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John Menzies

I made some progress in the Menzies line of my family tree!

Things that match up:

  • Age: This puts his birthdate at around 1805, which is what I’ve seen across all records so far.
  • Occupation: Sawyer. John was listed as a Sawyer when they lived in Liverpool.
  • Birthplace: John was indeed born in Scotland.
  • Year of Immigration: This lines of perfectly with what I found in the ship manifest.
  • Place of Death: Fits in with the area where John was living with his son, Alexander.

New facts:

  • Place of Burial: This cemetery is close to the cemetery I have to visit in Brooklyn. After looking on the website, I was even able to get a plot number!

I do wish that it had his parents names on here, but beggars can’t be choosers! I have a tentative set of Menzies in the Scotland parish records on FamilySearch that I’ve found and think is John’s parents and siblings. It would have nice to have known, but I’ll just keep digging!

Newark Evening News- September 27, 1890

Note: I did not transcribe these articles from the original. They were initially transcribed by Grace Leonard who has been working on the Love genealogy off and on for many years.

Newark Evening News; Saturday, September 27, 1890; Page 4;


The Husband Held to Answer for Her Mysterious Death.

The jury empanelled by Coroner Roden to sit at the inquest in the case of Mrs. William W. W. Love returned a verdict yesterday afternoon setting forth that the woman came to her death September 22 from injuries received in falling down the cellar stairs of her residence in Roseland and that her husband was responsible for the fall.

The first witness examined yesterday was George DeCamp, who helped carry Mrs. Love upstairs. Her two children told him their parents had quarreled and their father pushed their mother down the cellar. Love said to witness and Constable Teed that his wife was only drunk and he did not desire any of their interference in his family affairs.

Constable Teed swore Love said he wished his wife would die, and several other witnesses also testified to his making the assertion. Love is out on bail at present, but he will probably be arrested and sent to jail to stand trial for manslaughter.

Love Family from my Family File, click for bigger

Newark Evening News; Monday, September 29, 1890; Page 1;

Love Not to be Rearrested

William W. W. Love, of Roseland, whom a coroner’s jury last week found responsible for causing the death of his wife, whom he threw down the cellar stairs at their home, is not to be rearrested. Constable Teed, who took Love into custody soon after the woman received her injuries, consulted with Prosecutor Crane about the matter, but as the latter decided that as Love was already under $1,000 bail for his appearance when wanted, he need not be rearrested.

Grace attempted to find further articles but was unsuccessful at the time. Leaving the outcome a mystery for us at the current time, thought we’re both pretty sure he didn’t have jail time.

Newark Evening News- September 25, 1890

Note: I did not transcribe these articles from the original. They were initially transcribed by Grace Leonard who has been working on the Love genealogy off and on for many years. It was this article that I was mostly hesitant account. There is a very emotional account given by my great-great grandmother Jennie Love-Thorward.

Newark Evening News; Thursday, September 25, 1890; Page 1



The case of Mrs. Love, Who Died at Livingston from Injuries, Inquired Into — Testimony Showing That the Couple Frequently Quarrelled

Coroner Roden began an investigation at the Courthouse yesterday afternoon in the circumstances attending the death of Mrs. William W. W. Love, of Roseland, who died from injuries received by a fall down the cellar stairs at her home on September 13. There were rumors that Love had pushed or thrown the woman down the stairs, and color was given to the statement by the fact that the couple were frequently quarrelling. Constable Teed arrested Love, and he gave bail in $1,000 to appear when wanted. The jury empanelled by the Coroner was composed of Z. H. DeCamp, James Harrison, Frank E. Williams, Walter D. Bush, C.R. Conklin, W.W. DeCamp and William Griffith, all of Roseland.

The first witness called was Alfred Love, the twelve-year-old son of the couple. The boy was in no wise embarrassed and gave his testimony in a straightforward manner. He swore that when he returned on the night of the tragedy, he found his mother absent but she soon returned. “She got supper ready and called father,” said the boy witness, “and then passed into the pantry while father was eating his supper. There was a quarrel and she tore father’s shirt. She slipped and fell down stairs.”

Upon cross-examination by Prosecutor Crane, witness said that he had been to Paterson with his father that day and the latter was angry at not finding his wife at home when he returned. She was at the house of one of her daughters nearby and she did not return for an hour. Love laid down on a lounge and went to sleep.

“Can you tell when a man is drunk?” asked Mr. Crane.

“No, I can’t,” said the witness.


