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1820 – 1883


1820 – 1848

James Menzies was born in Pertle, Scotland on July 25, 1820. HIs father passed away when he was a young boy. After a short time his mother married an officer in the English army. They travelled about and eventually ended up in India.


For a time he studied to be a gun maker but that wasn't his calling. He signed up on a ship and from there he soon became career bound. He earned his way up from a deckhand in just a few years and at the time of his arrival on Sauvie island he was captain and owner of his own vessel.


A long and flowery tribute was written about James in the Cemetery book for the Lee Missionary Cemetery in Salem OR where he was laid to rest.


1848 stranded

During 1848 he found himself stranded on Sauvie island. We don't know why or how he became stranded. There are several references to a Captain Menzies in early papers during 1847 and 1848 . He is mentioned as captain on the Undine and on the Starlight   We aren't sure which Captain Menzies this was. There was another Captain Menzies in early history. Originally Hayden island was called Menzies island after the other Captain Menzies.


For whatever reason Captain Menzies was stranded and the Robert Miller family took him in. Before long he was smitten with their daughter, Parthenia.



On February 5, 1849 Parthenia Miller became his wife. He became part of a large Sauvie island family connected to Robert Miller. His brother in laws were, James Bybee, Horace McIntyre, Jesse Walker, and Joseph Charlton. All married to daughters of Robert Miller and living on the island near each other.


Robert Miller had a very large provisional land claim and for awhile James and  Parthenia lived with the Millers. Eventually James took out DLC #2151. He filed for part of Robert Miller's land. This had been of Roberts plan when he first came to the island. He wanted a large farm with all his children surrounding him.


James DLC Was the Land you see as you are coming across the bridge and looking straight ahead. To the left was the land of his brother in law and sister in law, James Bybee and Julia Miller Bybee. The legal description was Township 2 N, range 1 W, section 27, 28, and 34.


James property was originally in Washington County. By the census of 18 60 it was in  Multnomah County.


1850 Census, Washington County, Oregon, number 164

Menzies, James         age 30

Parthenia                   age 20

James             age 4/12



James William was born in 1851 on Sauvie island. By 1880 he is married to Laura Harlan and the father of 4 children. At this time they were living near his father in Sandy, Oregon



Nancy was born in 1852. She was named for her aunt Nancy Walker, Wife of Jesse Walker. She married Marian Bills and moved to Los Angeles, California.



Julia was born in 1854. She was named after her aunt , Julia Ann Bybee, wife of James Bybee. In 1878 she married John Ambrose. The 1880 census list them living near her father and brother in Sandy OR.



Sometime during this period the Menzies moved to Portland. They rented their farm to the Thomas Reddick family. The Reddicks ran a successful dairy farm. In an interview with the Oregon Journal their daughter Martha said that every morning the steamer Eagle came by to pick up their milk. This may have been the Eagle which was owned an piloted by George Ham and later by one of the Bonsers.


Elizo was born to James and Parthenia in 1856 . She married Eugene M. Keys and moved to Tillamook OR.



Zerilada was born in 1857. She married August Wodecki and moved to Chicago IL.



Lizzie was born in 1858. She married G. W. Bates and moved to Josephine County Oregon.


1860 census, Multnomah County, Oregon, number 691

Menzies, James         age 40

Parthenia                   age 29

James             age 9

Nancy             age 8

Julia                            age 6

Eliza                           age 4

Zerilda                       age 1



Parthenia passed way during 1862



James married Lucy Odelia Taylor on May 11 1863. She was the widow of a Mr Crosby and the mother of two daughters, Alice and Nellie. Mr. Crosby may have been another ship's captain.



Wilbur was born to James and Lucy in 1864. He may be the one called Willie who is mentioned as a as a witness to some of the Menzie marriages.



On October 15th, 1865 James, then justice of the peace, officiated at the marriage of James whitcomb and Mary A. Woolock. The marriage was performed at the house of James Whitcomb.

There was a James Whitcomb who was a famous Steamboat captain in Oregon and Washington. He was part of a large family that was involved in the steamboat business. This James was born in Ohio in 1845 and came across with his family in 1847.


A Whitcomb was in the John Bonser (another Steamboat captain from Ohio} wagon train in 1847 along with Henderson luelling. A biography of Lot Whitcomb states he came to Oregon in 1847 with Henderson luelling



On December 5 1864 James officiated at the marriage of J.S.Hall and Patsy Jane Klamath. This marriage was formed at the house of James whitcomb.


Haddi is born to James and Lucy in 1867 . Her given name was Harriet Augusta.


