Genealogy

An Adventure into DNA

Genealogy had long fascinated Dennis Menzies. For over forty years he has been researching Menzies family trees. His grandfather once told him that they were related to all of the South Island (New Zealand) Menzies, but he was unsure of the North Island Menzies.

So armed with this information he set about all those years ago to find his family roots. Dennis was in luck for his grandfather had years before, asked his Grandmother (his father having died young) for his family tree. In an old letter he sent were details going back to 1793.

In Dennis’ own words

I started noting Menzies settlers’ family trees in the hope of finding a connection to my own. This resulted in a book I published about New Zealand Menzies settlers. None seemed to come from the same areas as mine (Rawer, Boltatchen, Dercullich, Aberfeldy, Weem, and Dull). When Ancestry adverts started appearing on television to test your D.N.A. I hummed and ahed for nearly a year, then at my wife’s urging, I sent away for the kit. I eagerly awaited the kit which they emailed was on its way. Then the big day arrived, so I called my computer wizz brother-in-law, and asked him to help with the on line registering of the sample. Followed by a rush to the post office to dispatch the salivia sample.

A message by e-mail confirmed the arrival of the sample. Finally the e-mail confirmed that my results were in. On line they showed a map of the area where my genetic material was derived; then lists of those to whom I was genetically related (they had already taken the test and were on their data base).
Genetic cousins to many degrees were listed. I lost count at over 100 pages, and as yet have not been able to look through them all. I immediately sent out messages to those shown to be closest to me genetically. Unfortunately, many must have given up, because some had not been on the site for months, or, indeed, years. I got replies from many helpful people, but failed in many cases to find the connection. One branch on my Mothers side took me right back to Griffiths in Wales in the sixteenth century.

Then I discovered that one could search the names by surname, and bingo, up popped four hits that were Menzies; sadly, only one replied. He lives in England although his family hails from Scotland. The connection is somewhere around our fourth or fifth great-grandfather. Where the link may lie we have yet to determine, however there is now hope of finding the elusive links to other clan members. The results have linked me to many relatives on both my Mum’s and Dad’s side. As more and more people take the test the data base grows, therefore increasing the chance of finding missing links in peoples’ family trees.

So I urge all you fellow clans-folk, to take the test!

recalled by Dennis Menzies,
Chief Commissioner for the South Island 
New Zealand