“There was a quarrel at the supper table,” continued the boy, “but I don’t know what they said.” Mr. Crane’s questions had the effect of making the witness relapse into silence, he evidently becoming afraid to speak. He finally said he was sent to bed without his supper and that his sister knew about the rest of it. “Mother and Father were fighting,” added the boy, “and were pushing each other around the room. I went upstairs and heard Mother and my sister howling. Then I called for help for Mother who was lying on the cellar floor.”

The next witness was Jennie, the fourteen-year-old daughter of the dead woman.

Upon taking the stand she began weeping, and it was with difficulty that she could be sufficiently composed to give her testimony. She thought her father had been drinking when he came in and laid down on a lounge in the parlor. He and witness’s mother had a few words and afterward the latter went to the pantry for a bottle of beer. They had words over it and she caught him by the throat. There was a struggle and her mother fell down the cellar stairs. Her father made no attempt to go after her, and she laid at the bottom of the stairs until Constable Teed came in and removed her.


“They have often fought before and hurt each other,” said the girl, “and I did not want them to do it again. Mother had about ten bottles of beer in the pantry that day and sent out for six more.”

At this point Lawyer Charles Graves, representing Love, asked the girl whether her mother had been drinking and was in the habit of drinking. She replied that she had.

“You can’t ask any more questions, Mr. Graves,” interposed the Coroner.

“I’d like to know why?” queried the lawyer.

“Because you haven’t the right to,” replied the Coroner.

“I have a right and purpose exercising it, too,” said the lawyer.

“If you do I’ll have you ejected; I am holding this inquest,” concluded Doctor Roden.

Dr. Peck testified that Mrs. Love was in a semi-conscious condition from the time she received her injuries until death. There was a discoloration on her neck. County Physician Wrightson swore that the woman was injured on both sides of the head and her skull was fractured, producing an effusion of blood and causing death. Dr. Wrightson said he did not think all the wounds could have been caused by falling downstairs. The inquest will be continued tomorrow afternoon.

Newark Evening News- September 23, 1890

I did have reservations about posting these transcriptions. My new long lost cousin sent me these this week and it’s been kind of an up in the air decision for me. I’ve been pretty open about what happened between William W Love and his wife Jennie Menzies though. I’ve come a long way and I feel a special connection to the Menzies family. So that’s why I decided that the story should be told and my family who read this blog would be interested in seeing the articles also. This is nothing you can’t find in the paper if you search it yourself, so who am I to censor the blog when I never have before?

Note: I did not transcribe these articles from the original. They were initially transcribed by Grace Leonard who has been working on the Love genealogy off and on for many years.

Newark Evening News; Tuesday, September 23, 1890; Page 1;


Mrs. Love died yesterday from the effects of her injuries

Mrs. W W Love, who was found in an unconscious condition at the foot of the cellar stairs in her house at Caldwell on Saturday, September 13, died yesterday afternoon from the effects of the injuries she received. Dr. Peck, of Caldwell, who has attended her since the accident occured, notified County Physician Wrightson of her death. The case has given rise to grave suspicions, as a short time before the woman fell a disturbance took place at the house, and it is believed that some one threw her downstairs in a quarrel.

The woman was badly cut about the head and her body was bruised. She improved rapidly until Thursday, but on that day inflammation set in and she continued to grow worse until yesterday, when she died, without saying a word to any one about the cause of her accident.

The family have lived in Caldwell over five years, previous to which time they lived in Newark, where the husband kept a large grocery store.

Jane Menzies-Love, from Llewellyn's photographs.

Newark Evening News; Wednesday, September 24, 1890; Page 1;


An Inquest in the case to be held today

An inquest in the case of Mrs. Wm. H. W. W. Love, of Caldwell, who died from injuries received at her home recently, will be held at the Courthouse this afternoon. Detectives Volk and O’Connor, of the Prosecutor’s office, have been investigating the case, but could find no direct evidence that the woman had been pushed or thrown down the cellar stairs by her husband, as there was no one in the house when she received her injuries except Love and herself.

County Physician Wrightson examined the body yesterday afternoon and found that the woman had died from a fractured skull and concussion of the brain.

More articles coming this Saturday and Sunday.

Organizing my Chaos: Part 4

Alright, I’ve researched my supplies, I’ve made plans, and I’ve used trial and error to go through my chaos of papers. All of this with the help of Elyse Doerflinger‘s book Conquering the Paper Monster. If you feel even a little overwhelmed by the task of organizing your genealogy papers, I definitely recommend this book. I’ve changed my methods a million times in the last 10 years. She explains in very easy to understand terms all the technical terms you may be stuck on. The different types of supplies, the terms you should look for in your supplies. There’s so much information in there and I wouldn’t even dream of trying to reiterate it all here! Just go get the ebook, it’s only a couple of bucks. You’ll spend more on your office supplies then you will the book.