1870 census Multnomah County Oregon Sandy #51

Menses James            age 50

Lucy                           age 42

Ellen                           age 14

Zerilda`                      age 12

May                            age 10

Wilbur                       age 6

Haddy            age 3

Crosby, Alice age 12

Nellie                          age 10



William Taylor passed away on May 25th 1870 at the home of James Menzies, His son in law. He was 81 years of age. William was the father of Lucy Taylor Cosby, second wife of James Menzies. . Lucinda Rush, his wife and mother of Lucy, passed away in 1854. They came to Oregon in 1852.


William was kidnapped and put into the British Navy at 12 years of age. He was at sea until he escaped at age 22 and came to the United States {Pacific Christian Advocate).



James W. (son of James and Parthenia) married Laura Harlan at the home of her father. Witnesses were John A. Slavin and James Menzies. (Multnomah County Marriages, pg 92, GFO)



Helen Menzies married Marian Bills on December 25 1873 at the home of Captain James Menzies. Witnesses were James Menzies and Mary J. Hoberg. (Multnomah County Marriages, 1823 to 1883, page 7. GFO).



Eliza Menzies married E. M. Keys on February 18th, 1875 (Multnomah County marriage book, 1873 to 1883, page 20, GFO).



 Julia Menzies married John Ambrose on March 4th, 1878 at the home of James Menzies. Witnesses were James Menzies and Samuel Ambrose (Multnomah County Marriages, 1873 to 1883 page 37 GFO).



Zerilda M. Menzies married August Walecki on November 17th, 1879 at the home of Mister Menzies. Witnesses were J. F. Jones an Miss Alice Crosby (Multnomah County Marriages, 1873 to 1883,, page 84, GFO).



Alison Krauss B married John person on August 11th, 1880 at the home of James Menzies.. Witnesses were Mister D Dunbar an Mister S. A. Hall (Multnomah County Marriages, 1873 to 1883, page 95, GFO).


1880 Cansus, Sandy, Multnomah County, Oregon, page 175A

Menzies, James         age 56

Lucy                           age 52

may                             age 20

Wilbur                        age 16

 hattie             age 13

Joseph                        age 9

Crosby Alice age 23

Crosby nitty   age 20

Rathbun, Gertrude   age 11  (at school)

Baird, Edward                      age 18 (farm laborer)

chung Hoy                            age 22  (farm laborer)


1880 Astoria, Clatsop County, Oregon

In 1880 John Parsons, Minister is living in Astoria with the Henry V Terwilliger family. Henry is the Sheriff of Clatsop County.


1880 census, Sandy, Multnomah County, Oregon, page 1740

 Menzies, Joseph W age 28  (this is really James William)

Laura F                                  age 24

 Idell                                       age 6

Charles M                              age 5

Lulu                                        age 3

baby daughter                       age 5 months

Hughes, Robert                     age 42


1880 census, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, page 330C

Bills, Marion  age 22

Helen              age 21

Hattie             age 5

Clyde              age 3

Effie                            age 2

Baby son                    4 months

Scandlung, Ann age 17  (servnt)


1880 Census, Hoquiam, Tillamook County, Oregon, page 5204

 Keys Eugene M        age 32  innkeeper

Ellen                           age 24

Eliza am                     age 5

Elizabeth Am             age 3

Eva F                         age 2

Helen I.                      age 16 months

Harrison                    age 45 (Teamster)


1880 Census, Sandy, Multnomah County, Oregon, page 174

Anbrose, John           age 24

Julia C.                       age 27

Miriam                       age  4 months

Brady, Maggie           age 15



18 80

Alice N. Crosby married John Parsons on August 11th, 1880, at the home of James Menzies.  Witnesses were Mister D. Dunbar and Mr. S. A. Hall (Multnomah County marriages, 1873 to 1883, page 95, GFO)


John Parsons was minister. He performed in many of the Multnomah County early marriages. His wife, Alice, was often listed as a witness.


 in an 1890 marriage he is listed as a resident of Oregon City. Beginning in 1891 he is listed as Minister of the Methodist Church in Forest Grove, OR. From then on he is listed as an officiating minister at many Washington County marriages. His wife, Alice, was one of the witnesses at several marriages




 L. M. Menzies married G. W. Bates on August 30th at the home of James Menzies.  Witnesses were John Bates and James Menzies (Multnomah County Marriage Records, 1873 to 1883, page 1839, GFO).



 D. M. Roberts married Nellie G. Crosby at the home of Mrs L. O. Menzies (Lucy). The marriage was performed by John Parsons, Minister of the Gospel. The witnesses were William Menzies and Minnie Vroom (Multnomah County marriages,1885 to 1888, page 42, GFO)

 John Parsons was married to her sister Alice. Williams was her step brother.



 J. H. Menzies married J. M. Vroom on December 12 at The “East Portland”. The marriage was performed by John Parsons, Minister of the Gospel.  Witnesses were S.O. Menzies and Alice V. Parsons (Multnomah County Marriages, 1888 to 1893, page 17, GFO).

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