One of the many mysteries I’ve always had with my family tree is the Menzies family. Yes I’m pretty sure they came from Scotland, though some lived in England also. When I got my boxes of documents and photos, one of the many things in there were a whole bunch of miscellaneous articles about Menzies people. Nothing ever said how each person was linked. The closest I got was the Menu Tree.
Now that I’m getting better at researching, I think I may be starting to fill in some blanks, literally. The only clue I had to my Menzies connection to start with was Jennie Menzies’ mother, Jane Farris-Menzies, living with Jennie and her husband William W Love in 1880. That gave me a starting point. That’s what clued me in to how these random Menzies articles could be important. One was an Obituary for Alexander G Menzies. Another was an article about a ‘London Strangler’ who murdered a Lady Menzies and her daughter one night in February 1954. I still don’t know how those people are related but I am getting closer.
Yesterday I was searching for the Love family on Castle Garden. I was hoping to find William W Love in the time period that was indicated on the 1900 and 1910 census. Hopefully he would have been coming over with his mother and father so I could verify that. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything that was definitely him. I then decided to take a walk on the wild side and plugged Menzies into the search, just for fun. I didn’t have an immigration date as my Jane/Jennie Menzies-Love died in 1890 (wait till I find the article chronicling that!). I did however know her mother’s name and estimated birth date. I found the above Menzies in my search. My next step was trying to locate this particular family to see if it met up with my Menzies family or if they were two separate families.
What I found was this entry in the 1860 census. I am 90% sure that this family is my family from before. What I’m not sure of is their connection to Alexander. I’m thinking most likely he is another son of John and Jane. This is the only census that the family appears with Alexander. Young Jane would have married William W Love in 1867 in New Jersey and that’s when I think our Menzies family moved to New Jersey. I’m currently trying to find the rest though to see if this will be a dead end or not. If I find this family in 1870 and Jane is still living with them, then I will know this isn’t correct.
Interestingly enough, the son of Alexander will eventually turn up in Roseland, NJ where William W Love and his family settled after the death of his first wife, Jane Menzies. In fact if that obituary is for the same guy (90% again), then Theodore Leonard would be the husband of Grace Love (Jennie Menzies & William W Love daughter). So I think Grace and Alexander would be cousins. This is not enough for me to say 100% though. I do however have one more piece of ‘evidence.’
Derby, Jan 15 /63
My Dear Sister Jean,
I now avail myself of the present opportunity, of answering your very affectionate and ever welcome letter, and at the same time thanking you, for sending me the lock of poor, Margret’s hair which I intend having put in a Broch. I am very sorry to hear such bad news from my Dear Friends in America and feel very much for my poor mother. I wish I was there to comfort her in all her trouble. I expect to come and see you all some day has I am quite sure I will never stay in England all my life as I am quite tired of it, I want to come and see you, and I will never be satisfied until I do come if it is only for a visit for a few weeks. I am happy to learn that Brother John has been doing so very well has to acquire property and will be most happy to hear of his arrival amongst you all in New York. I suppose he is not married yet, let me know in your next if ever is the case.
Dear Jean we have our troubles here as well as you have in America, all our troubles seem to come at once. I am very sorry to inform you that Sister Ellen lost one of her little boys last Saturday afternoon, he died of Dropsy brought on by scarlet fever. Sister Ellen is in a sore way about him there was no person at home but herself. Charles is in Alexandra, Egypt and expects to stop there if he can get work he will be very much put about when he receives the news of the loss of his son. I would have gone down to Liverpool if I could have been spared. Ellen was to bury him last Tuesday. I want her to come and spend a few weeks with me as soon as the weather gets warmer, I hope she will, it will do her good. I have forgotten to state in Alex letter that I shall be most happy to receive poor George. Sickeness, god bless him I sincerely hope he is alive. I will make Brothers James ? as soon as I have time, tell him to write a few lines to me when he has time you will please give mine and my wife’s & childrens love to my mother and all my brothers and sisters and receive the same yourself. I will send you and mother a nice present before long. You will excuse this short letter as I am afraid of its being over weight. Write soon again and believe me to remain your ever affectionate and loving brother,
This letter certainly isn’t solid proof either, but with it giving all the names of the siblings it sure helps to verify that much about this family. My heart goes out to the family though, being spread out over two continents when they were all obviously very close. It certainly does seem the Menzies were prone to tragedy. I hope as I research them further I can find some great triumphs also.