Friday, November 15, 2013


A little background on this name
In Scotland this ancient name is found mainly in Aberdeenshire. It is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and in most instances a topographical surname for someone who lived near a mill, derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "mylen(e)", Middle English "mille, milne", from the Latin "molina", a derivative of "molere", to grind. The mill was an important centre in every medieval settlement, normally operated by an agent of the local landowner, and in some cases the surname may be an occupational name for a worker at the mill or for the miller himself. A family of the name Miln(e) were farmers at the Mill of Boyndie for generations. One Gilbert Milne had a grant of the chaplainry of Golspe in 1575, and John Miln was servitor of John Scrimgeour of Glaswall in 1610. A Coat of Arms granted to a Milne family of Aberdeen in 1692 depicts, on a gold shield, a blue cross moline pierced ovalways of the field between three black mullets, all within a blue bordure wavy. The Crest is a galley with oars erect in saltire proper, and the Motto, "Dat cura commodum", translates as: "Vigilance ensures advantage". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes de Molendino, which was dated 1382, in the "Episcopal Register of Aberdeen", Scotland, during the reign of King Robert 11 of Scotland, 1371 - 1390. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2013
Milne is my mother's maiden name.  Because of that, I have tried to learn as much as possible about our Milne family.  My grandparents were Joseph Albert MILNE 1883-1957 and Florence Lee Nora or Lenora BOWDEN MILNE 1888-1986.

Joseph Albert Milne - my grandfather
Florence L. Bowden Milne - my grandmother

Joseph & Florence were married on 11 Apr 1906 in Detroit, Michigan.  In fact, they were both born in Detroit.  They had four children, 3 daughters and a son.  One daughter, Dorothy, died at the age of 13.  Their son, Robert went on to serve in World War II.  He married twice, but had no children who lived and is now deceased.  Their daughter, Joan, married and had 2 sons, my cousins.  Their daughter, Patricia is my mother.
When I began doing genealogy research over 10 years ago, I learned that my grandmother, Florence, had also loved family research.  I had many family photos and some written notes.  What I discovered, was that one of my cousins had a box of items that had belonged to our grandma, Florence.  What I found in that box was a treasure.  TIP: Always ask your cousins or other family members if they have any old boxes or envelopes or chests that might have belonged to other family members.  What you find can be astounding.
When I asked my cousin what was in the box, he just said "a bunch of old stuff, papers and some old notebook."  I said HOLD ON!  Don't throw anything away, not even a scrap of paper.  On my next visit to Detroit I was able to go through everything and my cousin gave it all to me.  I won't bore you with everything that was in that box, but the hand written family tree and the "notebook" were worth their weight in gold.
The notebook is a spiral bound lined notebook, begun over 100 years ago by my grandmother.  In it she has recipes (stay tuned, as I post a new recipe from her notebook each Friday, right here on my blog).  Here are the two I have posted already:
Also in this notebook (or as I call it her journal), are the names & birth dates and some death dates of 183 family members.  REALLY?  Yes, there they are in her own writing.  I have so far been able to identify and connect about 100 of those people.  
She also kept a list of items she purchased for herself, her new husband, my grandpa, Joseph and her new baby, Dorothy.  
Talk about a treasure!!  "Just a bunch of old stuff."  I think not.
Here is a page from that very notebook:
On this page she lists family wedding anniversaries/marriage dates.  This is a copy of the original so I wrote on the top of it.
Good stuff, wouldn't you agree?
I knew my grandfather, Joseph, only until I was 7 yrs. old, so I don't remember him very well.  I remember the day he died and the days following that, as my Mom was really sad.  
My grandmother, Florence, on the other hand, lived until I was 36 yrs. old.  I got to know her very well.  She liked to knit, grow African violets, and boy did she like to read.  She never learned to drive so I would drive her to the library where she would check out 6-8 books at a time.  We also used to play scrabble and darned if she didn't beat me all the time.  
SPECIAL NOTE:  My grandma loved to talk about family and told me many stories through the years.  Unfortunately, I cannot remember all of them or even most of them.  Do I completely regret that?  OH YES!  So, please, if you have grandparents or aunts & uncles still living, talk to them. Talk to them now. Take notes.  Make an audio recording of your conversation.  Ask LOTS of questions.  Don't look back and say you wish you had, because that doesn't get those questions answered.  I have brick walls that would tumble right down if I had 10 minutes with any of my four grandparents.
Here is the rest of my MILNE ancestry as I currently know it.  My husband and I have a trip planned to Scotland for next spring.  I hope to be able to find out a lot more about the MILNE family.
Joseph Milne - 8 Jan 1883 - Detroit Wayne, Michigan
died 27 Sep 1957 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Andrew Charles Milne -  8 Feb 1856 - Aboyne, Aberdeen
  Scotland, died 8 Dec 1892 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
married Susan Anne Gillespie
Charles Milne - about 1822 - Cruden, Aberdeen, Scotland
died 7 Feb 1877 in Aboyne, Aberdeen, Scotland
married Margaret Ritchie
Alexander Milne - no birth date known yet and death possibly before 1877
married Elspet Leslie on 11 Oct 1819 in Cruden, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
So, as you can see my Milne family does hail from Aberdeenshire, just as it states in the surname information at the top of my post.  I don't know enough about them yet, but I'm still learning.  I have gone to the website   From that site I have learned about births, marriages and deaths.  I have even ordered records, such as this one on my 2nd great grandfather, Charles Milne:
Death record for Charles Milne

