Surname Saturday: Menzies

To be quite honest with you, I’ve started this post 8 different times. Each time I used way too many details then I really wanted to use. It’s just once I get started, I can’t stop! So here’s the run down on my Menzies family, without all the not-needed details.

My Menzies officially start with the marriage of John Menzies and Jane Ferris/Farish. Her last name could be either. I’m using Ferris in my database with an AKA of Farish, just to be safe. I recently found the Menzies family in Parish Registers that were indexed on FamilySearch. It shows the marriage of John and Jane on 27 May 1825. It also goes on to show the births and christenings/baptisms of their first 5 children (James, Margaret, Alexander, Helen, John). You can read about the place they are from in my last Google Earth Adventure. Their last 5 children (William, Charlotte, Mary, George, Jane) were born after the family moved to Liverpool, Lancashire, England. I’ve found 2 of the children in Parish Registers there.

In 1853, most of the family packed their bags and moved to America. Alexander was already settled there as a druggist and the family was living with him in 1860. I still have to trace the family that stayed in England. As for the family in America, I’ve found most of them in the New York City area. They seemed to stay close to each other. There are still some gaps to fill in but I hope to fill them in soon. It was from this original family that the Menzies married into the Loves.

Now we’ll get on to the bit of mystery from the naming patterns of yesterday. I did find a family that does match up very well with my Menzies family. If I’m correct, this is one more generation back. Looking at the Parish Registers for Morton by Thornhill, Scotland, I really think I may have discovered John’s parents and siblings (Mary, Alexander, Jean, Helen). Just using the search terms of Menzies in Morton by Thornhill brings up all kinds of matches that would fit into the naming pattern. I can’t just add them though because there isn’t any evidence of this connection. I did find a birth record for a John Menzies born in 1804. It lists his parents as James and Helen. These names match perfectly with the naming pattern if it is true. A lot of the kids also fit in with the siblings names. This isn’t concrete evidence though, so I can’t add them to my tree yet. I have set up a separate file just for these Menzies offshoots. I’m hesitant to add them to my new, improved file for now.

Next on my Menzies To Do List:

  • Locate a death certificate for Jane T Menzies-Love and her parents. I know all 3 died in America, most likely New Jersey.  I have a fear of sending away for New Jersey records, but I’ll just have to overcome it.
  • Find the England branch of the family and expand them if I can.
  • Fill in the missing censuses for the American branch. Most importantly John and Jane Menzies in 1870.
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