Menzies Family

Menzies Family

Margaret Menzies was born in Dublin, in 1900 to William and Annie Menzies . William was the son of John Menzies, and Anne the daughter of Jane Biggar, who died in the Adelaide hospital, Dublin in 1906. I have a letter from an A.C. (?) Chambers, of La Salle Avenue in Chigaco, written to Annie in 1893. I can’t decipher much of it.

This seems to be the receipt for a ring, paid by William Menzies in 1899.

William and Annie were married in Dublin and Margaret was born there in 1900 and Robert (Bob) in 1902. It appears from the Irish census that William had two brothers, Alexander and Albert,and two sisters Jessie and Margaret, described as Brassfounders. I found Alexander’s death in the 1939 Irish Independent.

They then moved to Co.Down. William was described as a Brass Finisher. They had another son, Charles Henry in 1906. In the Irish parish records I have found the death of Margaret’s mother in 1909, and it seems she died after the delivery of twins. We never knew about Charles or the twins. The parish records show a un-named baby died on 16th September 1909, premature, and a Jane Menzies died at 14 days on 6th October. Annie died that same day of of cerebral haemorraege. I have since found their family bible, with the names and birth dates etc of Margaret, Robert and Charles entered, followed by baby Jane, with no further information.

In the 1911 census William is listed as a widower. There is no mention of Bob (b.1902), Margaret’s brother, yet William is listed as having 4 children, 3 living. In the same census there is a Robert Menzies aged 9 and a Charles Menzies aged 4 listed as pupils in a house in Ballygowan, Co Down. There was a home, Olivet Home, in Ballygowan at this time. In 1913 I found the death of a 7 year old boy, named Charles Menzies, in another home, Craigmore, in Belfast, son of William Menzies, Brass finisher. He died of hepatitis, and ‘morbid cordis’ according to the death record. We never knew about Charles.  It is probable the boys were placed in care after their Mother died. The story of the Olivet Home is not a good one, and it is to be hoped that Mr Browne treated the children better than the Hendersons (see below). Hopefully Robert and little Charles did not suffer to much before they were moved to Craigmore. In Margaret’s bible I found a letter referring to her brother’s death. I also obtained a note showing that the father removed Robert after Charles died in 1913, but cannot find what happened to Robert between then and when he left for Australia c. 1926.

It seems William Menzies married again, in 1913, a Mary Crawford, from Belfast. The year of marriage coincides with Robert’s removal from Craigmore. The letter I have that was written to Gran (from Elizabeth ?) refers to ‘Bobbie’ and hymnbook I have with Robert’s name gives the Hatton Drive address which they lived in later. So it seems he was living with his family. William died in 1944. In his will (which I have a copy of) he bequeaths his goods etc., to Margaret and to his wife, Mary Jane. There is no mention of Robert.

I can find very little about Margaret’s early life in Belfast. The letter is written in 1913 after Charles died, from an ‘ Elizabeth Edel???” of St Joseph’s Place, Dorset Street, although it is hard to decipher. Thoms for Dublin 1912 only gives the information below.

I have a photo album which contains pictures of outings with friends, perhaps part of her work in Avon Tyres, where Margaret worked until retirement. There are pictures too of her father and a person who must be Mary Crawford. She met Grandad (William Millington) (see Millington pages) and they married in 1957.

Robert left Ireland before his father died, sailing for Melbourne in 1926. He was in the Merchant Navy from 1927 to 1939, when he was recommended for the Reserve force. He served as a cook on the ‘Australia’, the ‘Albatross’, the ‘Cerebrus’ and the ‘Penguin’. He enlisted at Paddington, Canberra. He named his father as next of kin on his service record. In his papers (which I have, as no one else seemed to want them when we cleared the house in Belfast) he had kept a dance card from the “Albatross’ dated 1933. He enlisted with the Australian Military in 1942, naming Margaret as his next of kin, even though his father was still alive at the time. He was a member of the Masons in New South Wales in 1967. He worked in Sydney for many years, possible in Sydney Hospital as a fitter. He never married (that we know of).

I think this is Bob while still in Australia, I don’t know the person with him

He returned to Ireland when he retired, about 1967/8, and lived with Gran and Grandad. He was good to us as children, taking us for days out to the zoo and so on.

I think is Bob when he had moved back to Belfast, with Gran.

He died in 1973, and is buried in Dundonald.  We don’t know why his father placed him in care and may have disowned him and left him out of his will.

It appears he had no family and for this reason, I have inserted several photos of documents and photos I have found, so he isn’t entirely lost to history.

Bob. No date
Bob in uniform. Date unknown.

Bob, date unknown

Bob’s retirement I think, Hospital in Sydney ?

This is a picture of ‘Uncle Sandy and Aunt Margaret and ‘Mammy’, I am assuming Wiliam’s brother and wife and Annie Menzies, born Biggar.

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