Thursday, September 13, 2018

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks Week 37

William Harrison Jaynes

William Harrison Jaynes, also known as Harry, was born April 10, 1899 in Jackson County, Indiana, to George Thomas and Cora Mae Hines Jaynes. He was the first child of 6, two boys and 4 girls.

I met Uncle Harry when he was very old. I did not get to interview him, or really have a conversation. According to all accounts, he has a very interesting life. The stories all say that he drank a bit, and road the rails. Lived a hobo life, part time. I wish I had first hand information about that. The stories say that when he got tired of "normal" life, he simply jumped a train and was gone for long periods of time. Very simple to do in a railroad town.

That is not saying that Harry had no family. He married Sylvia Pearl Malone on June 30, 1917 in Brownstown, Indiana. They had 4 children: Donald, Edna Margarite, Marion, and Albert. My mother remembered Sylvia, and liked her very much. Unfortunately she and Harry were divorced, and both remarried. Harry married Leona Mabel Coffman on January 6, 1931 in Jackson County, Indiana. There are no children to that marriage, and I believe it lasted a very short time. Harry then married Jessie Patronis on May 15, 1938, again in Jackson County, Indiana.

I have tracked Harry and his family through the census, but it doesn't help to know Harry. He is often missing from the record anyway.

I think Harry tried to be what people expected him to be. You know, a husband and father, with a 9 to 5. My grandfather, his brother James, a.k.a. Jim, was not able to be so generous to Harry. Growing up with Harry was hard. When they were at home, Harry simply took what he wanted, even if it was his brothers. Jim never spoke of Harry, nor did he see him in those last years. There was no outward hostility nor any bad words against Harry. Just a silence.

I've heard from others that Harry was a very engaging man, so nice and interesting. I wish I'd known him better. I'm afraid I don't even have a photograph of Harry, and I'm not sure that one ever existed. It is one of my most wanted articles.

"Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007," database with images, FamilySearch, William Harry Jaynes and Sylvia Pearl Malone, 1917; citing Jackson, Indiana, United States, various county clerk offices, Indiana; FHL microfilm 1,314,632.

Marriages Record, 6 January 1931, Indiana, Marriages, 1811-1959: image: 00361; FamilySearch, citing Jackson, Indiana, United States.

"Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 21 January 2016), Harry Jaynes and Jessie Patronis, 15 May 1938; citing Jackson, Indiana, United States, various county clerk offices, Indiana; FHL microfilm 1,220,659.

#52ancestors #genealogy

1 comment:

Unknown said...

My name is John Holt. My grandmother was Myrtle Jaynes Ballard the sister of Uncle Harry. Due to this story it appears that they were half/brother/sister. I do have a story about uncle Harry sitting with me and my sister when I was 4 or 5 years old. I remember him walking us down to the bar on the corner so he could buy a bottle. When mom and dad returned he was passed out on the porch.

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