Finished crates

What you’re looking at is my finished crates of documents.  It doesn’t look like much, but everything is in sheet protectors and sorted by which line of the family tree they come from. Birth, marriage, and death records are all separated. When I have more documents, I’ll switch to an individual reference number sorting system. Right now, I just don’t have the volume to make that kind of leap. What I realize is I have a bulk of miscellaneous documents for William and Llewellyn, and another bulk for the Taylor line. Most of the Taylor bulk is photocopies or written notes we took during our Eastern Shore trip. Unfortunately, it was before I knew what I was doing. So I don’t have any source information for those things. I’ll have to research that stuff again.

Books, what to do with the books?

The only question I have is what to do with these books. I have a lot of the funeral service guest books, bibles (not family ones, just bibles, like gift bibles), and just general kind of notebooks. How do you go about preserving those? The’re too big to fit into a sheet protector. Right now I have them laid down in the crates for storage but I’m starting to think that a bookcase might have been a better investment, even if I don’t have room for a bookcase at the moment. ha.

Next I’m onto the photos. I’ve already researched the supplies I’m going to need and where I’m going to get them from. I’ve thought about my priorities when it comes to the photos. Since I have so many to begin with, I’m going to focus on the really old ones first. I’m ordering a set of photo archival pages from Light Impressions. I decided on the 6 to a page sheets that are just big enough for all those photos I have from the 1920s-1930s. I am not going to be getting the albums for the pages yet as those are a bit too expensive for my budget right now. I’ll plan on getting those later in the year when I’ve got some extra money again.

Previous Posts

  1. Organizing my Chaos: Part 1
  2. Organizing my Chaos: Part 2
  3. Organizing my Chaos: Part 3

Organizing my Chaos: Part 3 and some lessons

I’ve learned some more valuable lessons this week. I recently figured out how to “schedule” posts here on the blog. So I wrote up two entries this weekend and “scheduled” them for Monday and Tuesday respectively. Then I went in Monday night and made some changes to yesterdays post to reflect that I was planning on ordering my office supplies yesterday. Have to keep the space-time continuum you know.

Lesson 1: Don’t schedule a post until you’re sure of the outcome you discuss.

The problem comes up when I got up in the morning. The reason I was trying the schedule method is my mornings are often filled with errands. I thought, “Hey, that could be cool! I write the entry the night before and schedule it for the morning while I’m out!” I think it’ll be a great way to pre-write the GeneaBloggers themes and even my Diary of Llewellyn posts.  When I’m home though, I think I’ll stick to manually posting.

You see, I had every intention of going into town, depositing my pay and coming home to order the supplies I picked out. Somehow in the trips to a million stores, I figured why not just stop by Staples and see what the in store prices were. I had checked online and they were quite a bit more expensive then Office Depot. I was shocked when I got in the store.

Lesson 2: Check in store prices and not just website prices.

The hanging file folders ended up being on sale for $8.00 a piece. It doesn’t give me 8 different colors but I can make this work. I’m not picky. The sheet protectors were on sale too. I ended up getting a pack of 200 for $10.00.  I’m not 100% sure if I got the best deal around, but I spent less then I expected. I even picked up some zippered folders that match my crates from Walmart.

So I sat down on the floor and I started sorting.

Lesson 3: Use a table next time.

The long and short of it is my stuff is officially through the first stage of sorting. The pictures are in their own space and the documents are in theirs. The documents are sorted between my Mom’s side and my Dad’s side. My next step is to start sorting Dad’s side into four sections: Moore, Thorward, Redford, Parkin.

Everything works out in the end. It usually does, even if I have a few misadventures in the process! I told you before my blog title is there for a reason. My crates are ready and waiting for me to get started but I think I might skip a few days and start seeing what records I’m ordering with the savings I made yesterday!

Previous Posts:

  1. Organizing my Chaos: Part 1
  2. Organizing my Chaos: Part 2
I am not affiliated with Staples, Office Depot, or any other company. I just fumble around town shopping with no particular bias. I was not compensated to switch my shopping to Staples. It just worked out that way. Always shop around for better pricing!

Organizing my Chaos: Part 2

Okay, I’ve made my decision. I was dogsitting again this weekend, so I have some extra money. This extra money is going to be the start of my genealogy organization fund.

I’m going to have two sections of organization. My mother’s side and my father’s side. Then I’m going to split each section into my 4 great grandparents. So on my father’s side, that would be Moore, Thorward, Redford, and Parkin. On my mother’s side it would be Mays, Moyer, Taylor, and Applegate.

