Payne Journeys to North America, 1872 : Henry Payne in Virginia & Nebraska

Fifty Years of Payne Journeys to North America,
1872 : Henry Payne in Virginia & Nebraska

According to Hallam, his father Henry made his first visit to the United States 'just after the Chicago Fire', which was on October 1871, although he could hardly have remembered this as he was an infant at the time.  Passenger lists show that Henry Payne, describing himself - rather ingenuously - as an 'iron worker', arrived at the Port of Baltimore, Maryland from Liverpool, England aboard the S.S. Caspian on 12 September 1872.

Having been built in 1870 in Glasgow for the Allan Line, the steam ship Caspian had been doing the Liverpool - Baltimore run for almost two years, and would continue to do so for a further twenty.  [from North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.1, p.313, courtesy of The Ships List]

Image from Ships of Our Ancestors by Michael J. Anuta, courtesy of Sandra Kieffer
Click on the picture for a larger image, more information about the ship,
and a passenger manifest for the journey

Henry first 'travelled to Virginia, looking for a farm. He put his watch and chain on a farm in or near Omaha, Nebraska, but didn't take it up.'  There is little further evidence to indicate why Henry chose Virginia and Nebraska.  According to Lily Evans, Henry Payne's last surviving grandchild, Henry went looking for his wife Henrietta's father, reputedly a Jewish American millionaire industrialist named Gold.  This part of the story remains speculative.  Henry's uncle William Payne, a veterinary surgeon, had emigrated with his widowed son-in-law James Moyer to Pennsylvania, in the United States in about 1840, and moved to Powhatan County, near Richmond in Virginia in 1879, but this was seven years after Henry's visit.  Henry's future son-in-law, Robert Nathan Chadwick, was born in 1871 in Missouri.  The Chadwicks were from Bonsall, in Derbyshire, but had emigrated to Nebraska in about 1868.  It is tempting to think there may have been some sort of connection, even though the time periods don't appear to quite overlap.

Henrietta gave birth to their third son Frank in early August 1874, so it seems likely that Henry had returned to Derbyshire by early November 1873. Perhaps his possible absence for much of 1873 would explain why they had no entries in Wright's Directory for the following year.  However, the electoral roll for 1874 shows Henry in Litchurch, living at 4 Grange Street.  At around this time, Henry built a house in St James' Road, Normanton for a curate. For some unknown reason, the curate never seems to have taken the house, and Henry turned it into a shop. He eventually obtained a licence to sell beer from the premises, and the whole family moved to Normanton.

It seems likely that Derbyshire and Pennsylvania branches of the Payne family kept in touch.  Henrietta gave birth to a daughter who they named Lucy Mary in 1876; Lucy Moyer nee Payne (Henry's cousin) had a daughter Lucy Mary the following year.  The name Lucy is not common in the Payne family and, while it could be a coincidence, it does suggest some sort of link.
Introduction & Background

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