Tag Archives: Menzies

Mystery Monday: Belle Brodie Returns!

bellbrodie-00

Before my unintentional hiatus from the blog and genealogy, I was working on a little mystery. It was actually quite fun and I’m eager to pick up where I left off.

This weekend, I received a discount in my e-mail to come back to Ancestry.com and I decided to go ahead and use the discount to upgrade to the World Membership for at least the 6 month term of that discount. With my World Membership I can see the Canadian census images now which really excites me.

If your memory is as fuzzy as mine, I posted previously that Ancestry hinted at some exciting news before my membership expired and my computer went nuts. Now is my first chance since August (WOW!) to look through those records except for trying to use indexes.

I’m going to show you a timeline of my Belle Brodie  info so we can all finally know who she was!

Abt. 1835 – Isabella Farris is born to John and Janet Farris in New Brunswick, Canada

1851 – Isabella Farris is enumerated with her parents and six siblings in Westminster, Ontario, Canada

Note: I should mention that Westminster is basically a neighborhood in the outlying part of London, Ontario. 

1861 – Isabella Brodie is still living in Westminster but now with her husband, a daughter and a son.

1866 – Bell Brodie writes a letter from London, Ontario to her dear cousin detailing a visit that her cousin’s mother is currently on.

1871 – Isabella’s family which includes her husband and daughter Jessie are enumerated as living in London, Ontario, Canada.

1881 – Hugh, Isabella and Jessie are still living in London, Ontario.

April 1882 – Jessie Brodie is married to Detroit resident Francis William John Peel.

Around 1886 – Hugh, Isabella and family including Jessie move across the border into Detroit.

1900 – Hugh, Isabella and their grand daughter Isobel Peel are now living in Detroit, Michigan.  Per this census, Isabella had 3 children with only one still living. I assume that is Jessie who is living in Springswells, Michigan with her husband and 3 other living children (Laura, Hugh, Margareth/Marjorie).  They live minutes away from each other.

1906 – Isabella’s husband Hugh dies in Detroit, Michigan.

1910 – A now widowed Isabella Brodie is living in Detroit with her two grand daughters, Isobel and Marjorie Peel. Also widowed, Jessie is living with her daughter Laura’s family.

1920 – Isabella is still living with grand daughter Isobel Peel. No sign so far of Jessie or Marjorie.

There are still tons of holes to fill in this timeline. I basically followed Isabella (Belle) down through her lifetime as I could find the records. Even knowing that she was born to John and Janet Farris, I haven’t quite linked her to my Ferris/Farris/Farish family. I just know that John Farris is about 4 years older than my Jane Ferris-Menzies and that they were both from Dumfries, Scotland. I’m going to try and track down some more records but I can’t even believe how far I’ve come so far when I started knowing so little!

My new goals with Belle Brodie are probably going to be low priority ones now that the information is getting harder to find. There is still plenty to find but it will take more effort. So I’m probably going to go ahead and make my research notes on this and pick it up less often until I can at least link John and Jane.

Mystery Monday: Finding Bell Brodie part 2

bellbrodie-00For the last few weeks, I’ve been jumping around a lot. I’ve been working on a billion things and not anything. Do you do that too? Always busy but never seem to get any one thing done. This weekend, I finally took some time to sit down and re-visit my Bell Brodie mystery. I didn’t expect to take such a big break but it was never far from my mind!

I don’t want to spend too much time running around in circles. I think it’s important to re-evaluate the things I picked out of the transcribed letter and make a plan before preceding.

  • Bell Brodie is writing to her “Dear Cousin”.
  • The letter is dated for September 1866 and is addressed from London.
  • Bell calls the person she is writing to, “Dear Jennie” in the middle of the letter.

Using these three clues, I’m planning to do a few things.

  1. I’m going to go through the Menzies/Love line of my family tree and match the year to a generation. This will help me decide if the Jennie mentioned is Jennie Love, Jane Menzies or Jean Farris. Lots of Jean/Jennie/Janes in the family!
  2. I’m going to use the 1861 and 1871 census to see if I can find a Bell Brodie, maybe in London. The letter doesn’t hint at Bell’s age. I figure once I estimate whose cousin she is, I’ll can have an age range at least.