For now I’m going to stick with my Walmart Hanging Folder crates. My hope is that once I’m actually organized, they’ll be more efficient for me.

I’ve ordered my supplies from Office Depot and now I wait for them to get here. Then it’s time to work! These hanging folders come with five of each color and I’m using one color for each of the eight surnames. My current setup has two hanging folders (Moore and Mays) and all the documents are in acid-free sheet protectors. Everything else is just hanging around in no particular order. Everytime I need to find something I have to pour through everything.

My plan is to use one hanging folder for each type of document. I’ll have a red folder for all Moore birth certificates, a red folder for all Moore death certificates and so on. As I get more types of records, I’ll probably have to get more folders of a specific color. does sell the individual colors, so hopefully that won’t be a problem. Really I’ll just have to roll with that as it comes at me.

While I wait for my order to come in, I plan to start organizing. Here’s how I’m going to go about this:

  1. My first step will be to separate all photos from documents. So I’ll have all the photos in one spot and documents in another. I thought I had already done this, but I’m not 100% positive. So this will either be very time consuming, or very easy. 🙂
  2. The second step will be sorting Moore documents from Mays documents. Again, I have two folders of documents already separated but I need to go through the mess of the crates and put everything in one pile.
  3. The most time consuming third step will be to separate the Moore documents into four piles (Moore, Thorward, Redford, Parkin). This is the most time consuming because the Moore side of my family is the side where the treasure trove of boxes came from. So I have ALOT of stuff that I haven’t been through yet. In fact, I don’t even have all my stuff, some is still in New York. I might have to take extra time in July after the reunion to locate all my stuff at my Aunt’s house but for now, it’s in the best place. When it comes back, it’ll be coming back with a system in place.
  4. The last thing I want to have done before I start color coding is separating the Mays documents into their four piles (Mays, Moyer, Taylor, Applegate). This one isn’t going to be as hard because most of my Mays documents are already in acid-free page protectors. Most of my documents are in digital form from (Kentucky Death Records) or FamilySearch (Ohio Death Records).

This should be enough to keep me busy for awhile right?! Baby steps folks! Doing this huge task in stages is what is going to be my saving grace! To read Part 1 of Organizing my Chaos: click here.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Office Depot. In fact, this is the first time I’m ever ordering/buying anything from Office Depot. I am not being compensated by Office Depot. The only real reason I’m ordering from Office Depot is because they were the best deal online and the only office supply store in my town was $20 more expensive.

Organizing my Chaos: Part 1

So here we go, I’m starting to actually get serious about this genealogy thing. I recently purchased a copy of Elyse Doerflinger‘s ebook, Organizing the Paper Monster Once and For All. Since I’m the queen of oversharing, I decided why not chronicle my attempts on this here blog. Obviously I can’t keep talking about what a mess the Mays family makes me (At least not everyday). So now that I’ve got the holidays behind me and a new outlook on my life, why not just plunge in!

One of the first things Elyse tells us is to admit we have a problem. No matter how big or small our paper monster is. Trust me that’s not going to be a problem. I HAVE A PROBLEM. A BIG ONE!

The photo boxes are under my desk. BIG PROBLEM. The new file crates are my paper problems. ANOTHER BIG PROBLEM. I think I’ve decided I don’t like having the hanging file folders, though they are easy access. Luckily I filched them from my family’s office supply stash. Now I won’t feel bad about wasting money on a ton of file folders. The only loss of money would be the crates I got at WalMart during Back to School sales, so really I didn’t lose much on the deal because I’ll find another use for those.

Another step is to establish how you think of your ancestors. That is easy for me. Everything I have is divided into two sections, my father’s Moore side and my mother’s Mays side. So I would like my records to be divided in that way also.

The next step is to start sorting. That’ll have to wait for now. I’m going to have to do some more planning. Like where these organized papers are going to go. In the meantime, I have a confession to make. On September 26th, I posted about a replica Ellis Island that I got at a clearance sale. It was my hope that having a little inspiration would keep me concentrated and keep the clutter off that part of my desk.

I’m sorry to say that I failed. Oops!

Veterans Day: Ralph Leonard

Do you guys remember when I started this blog nine months (!) ago, and I said I was imposing a full disclosure policy. Here’s where it comes into play again. My original plan was to make a list of my military ancestors for Veterans Day. I hoped to have a list of people that served. I have a ton of Draft cards but a lot of those guys didn’t serve from what I can tell. So I was hoping to have a nice list of servicemen and women to eventually gather records for. That didn’t exactly happen.

