Virginia Pettis Jenkins Hains was born the daughter of Anne Power Jenkins and Thornton Alexander Jenkins, his first wife, who died shortly after Virginia was born in 1840. She also had a sister, Sarah by his first marriage. She was the granddaughter of John and Ann Power. John Power died July 8, 1840.
Apparently a large sum of money and property was fought in 1858 in Maryland by her father, after her grandfather's death (John Power) from his will, as the named beneficiaries had all died but the grandchildren and the spouses of the children. She was the niece of William Power.
Little is known about Virginia's upbringing, other than her father re-married twice more, the third being Elizabeth Gwynn Thornton Jenkins. Virginia had two half-siblings arise from that marriage: Dr. Frank Thornton Jenkins and Alice Thornton Jenkins. What happened to her sister, Sarah, is unknown.
Even during the Civil War, Virginia found time to court, and married US Army Leutenant Peter Conover Hains Sr. (West Point Class of 1861) on November 17, 1864. Together they had three sons, Col. John Power Hains (1865-1964), Thornton Jenkins Hains, author, (1866-1953), and Capt. Peter Conover Hains Jr. (1872-1955).
Virginia and her family primarily resided in Washington, DC, and at one point lived right around the corner from the White House. Her husband worked tirelessly for the US Government through the Army Corp of Engineers and was responsible for engineering the Tidal Basin which resolved the marshy swamp of a mess that the city turned into when the tide came in from the Potomac River. The very end of the peninsula that welcomes the water from the river into the basin and empties when the tide goes out is called "Hains Point." He was a veteran of the Civil War, Spanish-American War, and WWI. Like her father, her husband would have a military career and success beyond measure.
Two of their sons caused great trouble for the family and Virginia ended up caring for Peter C. Hains' children and Thornton Jenkins Hains' child while they were in prison on account of murder. Later, she would care for Thornton's daughter Mollie and his son Thornton Jr. and would be considered Thornton Jr.'s parent when he married in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1931 even after her death. You can read more about her children on their pages.
Virginia was widowed in 1921 and died in 1929.
Gravesite Details WID/O PETER C HAINS, MAJ CEN USA
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