All posts by Janet Hodgkins

I am the descendant of six War of 1812 veterans. There are two sets of father and son. They are my fourth great-grandfather, Aaron Doan, UEL, 1756-1844; his son Levi Doan, 1791-1884 who was my third great-grandfather; and Isaac Hodgkins, 1753-1812 who was my third great-grandfather, and his son Isaac Hodgkins, Jr, 1795-1867 who was my second great-grandfather. My other two ancestors are Ira Bearss, 1787-1874 and Zachariah Hainer, UEL, 1761-1813. Both are fourth great-grandfathers. All had moved from the United States after the American Revolution. All settled in the Niagara Peninsula.

Ira Bearss
3rd Regiment Lincoln Militia

A Quaker in the militia?  Pacificism is one of the basic tenets of the Quakers.  Moreover, during the War of 1812 Quakers, Mennonites and Tunkers could be exempt from the usually compulsory military duty thanks to Sir John Graves Simcoe and the Militia Act of 1808.  Yet Ira Bearss, 1789-1874, a Quaker, served with the 3rd Regiment Lincoln Militia during the War of 1812.   Ira’s brother Daniel Bearss, 1788-1850, served in the same regiment as did a third brother,  Josiah Bearss, 1791-1879.  Josiah’s grave in Zion Cemetery, Ridgeway, Ontario, has already been commemorated with a War of 1812 veterans marker.

Continue reading Ira Bearss
3rd Regiment Lincoln Militia

Zachariah Hainer UE
1st Regiment Lincoln Militia

In 1812 Zachariah Hainer joined the 1st Regiment Lincoln Militia.  At age fifty-one, he was a seasoned soldier, a veteran of the American Revolution, one of Butler’s Rangers.  His second military experience, in the War of 1812, was much shorter than his first fight.  On 24 Oct 1812, Zachariah Hainer was “declared unfit for service” and entered on the Pension  List.  By December he was very ill.  On 2 Feb 1813,  Zachariah Hainer died of disease.

Zachariah Hainer was born on 22 Jul 1761 in Rhinebeck, New York at Livingstone Manor.  The Hainer (or Haner or Heiner or Hoener) family had been living here ever since they left the Palatine area of Germany in 1710.  Zachariah was a third generation North  American.  When some of the American colonists rebelled against Britain, he remained loyal.  At age nineteen, he was one of Butler’s Rangers, serving in Captain O’Hare’s Company as a sergeant.

When the Revolution ended, Zachariah emigrated to the Niagara Peninsula, as did so many of Butler’s Rangers.  As a reward for his loyal service, he was granted , in 1796, three hundred acres of land in Wainfleet Township, parts of Lot 6 & 7 Conc 6 & 7 (UCLP H1/18).  He did not settle on his Wainfleet property.  He chose instead to live in Grantham,  now part of St. Catharines.

On 19 Mar 1796 or 1797 (accounts vary) Zachariah married Sophia, neé Brown or Braun, widow of Jacob Lutz.  She had a daughter, Magdalena, from her first marriage.  It may have been a second marriage for Zachariah as well.  Together Zachariah and Sophia had these children:

  • Eve Hainer, 1797-
  • Catherine Hainer, 1799-
  • John Brown Hainer, 1802-1884
  • James Hainer, 1806-1870
  • Mary Ann  Hainer, 1810-1877

When war was declared in June of 1812, Zachariah’s youngest child was not yet two years old.  After his death, Zachariah’s widow Sophia made a claim for losses suffered during the War “taken month December 1813 during War — oats, hay, blankets and nails.” (NAC MfmT1128)

The burial place of Zachariah Hainer is unknown.  He probably lies somewhere in Grantham Township where he lived.  Years later his widow moved to Esquesing Township where she died in 1845 and is buried in Limehouse Cemetery.  Although it is very unlikely that he is buried with her,  her headstone remembers him in the wording,

“Sophia Hainer  wife of Zachariah Hainer”