elementary years I would stay with Grandma & Grandpa Dewey for a couple of weeks each summer, in Logan, Utah. My earliest memories of Grandma Dewey are centered around sitting on the living room rug, in the early morning sunlight while I finished getting dressed. She would always burn paper goods in the fireplace and sing the Primary hymns of the Church. It was there, near her side, that I learned my first lessons of the gospel. I suspect it was there that I gained my deep love for the Primary hymns. In December of 1994,I contracted an illness called Guillian-Barre syndrome. During my rehabilitation period I had a tape made of Primary hymns. It was this tape of Primary hymns, many of the songs Grandma had sung to me, that gave me hope and spoke peace to my soul as I went through the process of learning to walk again. One of her favorite hymns was ‘Give Said the Little Stream.’ She not only taught me the words, but taught me the message of each hymn she sang.

At night, before being tucked into bed, we would gaze out the second story window and look upon the lighted spires of the Logan temple. As she spoke of the temple and told me stories of this great edifice and spoke of the life of Jesus Christ, I remember feeling that it was our family’s own special temple. She spoke of it fondly and instilled in me a great desire to someday enter therein. As I grew and found an eternal companion, it was the Logan Temple that came to my heart as the place I wanted to go to be sealed. After all, it was what Grandma Dewey and I talked about – it was the Dewey temple.

During most of my teenage years, we lived too far away from my grandma to visit during the summer. Upon graduation from high school, I entered the military, and soon found myself in Viet Nam. Thoughts of the lessons my grandmother taught me often entered my mind. One day, to my great surprise, I was notified that a Military Chaplin wanted to see me. I was worried that something had happened back home, but as it turned out, Grandma had tracked me down and put me in touch with an LDS Chaplin. Her love for me has been felt all through my life.

I firmly believe in the concept taught by Elder Paul H. Dunn – the concept of a cheering section in the spirit world. Ancestors who have gone before us in life and in death, who under the direction of the Lord, seek to encourage us and provide us extra incentive to do better in our lives. Since the death of Grandma, I have never seen her or heard her kind and loving words, but while racked with pain in a lonely rehab hospital I could hear, in my mind, Grandma singing, ‘Give Said the Little Stream’ and I knew the Savior was ‘giving’ me the gift of life. I knew I would be okay.

When it comes time for me to lay this mortality down, I believe it will be Grandma who will find me and welcome me home.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Letters from Dorothy Ellen Rainey (married name Gage & then Hockett) to a half-sister Verna Rainey Daines. Both are daughters of David William Rainey.

In Jan. 2004, among his mother Verna’s papers, my cousin David Daines found these letters from Dorothy Ellen Rainey (the half sister to my mother Fern, and his mother Verna, and their siblings). Dorothy was born to David William Rainey and his third wife Margaret Burton Barlow Rainey. Our mothers were born to David's second wife, Janet Hanson Rainey. After Dorothy’s mother died in childbirth, when Dorothy was less than two years old, Dorothy was raised by her mother’s people – mostly by her oldest half sister Rae who married a Barker. Apparently Verna and Dorothy made contact for the first time when a Daines relative married a Barker. For a couple of years Dorothy and Verna corresponded, but no later letters or other evidence of contact between the two since then has been found.
In January 2004, I (JoAn Dewey Criddle) scanned a copy of these handwritten letters into a computer file – also I am typing this version of these letters and putting them in my word document files under the file name: Letters from Dorothy Ellen Rainey to Verna.

Punctuation and spelling will be kept as in the original letters.

