History of Immigration to & Migration in America

Of the four candidates we have to eliminate either Robert II or Anthony as they cannot be brothers. It has already been demonstrated that Robert II came to North Carolina with his father, Robert I. According to Anthony’s Revolutionary War records he came to Randolph County from Caroline County at age 15 (he was born 13 October 1757) with his mother, his father being deceased. If indeed the James in Chatham County is the James identified in Robert I’s will, he has to be a brother of Robert II. Thus, if the brothers who were left behind remained in the area and appear on public documents, they have to be Robert II, James, and William. This in turn establishes that Robert I’s family may have consisted of seven sons: John (the oldest), James, Robert II, William, Lawrence, George, and Ishmael; and at least one daughter, Mary. It is important to note the terminology “may have consisted” because of the seven proposed brothers Ishmael, Lawrence, and George can be proven to be brothers as can Robert, John, and James. Robert’s relationship to the first three is strong, but only circumstantial at this time. Robert witnessed and proved the will of Ishmael, and appears (or perhaps his son, Robert III, appears) three times in land records as a chain carrier with Ambrose, Ishmael’s son. William’s inclusion is by default as no other Raines appearing in public records during this time frame is of the right age to be a brother to the others.

The search for the Randolph County Raines family progenitor has perplexed many researchers for many years. Researchers have also been at a loss to establish familial relationships between all of the Rains, Raines listed in public records during this period. Although this hypothesis may not answer all questions, hopefully, it will spark new debate that may allow for those unanswered questions to eventually be resolved. Updates can be found on the DNA Research Project.

Sources: Randolph County Genealogical Journal V.1: 33. Various indexes of the 1779, 1785, 1803, 1809, 1815, and 1820 Randolph County Tax Lists. Various indexes of the 1790, 1800, 1810, 1830, and 1840 Federal Censuses. Wills of Ishmael Rains, Robert Rains, and Robert Rains from the North Carolina State Archives. Randolph County, North Carolina, Deeds from the Randolph County Public Library. Bailey, Pat. North Carolina State Land Grand Index. Land Grants from the North Carolina State Archives. McNary, Mary Lucinda Rains. “The McNary Journal” from the Rainey Times. Revolutionary War Papers from the National Archives. Dorman, John Frederick. Caroline County, Virginia Order Book 1732- 1740, Part Two 1734/5-1737. Washington, D.C.:1966. 56. Dorman, John Frederick. Caroline County. Virginia Order Book 1767-1770, Part Two 1768-1770. Washington, D.C.: 1992. 111.

Clyde Robert “Bob” Raines

the Caroline County Order Book. At that time they were added to a gang to work under Dan Duval.

The will of Robert Rains of Randolph County is dated September 16, 1794. In it he mentions his wife, though not by name. He names two sons, John (the oldest) and James. The wording of the will indicates there are probably others as well. He names a daughter, Mary. He also mentions his “small” children and the “rest” of his children. This document in conjunction with the 1785 tax list allows us to name four of Robert’s children: John, James, Robert, and Mary. It is likely that his oldest son John is the same John, Sr., that signed the 1773 petition to have the Guilford County Courthouse moved to a more central location. It is also likely that James is the same James that is listed on the 1779 tax list. Additionally, it is most probable that the son Robert is the same Robert that witnessed and proved the 1790 will of Ishmael Reins, and who is the testator of the 1829 will of Robert Rains of the County of Randolph.

As to Robert, Sr.’s, unnamed wife, she is likely the Betty Rains counted in the 1800 Randolph County census (she was over 45 years old). Betty, in turn, is most certainly the Elizabeth Rains who, on the 20th of September, 1821, sold 160 acres on the north side of Millstone Creek in Randolph County to Robert Rains (probably Robert, Jr.), “for love and affection which she beareth him.”

