I’ve made some great advances in researching the Menzies line of my family! I’m very excited about what I’ve found. This adventure started when I decided to sign up for a 7 day free trial of World Vital Records. I thought maybe this would be a cheaper way of being able to access the UK records I’ve been holding off on. Well, after a few hours of trying to get some of the image viewers to work, I just went ahead and upgraded my Ancestry.com membership. Even if I only have the World Membership for one year it’ll be worth it to me! I’m still going to check out World Vital Records for the rest of my trial, but I’m just more comfortable with the Ancestry format. I’ll probably do an entry on navigating World Vital Records at the beginning of next week to test it out some more.
Once I upgraded my Ancestry, It was like being let loose! I went right to work. If you’ve been reading for awhile you’ve seen a small amount of progress being made on the Menzies front. You can read that progress by clicking the Menzies tag in the sidebar, or you can just take a quick peek at the more informative entry: Menzies Mysteries. That entry will show you that I’ve found where the Menzies immigrated to America in 1854. They briefly stayed with son (presumably), Alexander, who had already immigrated and set himself up as a ‘Druggist.’
My first find was in the 1851 England Census. With the Menzies immigrating in 1854, this census should be a great start for me to continue “across the pond.”
I found the family (you can click the image for a full size view if you’d like) in Liverpool, England. That is the exact city they sailed from in 1854. From this census, I learned an awful lot. First thing is that John was a Sawyer before leaving England. I don’t know if he picked the profession back up in America, because I haven’t found him beyond the 1860 American Census. What I like about this is that it confirms for me that Alexander is in fact John and Jane’s son. Here he is listed as 21 years of age and an Apprentice Chemist & Druggist. This information lines up perfectly with his 1860 New York information for both age and occupation. This census also confirms the “brother James” mentioned in a letter William wrote to his ‘Dear Sister Jean’. Having such great luck on this level, I decided to test my luck and go for the 1841 census. The family should still be living in Liverpool if the children’s birthplaces here are to be believed.
Once again, I got really lucky! Here are all my usual suspects, except I have a few extras. Margaret was present when the family sailed to America. However she wasn’t listed with the family in 1851. I’ll have to try and figure out if she was married before going to America. If she did that’ll make a possible 3 marriages for her! Helen, aged 10 is a great find for me. In the letter from William he talks quite about about Sister Ellen and her troubles, including her husband Charlie being away when their little son passed away. Charlotte, aged 4, is a mystery to me. This is the first I’ve heard of her. I’ll have to see if she married young, or unfortunately passed away young. Either way something happened to her. She wasn’t mentioned in William’s letter, so I’m assuming she passed away because she didn’t sail with the family to America.
Overall, I think finding these census records makes me fall in love with the letters passed down through the family. Being able to prove these people in the letters actually exist is a great triumph for me. I think I’ll be talking about it for a long time yet!