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December 14, 2019

Using Search Engine Tools Provided to Find an Ancestor

Angus C. asked Olive Tree Genealogy about the parents of his 2nd great-grandparents, Kenneth Roderick McKenzie and Hughenia Ross 

Kenneth Roderick McKenzie October 1839 Boularderie, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia died 26 June 1916 North Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and Hughenia Ross 1835 Boularderie, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia died 8 May 1869 Boularderie, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia In both cases for Hughenia Ross and Kenneth Roderick McKenzie I have not been able to find any information about their parents, where they were born or died is totally unknown to me. Any help and guidance you can give me to break through either (or both) my "brick walls" would be greatly appreciated.

A quick search of Nova Scotia Historical Vital Records using Hughenia's full name gave no results but using their "starts with" choice in the search engine, and only typing in HU provided this entry for a Hughessie McKenzie, died 1869 in Baddeck, Victoria County She was listed as born in Boularderie to John Ross, a farmer and Robina McKenzie. The informant is named as Kenneth R. McKenzie and her date of death matches what Angus C. sent me as well as her burial record which I found with a quick search online.

Her burial is recorded with her husband in Man O War Point Cemetery, Boularderie Island, Victoria County, Nova Scotia.

 Kenneth R MacKenzie, merchant, d June 26, 1916, age 83 his wife Hughenia Ross d May 8, 1869, age 33, their youngest child John Knox MacKenzie d Mar 21, 1869 age 4 mo.

A newspaper article extraction found on revealed the marriage of Hughina and Kenneth, with much more detail. Angus C. can now send for the full article to see what, if any, other clues are found in it.

Name:     Hughinia Ross
Gender:     Female
Event Type:     Marriage
Marriage Date:     19 Nov 1863
Marriage Place:     Boularderie, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Spouse :     Kenneth W. [sic] McKenzie
Cleric 1 Name:     Rev. J. Fraser
Reference Date 1:     8 Jan 1863
Source:     Gazette (Royal Newfoundland Gazette) 1807-; Harbor Grace Standard ( also known as Standard and Conception Bay Advertiser) 1859-1936; Express (Newfoundland Express) 1851-1876; Record 1862-1863
Notes:     Bride was the youngest sister of W. Ross, M.P. for County Victoria, C.B. Bride was also sister of Roderick Ross, M.P. for Wapue, New Zealand. Groom was "late" of Harbour Grace.

Armed with the names of two of Hughina's brothers and her father and mother, I am sure more can be found about her parents.  Being curious I had a very quick search for the two brothers named in the marriage extract and found M.P. William Ross (1824-1912), son of John Ross and Robina McKenzie. Here is his wikipedia biography.

Given the variation in spelling of their names (McKenzie vs MacKenzie; Hughenia vs other variants) I urge Angus to not restrict his searching to an exact spelling but instead use wildcards or "starts with" tools provided in online search engines.

For those genealogists curious about how long my search took, it was approximately one hour for the information I found listed above. 

Continuing on because I am now fascinated by this family, I next found this entry on

The following is a transcription of a letter from Rev. Gillis, minister
at St John's Presbyterian Church, Belfast, PEI, dated 1979. Baptisms done by Rev. John MacLennan on trips to Boularderie. 

Baptized on September 16, 1831 to John Ross & Robina McKenzie
* William born December 20, 1825
* Jane born May 20, 1827
* Angus born August 20, 1829

A search quick found Robina and John's burials recorded as 

John Ross, native of Durness, Sutherlandshire, Scotland,
d Dec 25, 1857, age 83

Robina, relict of late John Ross, d Dec 7, 1862 age 67 yrs
b in Parish of Eddrachillis, Sutherlandshire, Scotland

As much as I am having fun with this query, it's time for Angus C to take over. If they were my ancestors I would run, not walk, to ScotlandsPeople website to see what I could find for John and Robina. Another hint for Angus: The marriage of John and Robina can be found on the  FamilySearch website. Once you find it, you can get the image on ScotlandsPeople for only 6 credits. That marriage should provide you with the fathers of both bride and groom.

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