Friday, January 23, 2009

William Gordon Melville-Milne

According to Helen Hansen's AT HOME IN EARLY SANDUSKY, William Gordon Melville-Milne was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1819. He emigrated to Canada, where he married Catherine Kennedy. The couple moved to Missouri, where Mr. Melville-Milne worked for E. F. Osborn, the owner of a large flour mill.

In the mid 1840's, Mr. Osborn moved to Sandusky to serve a superintendent of the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad. He sent for William Melville-Milne to move to Sandusky in 1847, to assist in the operations of the railroad. In February, 1861 William Melville-Milne died at age 41. He left a widow and eight children, six of whom survived to adulthood.

In her book, Mrs. Hanson explained that some branches of the family used the Scotch double name of "Melville-Milne." Some family members used only "Milne" as their surname, but many dropped the "Milne" and went by the last name of "Melville." (This is just one example of how family history can be quite confusing.) There are streets in Sandusky named for both of the surnames Melville and Milne.

Sons of William Melville-Milne, who were known as William and Charles Melville, ran a drug store in Sandusky which was in operation for fifty years. Another son, George W. Melville, was an engraver in Chicago. The Melville-Milne home, which was located at 319 Lawrence Street is pictured on page 36 of AT HOME IN EARLY SANDUSKY. It was originally built by officials of the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad.



Interesting how different family members used a different portion of the Melville-Milne name. You're right that can be very confusing in a family's history. I have in my own line a family that had always been Cope, but suddenly when the father married a second time they started using Ceope. Some of the children would follow the Ceope spelling of the name for their entire life and some went by Cope. You have to wonder about the family reunions!

JoLyn said...

It's a wonder we can make sense of it all. Great research and article! I love the winter photo.