Surname Saturday: Parkin

This is the last surname I’m highlighting on my Dad’s side for the blog! I didn’t mean to take so long in getting this written up but I had an early wake-up today and decided to get it done.

Where does the Parkin name originate from?

This surname has been a source of frustration for me for a long time. First we thought it was Perkins, then Parkins, and finally Parkin. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was completely wrong at this point and I ended up with the surname of Parker. My Parkin family originates in England. The father of my “first family” came to America through Castle Garden in October of 1874 and his family followed in July of 1875.  According to the Public Profiler Surname Distribution Map, in 1881 the Parkin surname was most concentrated around the midlands of England. That would make sense because my Parkin family departed England by way of Liverpool.

Did the Parkins stay in New Jersey?

Yes. I haven’t found all the girls after they married yet, but it looks like the Parkin family was a small but close one.

Overview of the Parkin Family

Father: William R Parkin (about 1842 – 02 Aug 1881[1. Records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths of New Jersey, 1848-1900, v10])

Mother: Ann ? (Sep 1839 – ?)


  1. John Walter Parkin (Dec 1863 – before 1910) My 2nd great grandfather
  2. Mary Ann Parkin (Apr 1870 – ?) married Edward E Spencer, had 2 daughters
  3. William Matthew Parkin (Sep 1871  – ?) married Ida ?, had 1 daughter
  4. Joseph B Parkin (Dec 1874 – ?)

The men in the Parkin family seem to live short lives from what I can tell. Both John and William’s children were living with their mother in 1910. The grandchildren bounced between the families a lot. This fits well with what my Aunts tell me about the Jane Parkin (John’s daughter). They told me that they had the impression she lived a very hard life. To be frank, her parents were dead by the time she was 14. That can’t be easy in any respect. Then to add that they were bounced around between family members. Joseph seems to be the exception to the early death rule in the Parkin family. I have him all the way through 1930 on the census records.

Records to get for the Parkins

  • I need to get birth and death records for my great grandmother Jane. I have her marriage record already.
  • I need to find a marriage record for Jane’s parents John Parkin and Jennie Featherson. FamilySearch gives their marriage date as 17 Jun 1890. Hopefully this helps me find the New Jersey record easier.
  • I really am curious to get the death records for both John and Jennie. If they were both dead by the 1910 census, I want to see what would take them from their children. I feel like there’s a story there in my gut.

Parkin Links


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 – 28 Sep 1897[1. Records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths of New Jersey, 1848-1900, v51 p277] ).

Mother: Francis W Travis (about 1841 – ? )


  1. William Redford ( Jun 1869 – ? )
  2. Herbert Redford (14 Nov 1872 – 11 Sep 1940 [2. California Death Certificate]) My 2nd Great Grandfather
  3. Sarah E Redford (07 Oct 1874 – 18 Apr 1959 [3. California Death Index])
  4. Samuel Redford (about 1877 – 30 Sep 1877 [4. Records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths of New Jersey, 1848-1900, v BE p197])
  5. Lillian L Redford (23 Apr 1879 – 07 Dec 1958 [4. California Death Index])
  6. ? Redford (03 Aug 1882 – 1882 [5. Records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths of New Jersey, 1848-1900, film 494195])

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 1979[6. California Death Index]), 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


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.

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 bás 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. Records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths of New Jersey, 1848-1900] 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!

Surname Saturday: Thorward


The first Thorward I have on record is George Thorward (b. 1852 d.1940). He was born in 1852 in Obberstetten, Germany [1. George Thorward Obituary]. I have conflicting dates for his immigration. In the 1900 United States Federal Census, his year of immigration is listed as 1867. In the 1910 US Census, it is listed as 1860. I have searched for his point of entry into the country, but so far I haven’t found it. My first choice was New York, but now I’m unsure if it was. I’m going to try Philadelphia next. I think I found him in 1870 living next door to his future wife, Josephine Doremus. The only problem is he’s listed as George John. The name of Thorward wasn’t even mentioned. He is however a cigar maker’s apprentice, which fits in perfectly with my George, who was in the cigar business for 50 years. George married Josephine in 1872 and they had three children (Frank, Lewis, Dora).

The great thing about researching the Thorwards is that they pretty much stayed in Caldwell, New Jersey for the next few generations. George and Josephine’s oldest child, Frank Springsted Thorward, married Katherine Lindsley and they had two sons, Raymond and Robert. The youngest of George’s children was their only daughter, Dora Thorward. She married Leslie Jacob Plume and they had one daughter, Vivian, who married into the Westervelt family. The Westervelts and the Plumes had a long history in Essex County, New Jersey. Rumor has it that the Plumes are distantly related to Stephen Crane and Robert Treat Paine. [2. A Fagan Genealogy] I haven’t proved this yet as I’m still verifying my Grandmother’s version of her family tree.

My great-great Grandfather, and George and Josephine’s middle child,  Lewis Thorward also stayed in Caldwell for most of his life. He briefly lived in Hudson County and worked on the railroad. When he came back to Caldwell, he became a partner in the Thorward and Van Duyne’s Market. Lewis married Jennie Viola Love in 1898 and had two children, Llewellyn Josephine Thorward (my great grandmother) and George William Thorward.

