Moody Bedell Haynes in about 1870
Mary Wiswall Haynes in about 1870
Moody Bedell Haynes and Mary Morton Wiswall
Ruth's grandparents Moody Bedell Haynes and Mary Morton Wiswall farmed in Pittsburg, N.H. in the far north of the state. They married in 1855 and died in the early 1880s. Moody was the third generation of the Haynes family to live in Pittsburg. He was involved in civic affairs, as had been his father and grandfather.
Moody was a farmer, like his father and grandfather, but, perhaps typically for New England, had a solid basic education. His clear, firm hand is visible in the 1880 census images, as he was the enumerator for Pittsburg.
Moody had a short first marriage from which there were no surviving children, and remarried while still in his mid 20s. He and Mary Morton Wiswall had 8 children. 3 died in infancy, 2 lived into their 20s and then died prematurely, and 3 survived to mature adulthood. The scourge of TB, the white plague, took its toll on the children as well as killing both Moody and Mary within 6 months of each other, he at age 51, and she at 48 in 1881/82. Their youngest child, Ruth's father John Henry, was only 8 years old.
After his parents' deaths, John was put out to live on farms to work for his living. He had very little schooling, poor nutrition and eventually developed tuberculosis. His aunt, Emma Wiswall, took him in and nursed him back to health. He studied decorative and faux painting in Boston and in 1900 at age 26 he was living with his aunt in Colebrook and was employed as a carriage painter.
Emma Jennette Gilman Wiswall was a Christian Scientist and family reports are that she was a prude and refused to have sex in her marriage to William Henry Wiswall, Mary Morton's brother. No children are recorded in census records in any case. William was a painter, presumably a house painter, and had died by 1880. One of John Henry's brothers, Burton, who died in his early 20s, also showed talent as a painter. Ruth has a small painting by him.© 2008 Footie Lund