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Black Sheep Sunday: Harry Tombs

While re-entering my Dad’s side of family into my family file, I found this “Black Sheep” in the World War I Military Draft Cards. Harry E Tombs is technically my 1st cousin 4 times removed. He’s related to me through the Doremus line. To be honest, I giggled a little when I read the “Awaiting trial for Robbery at the Essex Co Jail” part. I’m sure it was very hard on the family at the time, but gosh it’s nice to know your ancestors were imperfect people too! Makes the idea of living in their shadow a little less daunting. ūüôā

Black Sheep Sunday is a daily blogging theme from GeneaBloggers.

Treasure Chest Thursday: Lt Frank A Greene

A few months ago, I found a newspaper article thrown into the mix with a bunch of cemetery deeds. That article made me wonder about what happened to Lt. Frank A Greene, who married my Great Grandmother’s cousin. ¬†A very helpful commenter on that post, Liz from My Big Fat Family Blog, pointed me to a records collection at There is where I found this report on what really happened to Lt. Frank A Greene, including a hand drawn map of about where his plane went down.

Found on

Treasure Chest Thursday is a Daily Blogging Theme from GeneaBloggers.

Surname Saturday: Redford

I’m almost finished highlighting the surnames on my father’s side of the family!

Where does the Redford name originate from?

My Redford line came over from England about 1870 or 1871. I haven’t found them in any passenger lists yet but I haven’t looked very hard yet either. Once they got to America they settled in Essex County, New Jersey.

Did the Redfords stay in New Jersey?

For the most part, yes. There were quite a few that moved to California.

Overview of the Redford Family

Father: Samuel Redford (about 1843 Р28 Sep 18971 ).

Mother: Francis W Travis (about 1841 – ? )


  1. William Redford ( Jun 1869 – ? )
  2. Herbert Redford (14 Nov 1872 – 11 Sep 1940 2) My 2nd Great Grandfather
  3. Sarah E Redford (07 Oct 1874 – 18 Apr 1959 3)
  4. Samuel Redford (about 1877 – 30 Sep 1877 4)
  5. Lillian L Redford (23 Apr 1879 – 07 Dec 1958 5)
  6. ? Redford (03 Aug 1882 – 1882 6)

Of all the children William and Herbert were the only ones to have children that I know of. William’s son Harry William Redford (01 Aug 1894 – 17 Nov 19797), moved to Los Angeles and was living with Sarah, her husband, and Francis in 1920. In 1930, he was married and living in a house with his wife. I am unsure yet if they had children.

Herbert Redford would marry Sarah Ann (Sadie) Sutcliffe and have 4 children (Clifford, Howard, Edith, and Lilian).¬†Herbert’s¬†family stayed in Essex County, New Jersey. Herbert on the other hand, moved to Los Angeles around 1925. I think it was either right before or right after Sadie’s death. I haven’t found a death record for her yet.

Records to get for the Redfords

  • Birth Record and Death Record for Clifford Herbert Redford (my Great Grandfather)
  • Birth and Marriage Record for Herbert Redford (my 2nd Great Grandfather)

Redford Links


  1. Records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths of New Jersey, 1848-1900, v51 p277
  2. California Death Certificate
  3. California Death Index
  4. Records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths of New Jersey, 1848-1900, v BE p197
  5. California Death Index
  6. Records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths of New Jersey, 1848-1900, film 494195
  7. California Death Index

Treasure Chest Thursday: The Original

The last week, I’ve been slowly entering my mother’s side of the family into my new family file. It’s a little slower going because there are more of them than Dad’s side. I also had a master list of birthdays I made at the family reunion last year for Dad’s side. So I was able to put them in quickly and use the source I titled, “2009 Family Reunion Master List”. I’m new to citing Personal Family sources, so I was a bit baffled at first on how to really cite it. Then I realized I was once again over-analyzing something. So I gave the title as stated above, I’m listed as the other, and in the description I wrote that I compiled the list by going around to everyone at the family reunion and getting their birth dates and marriage dates where needed. It turned out to be a big project for me that year!

On my Mom’s side I now have the original copy of the Family Tree. This is the one my Grandma brought when I was in the eighth grade. I ended up photocopying it at my Mom’s work, and I later reproduced it in Excel and re-printed it. In that time though, I think I might have tried to “fix” it. I think things got a little turned around. I’ve decided to no longer use my photocopy version. I am lucky that my Aunt sent Grandma’s copy to Maryland for me.

Taylor-Webb Family Tree. This has been missing the letters for as long as I can remember!

This has the most complete list I’ve ever seen of the current Taylor family. I don’t communicate much with this side of the family so I don’t know if I would ever had completed this much of it without Grandma’s tree.

Taylor-Webb Family Tree. Page 2A.