22 July, 1977
Dear Verna,
What a joyful surprise to hear from a sister I have never known!! This surprise equalled the one I had many years ago when I registered for school in Logan in the 8th grade. In my art class, to my utter amazement, there was a Fern Rainey. When the class was completed, she vanished into the unknown as quickly as she had appeared. I have often wondered about her, but upon checking the family group sheet, Fern appears to be your sister. I guess that makes us all sisters. I have come to feel that relationships are extemely important; in fact, one of life’s eternal blessings.
I can’t be at the ‘Rainey Revival’ today, but I will send belated greetings. I do hope that it is a tremendous success.
I would love to be there & meet my unknown relatives. I would very much like to see the pictures of Dorothy Jane on her favorite horse (was named after my paternal & maternal grandmothers), as well as of David Pinkney & wife entering Nauvoo. Is there any possibility of getting copies of these? I’ll be happy to pay whatever they cost, as well as a copy of the life story of Dorothy Jane Dennis Rainey.
I am looking forward eagerly to meeting you as well as Margy, for Bryce and his entire family individually & collectively are very precious to me.
Again may I wish you all success & happiness in the ‘Rainey Revival.’
Warmest wishes,
Dorothy R. Hockett

Col. & Mrs. C.A.Hockett, USAF (Ret.)
620 East Birch Street
Oak Harbor, Washington 98277
15 Sept. 1977
Dear Verna,
By now you have probably given me up as a lost cause and rightfully so. In spite of my tardy response, I want to assure you of my deep appreciation for your letters, particularly your thoughtfulness in sending the biography of Doritha Jane Dennis Rainey, It is precious. It will be a choice addition to my Rainey Book of Remembrance. It will be included along with the pictures of her & her husband & of her parents, which were given to me one time by our father.
I gather that you probably know him far better than I, since I have the impression that he stayed with you at least a few months at on time.
I also was so very happy to see your picture, along with that of the beautiful horse that you were riding – both thoroughbreds, each in his own right.
I understand more clearly now than ever before some of my own characteristics & preferences.
In the past few months I have been ______________ and being occupied in an area completely new to me – semi political. As an outgrowth of an international Women’s year convention held in Wash. (the same radical groups & pressures that mad such an impact in Utah), Chet & I have been active in working to defend the principles that our Church teaches & the ideal upon which our country is found. It has been a strenuous, difficult time – hence the delay answering your letters.
In a day or two we will have to say goodbye to one of our military sons & his family. They are being transferred to Guam for a few years. While we are in Calif., we will also see our daughter & her family, as well as my own son, Rick & his family. He is presently living in Corona & is Educational Psychologist in the Consolidated Corona Schools. He likes his work very much but he doesn’t like the area. Too smogy, he says.
Chet is anxious to get on the way, so I must stop.
Again, thank you so very much.
With love, your newly found sister,

April 1978
Dear Verna,
Ever since returning home from our Christmas trip, you have been much in my thoughts. I am still riding high on cloud nine – meeting you & your family, truly a revelation! It all still seems somewhat unreal, a happy dream perhaps.
The silence between us has been far too long, but the daily routines & demands of living frequently come between me & my desires. Our efforts to combat the women’s lib movement has several times taken us to Ellensburg, which is East of the Cascade Mountains. A week ago we went to Portland to meet our daughter, Becci & her husband & to see for the first time our newest grandbaby Shaun Jensen. It looks as if David will be transferred from the Thousand Oaks area, where they are presently living, to Portland. So they came to look for a house.
I received the genealogical sketches which Lynn sent to me. They were fascinating!!! But in reading them & learning more about my progenitors, I find it difficult to equate or to understand some of our father’s reactions. I never experienced nor did I ever hear anything about him which would suggest that he had any real interest in formal education & the cultural things of life. These things have always been of paramount importance to me. He seemed pleased enough when I first graduated from the university, but I had to supply all the drive and motive to do it. Will once told me that it was my mother, Margaret, who made it possible for him to get started in dentistry. She did the same for Ruby who wanted to go to a design and dressmaking school in Ogden. Two weeks before Ruby was to graduate, my mother died and our father forced Ruby to quit. She never did graduate & Ruby ended in telling me this by saying, ‘For that, I’ll never forgive him.’ But the sketches that I read all seemed to indicate that our forebears were well educated, cultured people.
I also found another amazing thing: if I can read between the lines, there is a heart-break story contained in the later years of Talitha Bankhead Dennis since she ‘was with her daughter until her death,’ & was buried in the ‘Rainey’ plot in Richmond, while her husband, Wm. Taylor Dennis, died & is buried in Marysvale along with his 2nd wife Ann Adelaide Fullmer.
Strange as it may be, the 3rd wife of Wm. Taylor Dennis, Sarah Zabriskie, is in the line of Chet’s sister’s son-in-law, Walton (spelling??) Zabriskie. I had heard that some of Walt’s ancestors had been ‘Mormons,’ but I had no idea that I would find them linked with mine!
Hope 1978 is proving to be an interesting, happy year for you & yours. Love, Dorothy

