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McKenzie brick wall update

This is an update of the story how my McKenzie brick wall was broken by DNA. Genealogists trace a family and then get to a point where is seems very difficult or maybe even impossible to get beyond. These involuntary stopping points in genealogy are often called “Brick Walls”. I have several and I suppose a good many people doing genealogy have brick walls.

I had been able to go back as far as my great grandfather Malcolm McKenzie and his wife Emma Cash McKenzie. My earlier post on this McKenzie brick wall will give some details about how a comment on this blog guided me towards Malcolm’s family in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada and much more.
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My Gows are in disarray

I thought I had it. Not real convincing but plausible. A few weak spots but still the best I had. Seemed like the best I could do a few years ago. Now my Gows are in disarray.

Why the Gows? My great grandmother is Emma Cash McKenzie. I’ve made good progress on my McKenzies but gotten nowhere with Emma until very recently. And then very quickly things went downhill. Continue reading

Brick wall broken by DNA

Genealogists trace a family and then get to a point where is seems very difficult or maybe even impossible to get beyond. These involuntary stopping points in genealogy are often called “Brick Walls”. I have several and I suppose a good many people doing genealogy have several brick walls. This is the story of a brick wall broken by DNA.

To be more specific it is the brick wall in my McKenzie line. I had been able to go back as far as my great grandfather Malcolm McKenzie and his wife Emma Cash McKenzie. Over a year and a half I wrote a very short post about them, mostly Emma Cash McKenzie.
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Mary McKenzie Hogge McDougall

This is one of those things where I am not sure if Mary McKenzie Hogge McDougall is a relation. I’ve previously written about my McKenzie/MacKenzie search including Colin of Ellsworth and his possible brother Malcolm (my great grandfather).

This one is more of a “Hail Mary”. I stumbled upon an abstract of a death certificate for Mary McDougull at FamilySearch. (A big “thank you” to those volunteer indexers.) The thing that got me interested was that it said she was born in Nova Scotia in 1854 and her parents were Alexander and Anna McKenzie. This could match as a potential sister of Malcolm McKenzie but may just be coincidence.

Show me the records

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Colin McKenzie of Ellsworth, Maine

I think Colin McKenzie of Ellsworth, Maine is a brother of my great grandfather Malcolm McKenzie.   I’m not sure at this point but it does seem likely.  It would be great to hear from a descendant or 2 of  Colin McKenzie of Ellsworth but I am jumping way ahead in this story.

Colin McKenzie of Ellsworth

As far as I know Colin McKenzie of Ellsworth was born in or near Middle River, Victoria county, Nova Scotia.  This is on Cape Breton Island.  His marriage certificate is even more specific placing his residence and place of birth as Hunter’s Mountain which is between Baddeck and Middle River in Nova Scotia. But then other records say he was born in Scotland.  So he was born in old Scotland or New Scotland.  I suppose I’ll eventually get it straight. Continue reading

Mary McKenzie Nolan

Where was Mary McKenzie Nolan born?

I guess she was just Mary McKenzie then. She married John Nolan much later but I don’t know when or where. I imagine it was New York City or near there and occurred sometime after 1900 but before her death in 1923.

Why do I think Mary McKenzie became Mary Nolan then? And why am I unsure of where she was born? Continue reading

Emma Cash McKenzie

I’m trying to find out more about Emma Cash who we think was born in Allegheny, PA about 1867. I believe that is now part of Pittsburgh. Her mother was Ellen Gow (probably from Ireland) and her father was Charles Cash (probably from Germany). She and Ellen Cash are listed in the Federal census for 1860 and 1870 in Westmoreland Co PA.

Emma Cash later married Malcolm McKenzie or Mackenzie, probably in the 1880s. We think they may have married and had their first child in the Boston, MA area and later moved to the Greater New York City area (New Jersey and New York).

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