The last time I posted about the Menzies family, I didn’t know anything about the members of the family who stayed in England. Only a few snippets I had from some letters between siblings, William and Jane. Using clues from those letters and a marriage record from the FamilySearch records, I think I’m getting somewhere with mapping out William’s life.
On FamilySearch I found a Liverpool marriage record between a William Menzies and Ellen Patterson. At first I was thinking it wasn’t much help, because how could I be sure it’s my guy. Then I remembered the Love-Menzies Family Outline. It has a bunch of Menzies information written at the bottom. At the bottom were a bunch of Walkers and Pattersons. Sure if the wife married in, the Patterson name would be lost. It’s a little too coincidental for me though! I haven’t marked anything down yet, but I’ve made note of the marriage record. My next step was to search the 1861 England Census to see if I could find my William with a wife named Ellen.
Here’s the entry I found in the 1861 census. These are the things I like about it.
- The age is close and the birthplace is a match.
- William’s occupation is Mechanical Dentist. Since his sibling was a druggist, I don’t think a dentist is a far stretch for his occupation. Still shaky, but not a big red flag.
- The children’s names and ages. Both Ellen and William are family names (even matches the maybe wife).
- This family is living in Derby, England. William’s Letter seems to be postmarked as being written in Derby.
Here is what I don’t like about it:
- The wife is missing from this census. William is listed as being married. So his wife could be away from home, or maybe she passed away. I’m unsure. The reason I don’t like this is that in William’s Letter, he gives his wife’s love to his family. The letter is dated 1863. So while it’s not out of the realm of possibility, it doesn’t exactly help prove anything either. So this really does nothing for the FamilySearch record or the census record. I’m still left with no real evidence about William.
- Overall, this is just vague enough to keep me from adding it to my records. I’ve saved the image and made note of this family in my OneNote Notebook to come back to later.
- The family disappears in 1871. I can’t seem to find them anywhere in 1871. Does this mean William finally made it to America like he hoped? Or maybe he moved somewhere else. Could he have moved to London and that’s where this family comes into play?
Here is a fun fact that has nothing to do with proving anything:
- When I’m searching in these British towns, I always do a quick Google Maps search of the area to see if the surname comes up anywhere. I figure it’s worth a shot and fun to boot. In Thornhill, I did find a Menzies listed as living there still. In Derby, all I found were the Menzies Hotels chain. I tried to find more about the chain but I didn’t see anything about how and when the business was established.
So this is where I’m at with the Menzies clan right now. I’m holding off on doing any heavy duty research until I’ve finished adding everything back into my good family file. Once I’ve done that I’ll probably order some of the microfilms from the Family History Center to get a little clarification on some of the Menzies children.