John William Linzee, Jr.
John William Linzee, Jr.
John William Linzee, Jr. was the author of the two-volume set of books, published in 1917 and entitled The History of the Linzee Family and the Limesi, Lindsay, Etc. Families. He was also present at the organizational meeting of The Lindsay Family Association of America in 1904. He and his family appeared to lead a very active role with this organization as a researcher of the Lindsay (how ever spelled) surname in Europe throughout the years of its existence while serving also as the Assistant Secretary.
For more information on the Linzee Family Association of America see the web page at http://www.clanlindsay.com/the_linzee_family_association.htm
A following biographical sketch of the life of John William Linzee, Jr. was provided March 26, 2002 by Mr. Linzee Whittaker for publication at the Lindsay International web site. The first part of the biography is in fact an autobiography, written by John William Linzee, Jr. in 1917 which was excerpted from his book The History of the Linzee Family and the Limesi, Lindsay, Etc. Families. The 2002 update portion of the biography was written by his grandson Mr. Linzee Whittaker. Our thanks to Linzee Whittaker for sharing this information with Lindsays everywhere.
JOHN WILLIAM LINZEE, JR.
SEPTEMBER 9, 1867 – FEBRUARY 28, 1949
It is with diffidence that I write a sketch of my life, but there is no one
left to do me the service. The indolence of India, the land of my birth, is
responsible for my chief trait, so that if I have accomplished anything , it is
due to Boston and the education gained within her hallowed halls of learning
that I am able to record a life not devoid of service to others indirectly.
My first school
training began at Southhampton, England, in 1877, and lasted until 1884, but it
was lamentably interrupted, owing to the sad illness of my youngest sister, by
constant trips of the family to France for the benefit of her health until her
death at Cannes in 1881. In 1883, I succeeded in passing the local examinations
of the University of Cambridge, and then in 1884 sailed for Boston, where the
diploma from that English college admitted me to the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology without any other requirement, and I have to thank Mr. Elliot
Sturgis, of the class of 1884, for successfully gaining for me the privilege.
I graduated from MIT
in May, 1889, in the Department of Civil Engineering with the degree of Bachelor
of Science, my sheepskin being signed by the much-esteemed president, General
Francis A. Walker. MIT’s gifts to her students are a power in usefulness; they
should be considered a necessity by all educational standards, and not a luxury.
Wishing to acquire a
little of Harvard’s spirit, I joined that University in the autumn of 1889,
and graduated in June of 1890 with a degree of Bachelor of Arts, signed by
Charles W. Eliot, president. The education at Harvard, however useful to the
generality of students, was to me a pleasure and a luxury. I am a charter life
member of the Harvard Engineering Society.
Before leaving the
Institute, I assisted in the development of a public improvement, know as the
Beacon Street extension, from Boston the Reservoir I beautiful Brookline, under
Messrs. Aspinwall and Lincoln, civil engineers. After Graduation from Harvard, I
spent the year 1890-91 with Mr. John R. Freeman in fire insurance, making plans
and inspections of mill plants in our Atlantic States. I then studied law at
Boston University, with the intention of becoming a lawyer with technical
ability, but my eyesight began to fail, owing to improper glasses, and I was
obliged to earn a living as best I could until 1896, when I tried bridge design
on the Boston and Maine Railroad, under Mr. J.P. Snow, bridge engineer. Again my
eyes would not stand the strain of close indoor employment, and after six months
of trial, I resigned for an outdoor position as assistant engineer and inspector
on the first Boston Tremont Street Subway, under Mr. Howard A. Carson, chief
engineer, when the Park Street, Haymarket Square and Scollay Square stations
enabled me to pass two years of my life. It was not until 1898, the trouble with
my eyes was fully diagnosed by Dr. Walter B. Lancaster, but in the interval the
focusing muscles had become strained. After 1900 all trouble passed away, for
which I am extremely thankful.
In 1898, I laid out
the general scheme of the Dudley Street and Sullivan Square terminals of the
Boston Elevated Railway, under Mr. George A. Kimball, chief engineer, and then
became chief draftsman and assistant engineer under Mr. John C. Ostrup, the
designing engineer, for a period of four years, supervising the office plans in
the department of steel design, and in charge of all details of structures and
the shop drawings.
Among the other
structures, I was engaged on, may be mentioned the Northampton street, Dover
street, South and City Square stations, the Lincoln Warf and Charlestown power
plants and considerable of the structure between stations. In 1902, I
temporarily succeeded Mr. Ostrup as designing engineer, until construction
After 1902, I made
plans, which were later constructed, for an electric railway from Lowell to
Ayer, Mass., and plans for water power development on the Androscoggin River in
the state of Maine, for Messrs. Farnum and Murray, then of Boston.
In 1906, I resumed
design work with the Boston Elevated under Mr. Robert B. Davis, and had the
responsible charge of the difficult and extensive improvements at City Square,
Dover street and Sullivan Square stations.
As a recreation, I
am especially interested in historic-genealogic research, and have published a
six hundred page volume, with many portraits, of old Boston families, in my
History of Peter Parker and Sarah Ruggles of Roxbury, Mass., their Ancestors and
Descendants, and this History of the Linzee Family. I have also nearly completed
the history of Christopher Tilden and Sarah Parrott of Boston, Mass., Their
Ancestors and Descendants, which is a twin book to my Parker-Ruggles History;
the genealogy of my mother'’ ancestors, the Mahe Family of France; The
Descendants of William Speakman of Boston; and a Genealogy of the Tildens of
I am at present the treasurer and assistant secretary of the Lindsay Family Association of America, Incorporated.
(This ends the portion written by Mr. John William Linzee, Jr. himself;
the remainder is respectfully provided by his eldest grand-son and current
President of the Linzee Family Assn. of America, Inc., John Linzee Whittaker).
By 1917, Mr.
Linzee’s first marriage to Nannie Belle Dwelley of Carlisle, Illinois had
ended in divorce; His only daughter from that union, Dorothy Evelyn (Linzee)
Vanin-Custoza died without issue in New York in 1993.
In 1917, Mr. Linzee
married Grace Hyacinth (Moore), retired from active employment, and devoted himself entirely
to raising a new family while continuing his much loved genealogical research.
He completed the
genealogies referred above, and while he did not live long enough to see them
published, the manuscripts currently reside in the Massachusetts Historical
Society, Boston, for all to see.
Mr. Linzee had four
children from his second marriage; the fourth or youngest, Robert, died in
infancy, but the older three, Theodora Marylyn (Linzee) Whittaker, John William
Linzee, III, and Thomas Edward Linzee all survived to adulthood and had issue.
It is Mr. Linzee’s grand children who form the nucleus of the current
membership of the Linzee Family Assn. of America, Inc.
After a short illness, John William Linzee, Jr. died suddenly of a heart attack at his home at 848 Beacon Street, Boston, on Feb. 28, 1949 and is buried in the Forest Hills Cemetery in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was 82 years old.
The Y-chromosome DNA haplotype for the Linzee lineage of John William Linzee, Jr. is represented in the International Lindsay Surname DNA Project database by a proven genealogical relationship with DNA Project participants L0020 & L0021. See DNA Group 6 for genetic results.
Page Initially Posted: August 8, 2001; Last Updated: November 2, 2012