The next clues were:

  • Bell mentions that “Your mother and Alick” were staying with Bell. She even addresses the woman staying with her as Aunt several times in the letter.
  • Bell tells Jennie several things to tell Alick, making it seem like Alick is not present even though in the beginning she mentioned he’d been staying with her 10 days.

What this does for me:

  1. The only thing I can think of is using the “Alick” to help me identify Jennie. I’m assuming Alick is Jennie’s brother. I shouldn’t assume that but it won’t hurt to see if there is someone in the household of Jennie who fits.

The final thing I’m going to research from the first set of clues is this.

  • Bell mentions the fun they had when she sailed up the Hudson in New York. Though she says next that she wished Jennie and Alick had been there at the time.

Bell mentions that she sailed up the Hudson River. Which means she traveled to New York. That also means that if I’m lucky, I can find her in a passenger list. I’ll search Castle Garden first and go from there!

Making some Observations

I worked quite a bit yesterday on my maternal lines. The only drawback is it burned me out a little bit on researching. So I decided to switch to my paternal line, and just kind of observe it in pedigree format in FTM2012.

click for full size

Here are some things I’ve noticed:

  1. Josephine Doremus is the only one of my 3rd great grandparents that wasn’t an immigrant.  All others that are listed were born in other countries
  2. The missing spots in my 3rd great grandparents aren’t immigrants… at least I don’t think. I have possible parents for both Jennie Featherson and Sarah/Sadie Sutcliffe, just no paper trail yet.
  3. My Moore line is completely Irish.
  4. My Thorward line is a quarter German, a quarter ?, and half Scottish.
  5. My Redford line  is half English and half ?.
  6. My Parkin line is half English and half ?.
  7. All the known immigrant ancestors on my paternal line were all here before 1875.
  8. This entry has been sitting idle for 45 minutes because I’m watching Ugly Betty on Netflix Streaming.
  9. I probably shouldn’t “work” in a room with a TV, much less one with Instant Streaming capabilities.
  10. Featherson and Sutcliffe don’t sound like normal names. They’re not exactly Thorward, if you get my drift, but they aren’t Moore or Johnson either.

Researching Trip to Scotland

Hello everyone! Long time no blog post from me! Sorry about that, summer gets kind of crazy around the Moore household. I’m writing today because my long lost cousin Grace, is making a trip to Scotland this September and she wanted to know some pointers about research across the pond. She’s going with her husband and son, so this isn’t a complete research trip. She was just wondering if there was anything that she could look up while she was there. The only problem is, I’ve never researched in person anywhere but Ohio and Maryland. So I have no idea if there’s anything she can look up.

We know our Loves lived in Paisley, and we know the Menzies were in Morton by Thornhill before going to Liverpool and from there to America. Most of this we know only through FamilySearch databases, Scotland directories, and some family recollections. After the success I had with my last request for tips, I thought it was worth a try again!

If anything, maybe cousin Grace can get me a nice picture of Castle Menzies, I kind of obsess about it. Hopefully someone reading this can be as helpful for her as she’s been for me!

Revisiting an Old Entry, Menzies Style

I’m revisiting an old entry today. That entry is the one from September titled, Menzies News. In that entry I examined a census record that I thought might be William Menzies in 1861. This is important to me because only a few of the Menzies siblings stayed behind in England. William strikes a cord with me because in a letter to his sister he wrote, “I am quite sure I will never stay in England all my life as I am quite tired of it.” I can’t help but wonder if he ever made it.

In the entry, I also mention that I found a marriage record for William Menzies and Ellen Patterson. The only problem was I couldn’t be sure that was my William. The index on familysearch.org only had the name of the groom’s father listed. With such common names like John and William, and no other clues, I couldn’t be sure if this was in fact my William Menzies.

That all changed yesterday. You see on April 19th, Ancestry.com added a huge number of Liverpool, Lancashire, England Church Records. This includes baptisms, christenings, marriages, and burials. I was fortunate enough to find the marriage record that I questioned so many months ago.