18 Sept. 1978
Dear Verna,
The summer is over – and what a full one! I would surmise that you were on the run too, for it seems ever so long since we last spoke. Frankly, you have been on my mind so continuously that I decided that I would simply have to make contact.
I don’t know how it happens, but it seems that each retired year gets busier. This year the garden has simply run me ragged, it has produced so bounteously. I am so thankful for the food that it so lavishly gives us, but the crops overlap one another, without a breathing spell, and at times I get practically buried.
We’ve had house guests now & again, have taken a few short jaunts ourselves, and added to the daily demands I have been on the jump.
I hesitate mentioning this because our plans don’t always work out, but we are hoping to get to Utah sometime this fall. We want to do some more work at the genealogical library in SLC. Also Rae is really not very well & I’m anxious to see her again. If we get as far as Utah, Logan will also be on our list. Don’t be too shocked if I give you a ring one of these fine Fall days.
I do hope that you have been well and that silence only suggests that you have been busy.
Please remember us to the family.
Love, Dorothy & Chet

Friday 8 Mar. 1979
Dear Verna,
I think that we have been on the same ESP wave length again. You have in my thoughts so often the last number of days. This morning the mail brought your letter.
I was little prepared, however, for the news that it carried. Since Fern suffered a series of strokes, it is probably just as well for her & for her loved ones that she didn’t survive. It seems that she went in much the same way as did Edyth. Loved and missed as they both are, we would not have them continue to suffer. I will send Fern’s obituary notice on to Rae so that she will have the word, too.
The reason that you were not able to reach me when you called is that we have been away for a month: Arizona, Salt Lake & northern California where Rick lives. The general occasion was a reunion with two dear friends that I met while I was living in Germany. They are both Americans but were working in Europe as I was. We had loads of fun as is always the case when we’re together. We were in LSC only a few days & left a bit earlier for Calif. than we had planned because of the bad weather forecast. We met it as we were ready to start over Donner Pass. I have never seen more snow or higher drifts! It was blowing & snowing so hard that we couldn’t see 50 feet ahead of us. We were two hours going about 12-15 miles! But once we were on the other side of the Sierras, all was sunshine & light again.
We got home about three days too late for my well being. My back caved in – too many riding miles in the bucket seats! I have been in bed, principally, for about a week. The last two days it has been better, but I still have to move like a cracked china doll.
Thank you so much for letting me know about Fern. How blessed we are that we have the assurance of life eternal & of family relationships! Bu for me – even that has a sharp pain of sadness – unless Chet eventually chooses to come with me.
Again, thank you so much.
I love you very dearly, Dorothy

The following short biographys were written by some of us attending the November 2003 gathering at Criddles to be included in a book about Cache County folk to be published by the Chamber of Commerce. Originally the deadline for submissions of these (no more than 400 words) bios was Dec. 31, 2003, however they want more submissions and have extended the deadline to June 2004, so if you have additional stories about relatives in Cache County history - old or recent - write it up and send it to them - one submission per household.