If you don't leave with anything else, please remember.
Keep on looking.  
Talk to your living relatives 
Ask lots of questions.
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl  

Copyright ©  2013   Diane Gould Hall


  1. What a wonderful treasure you have in that notebook! I'm so glad you were able to save it from the trash; it's such an exciting find!

    I've long collected old cookbooks, so I look forward to seeing your recipe posts from her too.

    And thank you for your welcome post on my blog, that was so nice! You made my day! Now I'm going to look about your blog as it looks very interesting. ( It's very cool that you found your brother through doing genealogy.)


    1. Jo. Thank you too for visiting. I am thoroughly enjoying my blog now that I am posting regularly and have readers stopping by. There are many other interesting recipes in the notebook. I look forward to sharing them. The brother who found me from a post on RootsWeb is my best friend. The bond we have formed over the past 7 years is amazing. I thank God continually for the blessing he is in my life. We are both on several Facebook genealogy sites and we go back and forth all the time and get people laughing. Best of luck with your writing. I'll look forward to your posts.

  2. There are Facebook Genealogy sites? Oh, now I have to look that up.

    1. Jo - sorry I didn't see this post until just now. YES! There are lots and lots of FB genealogy sites and they are wonderful. I've been on some of them for 4 or 5 years. I have met several new cousins, rec'd new information, given out information, traveled to Ohio & WV from CA and met some of my FB friends and just generally have a great time. Just put in any County name that you might be researching and see if they have a site. As far as general sites that are very helpful, I use TECHNOLOGY FOR GENEALOGY (administered by Thomas MacEntee) and The Organized Genealogist. Let me know what you find :) :)

  3. Checking in to see if we might be related through William Milne and his son, Alexander Christopher (Anna Shepherd) Milne.
    William MILNE, 1802–1880, BIRTH 15 FEB 1802 • Skene, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, DEATH 01 AUG 1880 • Rumbleyond, Rickarton, Fetteresso Parish, Scotland


    Alexander Christopher Milne, BIRTH 10 MAY 1843 • Fetteresso, Kincardineshire, Scotland, DEATH 28 JUL 1897 • Lyonsville, Cook, Illinois

    Cheers. Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah - Thanks for your comment. I've checked my database and I'm not finding the specific William or Alexander Milne, with those dates. I have a William Milne born 1819 Cruden, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, died 1891 Old Machar Parish, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Have not found a wife for him yet. He was the son of Alexander Milne about 1791-before 1877 and Elspet Leslie 1794-1868.
      With Milne being such a common name, there's no telling if ours are related unless we find a good link. I'll keep my eyes open and let you know if I locate anything.

    2. Hi Diane. I just came across this post today - clearly many years after your original post... I am the son of Alexander Milne III And my great grandfather Was one of the original Alexander Milnes to come to America from Scotland - He was a Stone Mason - owned quarries in Connecticut and the surrounding areas and built many churches and buildings that still stand today. I recently found the Milne family Bible within some of the relics saved by my grandmother. It is a very large leather bound book - and fascinated me as to how long it has endured. There are other members of our family that live - Mostly along the east coast - that I have have learned alot of history from. I still enjoy the stories to this day. Thanks for sharing the Milne story. Was great to read.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.