Having indexed a lot of English Parish Records for Family Search, I knew that the marriage records also had occupation of the father as an entry on the certificate. So when I found the marriage in the index, I didn’t just throw it out. I made a notation of the indexed information for coming back to later. Now I am 100% positive that this is my William Menzies. John Menzies was a Sawyer by trade in 1841 and 1851. Therefore I know it is him. Also serving as witness to the marriage is Helen Scott, or how I know her Helen Menzies-Scott. I found her marriage record too by the way (with sister Margaret serving as witness)!

New information that comes with this record is Williams occupation as a dentist. As a refresher, two of his siblings were druggists/pharmacists. This is important because the William Menzies I found in the 1861 England census had an occupation of Mechanical Dentist. At the time, I realized for this family a dentist isn’t out of the ordinary. Most of the people I see are laborers and farmers. So when I found a family full of druggists, a dentist doesn’t seem to be such a stretch.

I still don’t know where William’s wife is during this census but I’m almost sure she is still alive. I’m going to try looking for her elsewhere, but we’ll just have to see what comes up.

When I plugged William Menzies and Ellen Patterson into Family Search, it brought up two more possible children. One, George Menzies, who served in the Spanish American War and died in Minnesota, and Arthur who lived in Boston. I haven’t linked either one of these through Derby baptismal and birth records yet. It’s on my To Do List though! Their birthplaces and dates fit exactly. I just have to get the paper evidence to back it up.

Now I’m off to find more!

Note: I am a paying World Membership Customer on Ancestry.com and I volunteer through FamilySearch’s indexing program. Other then those associations, I have no connection with these websites. I was not compensated to mention them or write things about them. Please don’t sue me, my fluffy pajamas have to be thrown away and I’m hanging on by a thread.

Menzies Cemetery Fun?

I know, I have a very strange sense of humor. Most genealogists I come across get the cemetery fun thing though. I mean I don’t see them as horrible, scary places. I see them as peaceful places to visit our ancestors.

So, onto the fun. Once I got the death certificate of John Menzies, it was time to dissect the information. Which I’ve done on the blog. After the dissection is time to follow leads. The lead I’m exploring today is the cemetery where John was buried, Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

My first stop was Find a Grave to see exactly where the cemetery was and if there was already a listing for John.

There wasn’t. Only one Menzies and it wasn’t John or his son Alexander (though I am curious… brother? maybe?). There are always more questions it seems. Then I decided since the Evergreen Cemetery in Brooklyn had a website, why not see if Greenwood did.

Not only did it have a website, it has an AMAZING website. I’m not apologizing for the caps, because caps are sometimes needed. The Evergreen Cemetery also has a burial database but I never found my family in it! This time I did. What I love about this database, is that it gives the lot and section number. There are 12 Menzies currently in the database. (Note that the database is not complete.)

My John Menzies is ninth down on the list! From just this search, I can also see the other people buried in the lot! This doesn’t mean it is everyone, just the ones by the last name Menzies. So who else is buried with John?

  1. Alexander Menzies – John’s third child, second son.
  2. George Menzies – John’s ninth child, fifth son.
  3. Jean Menzies – Alexander’s first wife I believe.
  4. John D Menzies – John’s fifth child, third son.
  5. Margaret J Menzies aka Poor Margaret from William’s Letter.

I can’t be sure of these relationships of course, until I confirm death dates/years. I actually had no idea of them except a general idea from census and marriage information. Except for Margaret, whose death is referred to in the letter between William and his sister Jane.

I also have to tell you that the cemetery does take genealogy requests! For $19.75 you can get an individual burial transcript, but if you pay $28.00 they’ll send you a whole plot of names and dates of internment! That’s pretty exciting for me, since I don’t get the opportunity to travel much.

Now all I have to do is overlay the cemetery map in Google Earth like I did for the Evergreen Cemetery. Then I’m set for a trip to Brooklyn this summer!

Note: I could say I have no affiliation with the cemetery but I’d be lying. My ancestors are buried there, so technically I do. However, I am receiving no encouragement or compensation for having a teenage fangirl moment over their website. I’m an amateur website designer, I can’t help it.

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!

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