To establish more of the senior Robert’s family it is necessary to introduce one of the rare extant Rains family records. It is a six page handwritten family history simply referred to as the McNary Journal. It was written in 1907 by Mary Lucinda Rains McNary of Highland County, Ohio, who was 64 years old at the time. She wrote that her grandfather, George Rains (1769-1845), and Lawrence Rains (1752-1822) were brothers from Randolph County, North Carolina. They married McManus sisters, Amy (1768-1825) and Anna (1759-1821) respectively, who were also from Randolph County. George and Lawrence left Randolph County for Tennessee. They did not care for Tennessee, and so left for Ohio where they settled and lived until their deaths. The town of Rainsboro, Ohio, was laid out on George’s farm and named in his honor. Mary McNary further revealed that George and Lawrence left three brothers in North Carolina near Asheboro.

Who were these three brothers? Census and land records and the McNary Journal reveal that George and Lawrence left Randolph County after 1800 and were in Ohio by 1809. Consequently, we can look to the 1809 Randolph County tax list for clues. It gives us four possibilities: Anthony Rains who owned 388 acres; Robert Rains who owned 300 acres and appears to be the Robert, Jr., mentioned earlier; John Rains who is listed as having no acreage; and another Robert Rains who owned 10 acres. Next we can look to the 1810 census. It allows us to eliminate John and one Robert as being too young. In fact, the younger Robert is probably the son of the older Robert and grandson of Robert, Sr. (for sake of clarification I will begin to refer to them as Robert I, II, and III). However, it provides us with a new third candidate, William Rains. This may be the same William who was listed on the 1779 and 1785 tax lists. Another clue comes to us from a neighboring county. Keeping in mind that Robert I specifically mentioned a son James in his will, Chatham County land records provide a strong fourth candidate, James Rains. James made entry for two parcels of land just east of the Randolph County line in 1798. This is probably the same James who appeared as a 1779 landless Randolph County taxpayer. Of particular note is the disclosure that a James Raines and a Lawrence Raines appear together on the 12th of April, 1770, in

An article published by the Randolph County Historical Society and the Randolph Arts Guild Hunter Publishing Company, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 1980 1979 by Randolph County Historical Society ISBN 0-89459-071-5 Randolph County Historical Society, 201 Worth Street, Asheboro, NC 27203

Rennes, a town in northwestern France, gives the Raines, Rains family its name. Family tradition states that the Raines progenitor, Baron Roger de Rennes, came to England from Brittany with William the Conqueror in 1066. William the Conquerer won the war in 1067 and the soldiers who fought for him were rewarded Roger De Rennes was rewarded with lands and the title of Baron. From England the family came to America. Most early genealogy and county history publications simply refer to the “Raines” as an old Virginia Family. The Raines/Rains of Randolph County migrated from the area around and including Caroline County in northern Virginia.

The Rains’ were in what was then Guilford County by 1773. During that year Ishmael Rains; John Rains, Sr.; John Rains; and Robert Rains signed a petition to have the Guilford County Courthouse moved to a more central location. Randolph County’s first tax list of 1779 lists Ishmael; John, Sr.; and Robert again. It also introduces the following Rains: George, Sr. and Jr.; Ambrose; Henry; William; Laurence; James; Anthony; and Leonard. In 1785 Robert Rens, Jr.; Ishmael Rens; Robert Rens, Sr.; George Rens; Larance Rens; and Anthoney Rens are listed on Jacob Skeen’s tax list for Randolph County. The 1790 Federal Census of Randolph County lists these 1785 taxpayers again as well as John, William, Isaac, and Mary. The name was spelled Reines by the census taker for everyone but Isaac and Mary, for whom he spelled it Reins.

The 1785 tax list is significant for two reasons. First, it establishes a father-son relationship between the two Roberts. Second, and perhaps of greater importance, is the revelation that Robert, Sr. was not charged a poll tax. Such an exemption would indicate that he was either rather old, infirm, or both. It is possible that this is the same Robert Rains who bound himself to Edmond Graves, carpenter, for three years on the 13th of August, 1736, in Caroline County, Virginia. If he was bound at the age of 18 (so that his apprenticeship would end at 21 years of age) Robert would have been 67 years old at the time the tax list was made. If he was already a young adult at the time he would have been somewhat older. In either case, he most certainly would have been old enough to qualify for a poll tax exemption. This makes Robert, Sr., a likely testator for the 1794 will of Robert Rains of Randolph County. It also makes him the likely candidate for patriarch of the Randolph County Raines.

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