Ralph H Leonard

I got distracted, like I often do. I opened PhotoShop to edit the above picture for this very blog post. I was going to use it to anchor the post. Make it pop. Then I got distracted, again. Yesterday I posted about my Marine family history so I had Marines on the brain. That’s when I noticed the emblem on Ralph’s hat. Could he be a Marine? How cool would that be?

So naturally I went to my first stop for all things military. I emailed my Dad. While I was waiting to see if he had any ideas, I had a thought. I was just at Prospect Hill Cemetery. Maybe he was one of the graves I photographed and I didn’t put two and two together. Since I was on my laptop, I just went to Find a Grave where I had uploaded all my graveyard photos anyway. Bingo! I was thinking that he was in the Marines because of the emblem but his gravestone clearly said WWI USNRF which translates to Navy Reserve Force. Right about the time I figured this out I got a response from my father:

It looks to me to be an early 1900’s naval officer probably ww1 time frame. By the insignia on his cap I would think he would have been attached a Marine outfit.

Oh dear, he’s going to be so proud of himself for this! Now you know why I go to him for all things military! So now I know that Ralph was in the Navy and served in WWI. The only problem is I don’t have a WWI Draft Card for Ralph. I have one for his older brother but not him. So I’m going to have to assume he was already in the service when WWI came around. I do know that Ralph was trained in Aviation by 1930, so maybe he got military aviation training? I don’t know.

This is the part of genealogy I love. Just when you think you’ve found out everything about someone, you find a little nugget that opens it all up again.

Ralph Leonard Links:

It Suckered Us All In

As I was writing up yesterday’s Mystery Monday post, I was reminded of the single, most consuming mystery I’ve ever had. It started when I first started going through the boxes of treasures/photographs/papers. When I first started scanning the photographs into my computer, I just labeled them UnknownMooreThorward-01 and so on. Funny enough, years after solving this mystery and they’re still named that.

Mystery Photo #1

This is the photo that launched the hours, months, years of frustration. Okay, so I’m exaggerating a tiny bit. It did take me years to solve this though. I would pick it up every few months and try again. I don’t know why I was so struck by this picture. I was just so curious about this building.

At one of our reunions, I brought the picture up on my laptop and asked around. Many members of my family chimed in. No one really knew where it was though. We dissected it many times. We were analyzing the routes that the cars were taking. My father thought he saw a crane in the back and chimed in that it was probably a temporary structure. I scoffed at that! Who would tear that kind of building down! That was nonsense!

Mystery Photo #2

A few months later I stumbled upon this photograph among the others. This one doesn’t show the structure very well, but it gives a bit more detail among the pillars. This one was taken on a different day I think. Here you can see something draped between the pillars and you can see what looks like balloons!

This set our family on all new tangents. My Aunt even showed the picture to some of her customers and got their input. We researched everything from European architecture to the Sesqui-centennial celebration of 1926 in Philadelphia. I went so far as to order a program on eBay from the event and even emailed the Boston Historic Society! No stone was unturned. Then one day I found a genealogy community online. I decided why not see what happens and I posted the first picture. In a twist of fate that is very common to me, someone posted back within a few hours!

This may sound silly and redundant, but have you checked out Victory Arches?



Silly me, I didn’t even know what a victory arch was! So I quickly put my Google-fu to the test! Here’s a simple Google Image search of Victory Arches. Holy canoli, I was back on track!


I was eventually led to an expired eBay auction for this item. In fact, if you search for it today, there are even more images now! It turns out my structure was an Arch of Victory that was erected to welcome the troops home from WWI.

Arch of Victory at Madison Square, New York City, with men of the Twenty-seventh (New York) Division marching in a victory parade that was witnessed by hundreds of thousands of cheering spectators. The city turned out in masse to do them honor, and they received a tremendous ovation along the line of march. The avenue was packed from buildings to curbs.

This is why I love the internet. It took two years, and many hours of research for this huge family mystery to be solved by one poster on an internet message board. We spent many a hour at reunions discussing what this structure could be. My Dad always maintained that it was probably temporary. Well, you can bet he had bragging rights for a long time on this one!

Google Street View

It’s funny how different the street looks today, yet it still looks the same. I don’t know if you can tell from the size of the images but the buildings from the original photograph seem to all still be standing and look almost exactly the same!

I love to torture myself now. Sure one mystery was solved but that leads to more questions! Was my family in the hundreds of thousands of people welcoming the troops home? Were any of my relatives one of the troops being welcomed home? Gosh I love a good story!

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