You can see what photos I have uploaded so far in the Thorward Family Album at the main website but here are a few of my favorites.

Things I Wonder About the Thorwards

  • Where is the rest of George’s family? He seems to have kept his family pretty close. He made a few visits back to Germany in the 1890’s, maybe to visit parents?

What are my next steps?

  • Like the Moores I want to collect the birth, marriage, and death records for the other children in the main families. New Jersey is a bit difficult to get records for, so I think those are an in-person thing to be less of a hassle.
  • I need to track down when and where George entered the country for the first time. I’m hoping this will give me a better idea of which part of Germany he is from.
  • This isn’t a Thorward step exactly, but I would like to delve deeper into the connected families. This seems to be a very big immigrant side of my family and I’m interested to see all the places they came from.

Surname Saturday is a daily blogging theme from GeneaBloggers.

Surname Saturday: Moore

My big spring/summer/winter cleaning of my family file and my website database is going very well. Once I made my last decision, it’s been smooth, tedious sailing. I love it. I ended up starting with my father’s side since I pretty much have it sourced correctly. It’s just making everything uniform in my file that is the tedious part. I’ve always changed my mind about how I wanted things on the website site too, but I think my problems came from importing the file over and over again. So now that I’m hand entering things, it’s looking very good!

I’ve now finished cleaning up my Moore sources, so I figured it was a good time to do a Surname Saturday post.


The first known Moore in my family tree is William H Moore. I have his birthdate as Jul 1836. In all the censuses from 1870 through 1920, he lists his birthplace as Ireland. Based on census information , he immigrated to America sometime between 1858 and 1859. I’m unsure of where exactly in Ireland he came from or where he went to when he got here.

The first census appearance William makes is in 1870. He is living in Chicago, Illinois with his wife (Mary ?) and three children (Mary J, William H, John R). All three children are listed as being born in Illinois, but in all other census years Mary J lists her birthplace as New York. It could be either one as far as I know, but I’m leaning towards New York for her birth. Sometime after their fourth child (my 2nd great grandfather, Robert James Moore) was born in 1871, they packed up and moved to Brooklyn, New York.

The family would stay there for the next 30 years. William’s wife died in 1896 from a lingering illness. Unfortunately, whoever filled out her death certificate didn’t know anything about her parents. This means until I find a marriage record for William and Mary, I won’t know anything about Mary before she married. Their eldest child and only daughter, Mary J, would live and care for her father until his death in 1928. By 1920, William and Mary moved to Caldwell, New Jersey. It was in 1926 when William H’s grandson, William Lawrence Moore, would marry Llewellyn Thorward. Llewellyn’s family has a long, many generations history in Caldwell.

William H’s children all seemed to pick up career skills related to their father’s carpenter skills. In the 1892 New York State Census, all the boys have carpenter like jobs. Except for William Jr, who is listed as a Printer. After that, it looks like John picked up William Jr’s work and he also got into the printing business. The only difference being that William moved around a bit, while John stayed in Brooklyn. The next generation of Moores seems to have tried to improve their skills in a completely different direction. Almost all of the William H’s grandkids list their occupations as Clerks of every sort in the 1920’s and 1930’s. We have Office Clerk, Bank Clerk, Insurance Company Clerk. Most of the family also moved out of the city to Essex County, New Jersey.

Robert Moore Sr with his children and niece. 1910-ish.

Things I Wonder About The Moores:

  • Where exactly in Ireland did William H Moore originate from? In 1930, Mary J listed her parents birthplaces as Northern Ireland. That makes sense as it wasn’t until 1921 that Northern Ireland was created as a distinct country/state of it’s own. Forgive my lack of the correct terminology. I’m going to delve more into Ireland’s history the next time I’m at the library!
  • William immigrated in 1858 or 1859, many years after the Great Famine. Did a younger or older sibling come over first? Where is the rest of his family. There are too many Irish Moores in Brooklyn to ever be certain without other tangible proof.
  • Why did the family move from New York to Illinois, only to move back to New York again? Were they trying to escape from Irish prejudice in New York City in the 1860’s?
  • Which of the Moores is the one rumored to have become a potato farmer? My Aunt Lori is very emphatic about this one. Someone told her this, and given her relative collecting personality, I don’t doubt there may be some truth to it. Even if maybe it was because of the Potato Famine they immigrated to America, and that over the years it translated to one of the Moores being a potato farmer?

What are my next steps?

  • I want to try and collect all the birth, marriage and death records for the children of William H Moore Sr and Mary ?. I’m hoping to find out Mary’s maiden name and hopefully both parents birthplaces in Ireland. I’ve already tried for Robert James Moore Sr‘s birth certificate once, but Chicago records weren’t mandated at the time. So it’ll have to be parish records if there are any at all!
  • To get the marriage record from 1896 for Robert Sr and Mary E Johnson. I don’t know anything more about Mary other than her full name and that she died between 1910 and 1920. Her name is a bit generic for basic searches so I need to try and find a marriage or death record that will hopefully have her parents information on it.

This post was quite fun to write up, so I’ll definitely be doing more in the future! They’ll get better and more coherent with practice I’m sure! 😉

Surname Saturday is a daily blogging theme from GeneaBloggers.