Thomas Raines Almonte — US Confederate Soldier Mayor and Dentist– Biological Mystery!!!

Thomas Raines Almonte — US Confederate Soldier Mayor and Dentist– Biological Mystery!!!

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Dentist on the run –-The Millstone
One of Almonte’s first dentists was a glamorous character. Dr. T.W. Raines arrived in Almonte in 1866, on the run from the United States where he had been an officer in the Civil War. He was an escaped prisoner of war from Jacksonville and was in constant fear of arrest. Almonte proved safe, however since he ran a dental practice here until his death in 1889.

Darcy Maloney emailed the Lanark County Genealogical Society and needs your help.

Does anyone in the region have a family life story of late 1800s  Almonte mayor Thomas Raines? Bonus points if there is rumor about a love tryst! (I’d like to compare DNA!) My great great grandmother is said to have had three children with him. His Obituary comments that he “helped many poor women and children”. Raines never had children with his wife, so we don’t have a known descendent to compare.

I have just discovered who my GGGrandfather was!His name is listed as Thomas JW Raines, though he usually went by simply Thomas W. Raines. Here’s the mystery. My grandfather looked for the name of his grandfather all his life. Grandpa’s grandmother was never married and all three of her children were from the same man. Through some old family letters, we got the name of Thomas Raines who was a dentist and the mayor of Almonte, Ontario.

The family letters (and some newspaper accounts in Almonte) state that Thomas was a soldier in the US Civil War and escaped from a prison and went to Canada. He got Sarah Johnstone pregnant but they were not permitted to marry (she was 17). He left Almonte “to return to Alabama” to go to medical (dental) school. He then returned to Almonte to marry a prominent socialite and open his dental practice and later become mayor. He and Sarah Johnstone had 2 more children (b 1876 and 1882) although he married Lucina Rose in 1869! (granddaughter of Daniel Shipman) This is pretty much all we know about him.

Of course, he could have been a deserter who changed his name when he went to Canada–but why would he “return to Alabama?” People would have known him. He could have been from another state as well, but I’d bet he was a southerner. It would be an easy mistake for a Canadian to say “Alabama” even if he were from Georgia, Mississippi or South Carolina!

We may have run into a dead end with Thomas Raines family in the US, but if anyone sees ANYTHING that looks like it would fit, please forward to me!I have looked up a couple of Thomas (or T) Raines and tried to research if there was any follow on information about them (later on deaths or children born from them to rule them out).

Darcy Maloney  in Wall, Texas.

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Would like to know….

I’m looking for ANYONE who might have a family lore story of Thomas Raines being in their line.  This would be an illegitimate birth since he was married, and never had children with his wife Lucina Rose (granddaughter of Daniel Shipman).

I’m interested in comparing DNA with anyone who has even a “hint” of this rumor in their family.  Raines’ obituary in 1898 said that “in the short space that has elapsed since his death, numerous instances have come to light of his having relieved the wants of many a poor family in town, and that, too, without the public having the slightest knowledge of it ; so that his acts in this connection were always purely unselfish.”  It also mentions that the streets were lined with women and children.

The cynical side of me wonders if he had other “kept women” in Almonte.  My great great grandmother was terribly poor and I wonder if he helped support her and her three children.

He was said to have been a US confederate soldier from Alabama.  But so far, DNA of my mother and her brother point to a small town in western Virginia (there are no known family from the US) and the surname “Kyle.”  I sincerely wonder if “Raines” was indeed his real name and perhaps he was not from Alabama, but from Virginia (also confederate).

Also does anyone have any references to lists of names of Confederate Spies in Canada.  I have read “Dixie and the Dominion” and find it very interesting the influence the US Civil War had on the Canadian constitution.

Thanks so much!
Darcy Maloney

Wall, Texas

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Almonte Gazette November 1898

DR. RAINES’ SUDDEN DEATH   We are being constantly reminded that man has no continuing abode in this world. To say that the people of Almonte were shocked last Monday by the news that Dr. Raines had died about seven o’clock that morning is but feebly to express the feelings of our citizens.

Until the G a z e t t e made the announcement last week few were aware that he had been ill. Indeed, he had been seriously ill with angina pectoris only about two weeks (though in unsatisfactory health for a year or so) and to all appearance was rapidly recovering, when the cord of- life suddenly snapped. On Monday morning, just before his death, the Doctor had been conversing with his wife, and in answer to her inquiries said he felt better than he had been since he took ill. A little later Mrs. Raines left his bedroom to do some work in the kitchen, and when she returned about ten minutes afterwards, she found that the spirit had passed away.

 - Almonte Almonte, Feb. it. Mrs. Helen Coatea...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  13 Feb 1899, Mon,  Page 2



The feelings of a devoted wife under such circumstances can be more easily imagined than described. The late Thomas William Raines was a Southerner by birth, having been born in Alabama in the year 1833. His parents came out from England in 1832. His father, who died ten years ago, at the advanced age of 94, was a clergyman of the Methodist church. Both his father and mother died as suddenly as he did himself. After learning his profession, that of dentistry, he served for some time in the Southern army during the American civil war, joining the Confederate forces in 1861, and was for a time recruiting officer in the state of Missouri. He was for three months a member of the 10th Louisiana artillery corps. He was under fire at the battles of Lexington^ Wilson Creek, Springfield, Lone Jack and Osage River, under Generals Price and, Vandorne.

