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I have always looked on my late father, John Wilby Caine (1930 - 2007), as our branch of the Caine family's genealogist. He always had an interest in our family roots and when he retired he engaged in genealogical and historical research with a passion.

As a child I remember hearing that a branch of our family had emigrated to America and that one of them was a Sherriff. At the time in my imagination I eagerly assumed it meant a "cowboys and indians" type of sherriff but I later came to realise it was a police officer or prison warden type of sherriff.

It has always been an oddity of our family tree that the American branch doesn't have the "e" on the end of the surname, it seemingly having been lost during the immigration process.

I remember watching a Discovery Channel program about the first enhagement between ironclad ships at the Battle of Hampton Roads. Those ships were the Merrimack and the Monitor. What I didn't know at the time I first watched that programme was that one of my Caine ancestors, John Cain, was watching that epic battle from a nearby hill.

Linda Cain, one of our American relatives, wrote - "It is part of our history, here, that a very famous naval battle took place during the Civil War between two ships, the Merrimac and the Monitor. One ship was a new type of submarine style vessel. John speaks of this as he stood on the hills watching the event. He describes the submarine ship as looking like a big wheel of cheese sitting on a raft."

John Cain was born in the Isle of Man on 8th February 1844 and was baptised at Kirk Michael three days later. His parents William and Isabella Caine took John and his older sister Ellen to the United States where they lived in Pennsylvania and had three more children; Willian Jr, Edward and Joseph.

At the age of 17 years and 7 months John Cain enlisted with the 58th. Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers.

 

To all whom it may Concern

 

(above American Eagle Seal)

 

Head Quarters, Philadelphia,  Sept. 12th 1861

 

This is to Certify, that   John Cain   is a Member of
Company   A ,  Captain   Montgomery Martin ,  Colonel  J. Richter Jones,
(not stated)   Regiment   P. V.,  and is duly sworn into the service of the United States for Three Years.

 

Mont.  Martin

Capt. Commanding Company   A

 

J. Richter Jones   Col. Commanding Regt.     (Not Stated)

 

                                                                                        BATES, Pr., Eighth & Market.