Here is how to make such a submission: Write an article of no more than 400 words about an ancestor, one submission per household. Send it to: Bobbie Coray at this email address: bcoray@cachechamber.com

Or you can drop it off or mail it to the
Cache Chamber of Commerce
160 North Main St.
Logan UT 74321


Janet Hanson Rainey – A Legacy Left in Cache County
December 19, 1870 – June 25, 1945
By Kristin Sisson Strong, a great granddaughter

Janet Hanson, youngest daughter of Ole Hanson and Julia Teoa Johansen, was born in St. Charles, Idaho. In her teens, Janet, her mother and two siblings, moved to Star Valley, Wyoming. She was a rather tall, thin woman with angular features, black hair and gray-blue eyes who first came to Logan in 1889 to go through the Logan Temple in preparation to enter into a polygamous marriage to David William Rainey, who grew up in Richmond. The next fall, she and David traveled from Wyoming to the LDS General Conference in Salt Lake City, to be married in the Endowment House. At that conference, President Wilford Woodruff read the 1890 Manifesto, which put an end to plural marriages performed in Utah. He advised David and Janet to go to Canada to marry, which they did the summer of 1892. The following year they returned to Star Valley.

In 1903, Janet left David, taking their five children, Teola, Laurence, Alta, Gladys, and Verna to her mother’s home in Freedom, Wyoming where her sixth child, Fern Sophronia Rainey was born. For two years, Janet and her children lived with her mother and brother Heber Hanson and his wife (Julia Sophronia Goaslind). In 1906, Janet bought a small ranch near Freedom. In 1910, Heber’s wife died and he married Pricilla Allen from Cache Valley. When Pricilla’s cousin, May McCarrey came for a visit, she met Janet’s family. This meeting brought opportunities Janet had only dreamed of.

May McCarrey, a well-known educator at Brigham Young College (BYC) in Logan, invited Janet’s 18 year-old daughter Teola to live with her and attend BYC. From these beginnings, all of Janet’s children had the chance to attend school in Logan. In 1919, when her youngest daughters left for Logan, she rented her farm and moved with them. Her five daughters finished school in Logan; four became teachers.

Two daughters Verna (m. Newel Daines) and Fern (m. Arlen Dewey). reared their families in Logan. Teola (m. Charles Brown) spent winters here and summers in Star Valley. Within a few years of each other, Janet’s other three children died, leaving young children and grieving spouses.

Janet was an accomplished seamstress, and a nurse, trained by Dr. Shipp. After her children married, she attended their families in times of illness and death. She died in Logan at her daughter, Verna’s home, and is buried in the Logan Cemetery.

Doritha (Dorothy) Jane Dennis Rainey
June 16, 1840 to July 18, 1920
By Dale S Dewey, a great great grandson

Doritha Jane Dennis Rainey, daughter of William Taylor Dennis and Talitha Cumi Bankhead, was born in Pontotoc County, Mississippi on June 16, 1840. Both the Dennis and Bankhead families were large plantation owners. When Doritha was nine, the Dennis family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Due to community and extended family persecutions, William Dennis was the only one baptized at that time. Talitha and their children were baptized after the family reached Salt Lake on August 22, 1855.

Doritha Jane married Franklin McGee, but soon after the birth of their daughter he deserted them. She was hired to assist the invalid wife of David Pinkney Rainey. Shortly before she died, this childless woman suggested that her husband and Doritha Jane marry. They were married on Feb. 9, 1857, and her child was sealed to him.

In April 1857, David left his young wife in Provo while he served a mission to San Francisco to assist Pres. George Q. Cannon in editing a short-lived newspaper, the Western Standard. While he was gone, Doritha’s fifteen-month-old daughter died. In December of 1857, David returned from his mission, and on January 6, 1858 their first child, David William Rainey, was born. In the spring of 1860, they moved to Richmond, and were among its first settlers. Their home that first spring was a tent and later in the summer they moved to a dugout. For several years Doritha and David were busy establishing a home for their children. With five children at home David P. Rainey was once again called to serve an LDS mission to the Southern states. Within a year, however, David was obliged to return home due to illness. The family then moved to a farm three miles south of Richmond where they remained until November 9, 1888 when David P. Rainey died. In all, Doritha Jane bore 16 children; 15 were David’s.

Doritha remained on the farm caring for her children until they were raised and had homes of their own. She then sold the farm and moved to a comfortable home in Richmond. While on a trip to see her daughter in Los Angeles in her 80th year, she died of a stroke on July 18, 1920. She was buried in Richmond next to her husband, mother and three of her children.

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