 - after. a lengthy sfeeence. : Dr. T. W. Raines...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  09 May 1898, Mon,  Page 2

Three times he was taken prisoner, once he was exchanged, and once he escaped from McDowell’s College (at that time a military prison), St. Louis, in 1864. He escaped across the border and settled in Almonte the same year, remaining here ever since, and enjoyed an extensive and lucrative practice.

In 1868 Dr, Raines was married by the late Rev. Wm. McKenzie to Miss Lucina L. Rose, eldest daughter of the late Mrs. Catherine Rose, and grand-daughter of the late Daniel Shipman, the founder of Almonte, and after whom the place was named (“Shipman’s Mills”) about the year 1824. We are probably within the mark when we say that no one in Almonte could be more mused than will the warm-hearted, genial and generous Dr. Raines. For more than quarter-of-a-century he was closely identified with the business and official life of Almonte, and well deserved the tribute paid him by the civic board at their meeting on Monday.

 - T. W. Raines, L. D. 8., Is

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  11 May 1898, Wed,  Page 8

In 1871, when Almonte became incorporated as a town, he was elected its first reeve, and was for some time her efficient and popular representative at the county council. He was mayor for four successive terms— 1891 to 1894. He was also for a time a member of the school board, and was a warm friend of education.  He spent time, labor and money in trying to get increased railway facilities.


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In the short space that has elapsed since his death, numerous instances have come to light of his having relieved the wants of many a poor family in town, and that, too, without the public having the slightest knowledge of it, so that his acts in this connection were always purely unselfish. At times the deceased took an active part in politics, but, being of an independent turn, he acted at different times with both parties, but latterly with the Liberal party.

 - Mrs. Blake, who has been living on the Island,...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  09 May 1899, Tue,  Page 8

The funeral on Wednesday afternoon was a splendid tribute to the departed and a tangible mark of sympathy with his wife. The town council and town officials attended in a body, and the procession was headed by the Citizens’ Brass Band playing the “ Dead March in Saul.” The turnout of citizens and those from a distance was very large, and included all classes and all denominations. The streets were lined with women and children.

In spite of the bad roads many drove long distances to show their esteem for the dead. The services at the house were conducted by Rev. W. S. Jamieson, M.A., pastor of the Methodist church, assisted by Rev. T. Hagen. In the course of his short but excellent address Mr. Jamieson referred in feeling terms to the sad circumstances, and praised the late Dr. Raines for some of the marked characteristics of his life—his public spiritedness and loyalty as a citizen, his large-hearted generosity and his charitable disposition.

 - Dr. Raines has sold his interest ia tb Al- Al-...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  17 Sep 1887, Sat,  Page 2

The pallbearers were Mayor Drynan, Reeve Shearn, Deputy-Reeve Cole, and Councillors Wylie, Haydon and Cowie. The remains were deposited in the Methodist cemetery on the ninth line of Ramsay. NOTES. Mr. David McElroy, of Carp, drove up to attend the funeral. The town flag and that, on the Bank of Montreal flew at half-mast during the week. The members of the Almonte town council sent a handsome wreath as a final mark of respect.

Two brothers of Dr. Raines are living—one a doctor in Missouri, the other a merchant in Illinois. Mr. A. C. Caldwell, of Lanark, was present to represent his father, the local member, the latter being unavoidably absent in Toronto. Dr. Raines was an expert photographer as well as a dentist, and for some years after arriving in Almonte he ran a “ gallery” in partnership with Mr. J. F. Bradley, the firm being Raines & Bradley. The newly-organized Citizens’ Band, under the leadership of Mr. W. Scrimger, performed a graceful act in giving their services at the funeral. The band was always liberally supported by the Doctor, and had no firmer friend in town.

The late Dr. Raines was in his earlier years an enthusiastic Freemason and Oddfellow. When he came here from the south he was a member of the triple link brotherhood, and it was through his efforts that Alpha Lodge I.O.O.F. was instituted in 1875. At the regular meeting of that lodge on Monday night a resolution of sympathy was passed, and the brethren procured a beautiful floral wreath, which was placed on the casket by three of the brethren who were initiated by the deceased, the first Noble Grand, at the first meeting of the lodge—Messrs. R. W. Haydon, W. S. Boyd and Needham.

 - : Dr. Oliver, of Carle ton Place,, and...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  02 Dec 1898, Fri,  Page 6

 A New D e n t i s t . The death of Dr. Raines has created a vacancy in the ranks of our professional men, and we understand that it will be filled by Dr. Oliver, of Carleton Place, who is recommended as a citizen of the highest type and a gentleman of skill in the dental line. The Dr. is also a musician of no mean repute, and will be a welcome this section of the addition to the circles that enjoy country and was always ready to do the practice of the divine art what he could to forward the material interests of the town.

Thomas W. Raines
Event Type: Burial
Event Place: Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Cemetery: Wesleyan Methodist Burial Ground+
Note: COATES, In Loving Memory Of, Thomas W. Raines, Born,Jan.7,1833, Died At Almonte, Nov.14,1898, Resting In Hope, His Wife, Lucina L. Rose, Born,Sept.21,1849, Died, April,24,1923







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About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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