It’s a great resource for quite a few generations ¬†back. If you can see, Reuben Vincent Webb is listed as Family Member 2-1 in this tree. This tree counts forward from the earliest known Webb relative. So Reuben is actually my 2nd Great Grand Uncle. It’s his sister Mollie Jane Webb who marries into the Taylor family. My index number in this tree is listed as 6-54. Just to show you how it counts forward in time.

Taylor-Webb Family Tree

What my photocopy version was missing is what you see above. I was in 8th grade around 1997. My Grandmother didn’t pass away until January 2005. So in that time, not only had I been making changes to the family tree, so had my Grandmother! I found little handwritten notes all over the tree. Notes that weren’t there in 1997 when we photocopied it.

Taylor-Webb Family Tree. Living person information blurred for privacy.

Not only did I find notes in my Grandma’s handwriting, there were notes from another person too! This could have been from my Aunt. It could have been from someone who was just visiting and they were discussing the tree. It doesn’t really matter, what I do know is that even though this tree has some errors in it, it’s a wealth of information in other ways.

Treasure Chest Thursday is a daily blogging topic from GeneaBloggers.

Tombstone Tuesday: William L Mays

This is the tombstone of my mom’s brother. He passed away when he was just 2 years old. He left a big impact in the family. Until her dying day, my grandmother was still mourning for the little boy she lost so early in life. I always found it kind of surreal that both of my parents lost brothers so young.

Tombstone Tuesday is a daily blogging topic from GeneaBloggers.

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.

Sentimental Sunday: I miss them

1982, Washington DC. Wayne and Emogene Utter. Mary Greene.

We have a Museum Sunday tradition in our house now. About once a month, we all go up to a Smithsonian Museum and just take it in for the day. We’ve done two already. This Sunday, I’m a little sentimental about my Grandma and Wayne. They’ve both been gone about 5 years now. 2005 was such a tough year. My Grandma’s biggest fear was that the family would never see each other after she was gone. We all laughed and said it would never happen. The last two years I’ve seen it start happening. I don’t know what happened to us, but everyone is going their own way for awhile I guess.

The above¬†picture is from a trip that my Grandma, Wayne, and Great Aunt Mary (Grandma’s sister) made to visit my family before I was born. I have a few pictures of them around DC with my very young, older brother. I can’t help but think how cool it would have been to be able to see these kinds of sights with my Grandma now. I miss her so much some times!

2010, Washington DC.

She was so proud of my genealogy research. Sometimes I would call her with a discovery:

Me: “Grandma! Did you know Lula’s mother was married before and had a son from that marriage?!”

Grandma: “Yeah, his name was James.”

Me: “Oh.”

Those are the calls I miss the most. She always gave me just enough to keep me going but she always let me find things on my own. I appreciate that now because it’s so much more satisfying to know you’ve put the work in yourself.

Sentimental Sunday is a daily blogging topic from GeneaBloggers.

Treasure Chest Thursday: Marriage Records

Marriage Certificate of Clifford and Jane Redford

In my eyes, marriage records are a beautiful thing. I could say it’s beautiful to know a couple started their life together. That’s very true. However, my favorite part of marriage records is that they have maiden names and parent names for the women. One of my oldest and most often gripes is trying to figure out where the girls in the family disappeared to, or where they came from. It’s a common one among all genealogists.

This particular marriage record really opened up doors in my research. The biggest one being Jane’s last name. We knew it was Parkins/Perkins something. This verified for me that it was in fact Parkin. The great thing about this is it even went a step further and gave me her parents names. I’m not always so lucky to get all these facts. In fact, I was hesitant about this record when I got it because my Aunt had told me she always understood that Jane led a hard life and was orphaned young. That is all true. So I was worried that the information on her parents wouldn’t be known at the time of her wedding. From this record, I was even able to find that Jane and her siblings may have been orphaned and they did bounce around a lot, but it was always to other family members. I can’t speak for what happened in those households, but at least the family names were kept in memory so that I could find them today.

Treasure Chest Thursday is a daily blogging topic from GeneaBloggers that I occasionally participate in.

Surname Saturday: Love


The LOVE family name originates in Scotland. They are a sept of the Clan MacKinnon. A sept is an English word for a division of a family, especially a division of a clan. 1 There is a section of my Clans and Families of Scotland book dedicated to Clan MacKinnon. I will just hit a few points for you:

1. Clan Motto: Audentes fortuna juvat (Gaelic: Fortune favours the bold)
2. Clan Slogan: Cuimhnich b√°s Ailpein (Gaelic: Remember the death of Alpin)
3. The MacKinnons are a branch of Clan Alpin and claim descent from the great-grandson of Alpin, King of Scots.
4. The Clan fought for Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

My Love Branch

Unfortunately, I haven’t found connections back to the actual clan yet. My first Love ancestor is Andrew Love (born: abt 1803). My first record of him is when he marries Agnes Hamilton in Kilmarnock, Scotland in 1828. I haven’t viewed this record myself yet. Their names do match up with the ‘Diner Tree’ I’ve been working on, so I’m just piecing things together until I can get the Microfilms ordered and start collecting the actual birth records. So on a scale of 0-3, 3 being very reliable; I would mark this as a 1. It could really go either way for this record.

My next records are the birth of their children Thomas and Jean Love. Their births are recorded at Paisley Abbey, Scotland. They however are the same reliability factor as the marriage record. So I documented these dates and am using them as a guideline. Andrew and Agnes had five children that I know about.

  1. Andrew Love, born Feb 1832, Scotland; married Ellen Lessler
  2. Thomas H Love, born 15 Feb 1838, Paisley Abbey, Renfrewshire, Scotland; married Christina
  3. Jean Love, born 29 Jan 1841, Paisley Abbey, Renfrewshire, Scotland
  4. Agnes Love, born about 1844, Scotland
  5. William Wallace Love, 16 Feb 1846, Scotland (my 3rd Great-Grandfather); married Jennie Menzies

The family first shows up in America on July 3, 1854 when their ship arrives at New York from Glasgow. Missing from the voyage is the oldest child, Andrew. He was already in New York at this time having immigrated one year prior. What struck me with this is Thomas’ occupation being listed as ‘Grocer’. The Love family will be in the Grocery business for many generations starting from here. After arriving in America, Andrew and his brood will live with his oldest son Andrew in New York City at least until the 1860 United States Census. After 1860 everyone in the family starts migrating to New Jersey.

Andrew and Agnes lived in the Plainfield area of Union County, New Jersey until their deaths. Agnes in 1885 and Andrew in 1889. 2 Their eldest son Andrew would marry Ellen Lessler and they’d have 5 chidren of their own. Their eldest Andrew R Love, was born in New York in 1860. Their next two, James and Margaret, were born in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Their youngest two children, Robert and Jennie, were born in New Jersey where the family finally settled in North Plainfield, Somerset County, New Jersey.

Andrew and Agnes’ son Thomas lived in New York until at least 1874, where his fifth child is born. His family would then settle in Westfield, Union County, New Jersey.I have no information on Andrew and Agnes’ daughters after they arrived in America. Jean/Jane disappears before the 1860 census and Agnes after it. Most likely they got married, I just haven’t found a record of marriage for them yet.

Andrew and Agnes’ youngest child, William Wallace Love, is my 3rd Great Grandfather. He was born 16 Feb 1846 in Scotland. He married Jennie Menzies in 1867, and they would have 11 children. Jennie Menzies-Love would die 17 Sep 1890 under suspicious circumstances. The story and family legend goes that they were both drunk and arguing when it went too far. No one knows how but Jennie ended up at the bottom of the stairs, dead. I’ve been told by another descendant that there are a bunch of newspaper articles chronicling the subsequent trial and acquittal of William Wallace Love. I haven’t found any of these articles yet, but I’m probably just not looking in the right papers. If it’s out there I’ll find it. Until then, this remains a family legend. William’s branch settled in Essex County, New Jersey with a few of them going to other places.

Here’s a map of the area the Loves settled in. As you can see, even though Plainfield and North Plainfield are in separate counties, they aren’t exactly far away from each other.

Love Family Links

  • Love Family Tag on Misadventures of a Genealogist blog.
  • Love Family in my website database, 39 and counting! I’ll be making sure all my documents are uploaded today.

Things I Wonder About the Loves

  • Where did Jean and Agnes go? Did they also settle in New Jersey near their family?
  • Were Kilmarnock and Paisley Abbey the family’s origin or were they just stopping points along the way to America?

What are my next steps?

  • Of course my first step is obtaining birth records for William Wallace Love’s children.
  • My second step is to find the marriage record for William W Love and Jennie Menzies.
  • I really want to find the Newspaper Article chronicling the supposed trial. I think it happened in Essex County, NJ, but my contact says it made it to the major New York papers. We’ll see when I go to the library and search Newspaper Archive.
  • I want to verify that Andrew and Agnes are in fact William’s parents. Tenuous census records do not make a solid connection, so if I can find his death certificate to confirm his parents, that’d be ace.
  • I’d like to get back in contact with my Love relations. There were all descended from different children of William and Jennie and it’d be interesting to see what new stuff they’ve found!
  2. Records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths of New Jersey, 1848-1900

Tombstone Tuesday: Love

If I can get enough time this week, I will be doing a Surname Saturday post on the Loves this weekend. This would be the tombstone of William Wallace Love and his son Percy Everett Love. Thanks to Great-Grandma Llewellyn’s Diner Tree, William is no longer my first known Love. I’ve got droves of them now. I’m working on adding more of them to the website today, then tonight, more design work on the new and improved design!

Tombstone Tuesday is a daily blogging theme of GeneaBloggers.

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