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Boma => Tanganyika => Tengeru => Topic started by: havingbeen on 18 May, 2010, 21:28

Title: John Minnery
Post by: havingbeen on 18 May, 2010, 21:28
I'm researching my family history and am particularly interested in John Minnery. He was one time owner of Ogaden Estate but also Lt Col Camp Commendant Tengeru Polish Refugee Camp. That is the next of kin details given by his wife Mary Bridget on entry documentation to US Immigration in 1947. I believe they left the area after selling the estate in 1967 but to go where?

I would be grateful for any information concerning him or his family that members might have.


John Crawford
Title: Re: John Minnery
Post by: Shaun Conner on 19 May, 2010, 10:47
Hi John, my late Uncle, Col Terence Conner purchased Ogaden Estate off Lt Col Minnery in 1967. I have all the sale particulars and also, i think, his forwarding address. He left a huge amount of information to help my Uncle take over the farm. I will look it up and get back to you. My Uncle sold Ogaden Estatein the early 1970's to a chap called Derek Evans who was supposed to pay him part in the UK and part in Tanzania. He did not honour the agreement so my Uncle took it back and then sold it again to somebody else. It has been owned for many years now by Edward Mtee who was the former Finance Minister of Tanzania who resigned in protest at some of the goings on i believe. I visited the place in 1988 with My Uncle as i remembered the farm very well. My late father worked there with my Uncle, put in their own electricity generators, rebuild the house, spent a fortune modernising the place. Anyway i will let yolu have any informastion i can find amongst the papers i have.
Title: Re: John Minnery
Post by: havingbeen on 20 May, 2010, 20:38
Thank you for your reply. I'm trying to get John Minnery's army records but need a death certificate. No one in the family knows the place or year of his death. It certainly is not UK.

In 1947 on a visit to the US wife Mary Bridget Minnery gave as her next of kin Lt Col John Minnery, Camp Commandant, Polish Refugee Camp, Tengeru, Arusha, Tanganika. That is the last reference I can find.

Anything you can add to that will bring me a step closer to getting the records. Do you know if he had any family? I'm checking a reference to an Agnes Minnery who was a pupil in a local school.

Again thanks for your response and I'll eagerly await any information you can provide.

Best Regards

John Crawford
Title: Re: John Minnery
Post by: Des Bailey on 21 May, 2010, 13:46
Hi John
My sister Maureen Bailey corresponded with Agnes Minnery until at least Nov 1970.
Her address was Barrhead Scotland. I will forward it to you in a personal note.
Agness attended Arusha School in the mid 1960s.
Maureen can hopefully give you further information.
Des Bailey
Title: Re: John Minnery
Post by: Des Bailey on 23 May, 2010, 19:58
Hi John
Here is Agnes Minnery's address in1970.
   18 Cairngorm Crescent
   Springhill, Barrhead
   Renfrewshire, Scotland

My sister Maureen recalls spending time with Agnes on their farm on the slopes of Mt Meru in the mid 1960s. If Ogaden Estate was on the slopes of Meru then I would guess that Agnes would be related to John Minnery (possible his daughter).
Can Shaun confirm that the above address is the same as Col Minnery's forwarding address. If so, then further proof that Agnes is related to John.
Now, how do to locate Agnes?
Des Bailey
Title: Re: John Minnery
Post by: havingbeen on 24 May, 2010, 09:27
Hi Des,

          "Ogaden Estate, just outside Arusha on the Moshi road". Hope that ties in with your sisters memories. Doubt if Agnes was a daughter as John and his wife Mary were both born in the early 1890's. Give Agnes's age they would have been old to have a daughter.

           The adress definitely ties in with John Minnery he was born in Barrhead. I've spoken with a niece of John's who has no knowledge of Agnes but that lead still remains very active and requires a bit more work to be done on it.

           I hope Shaun can come up with a forwarding address. According to John's neice he did not settle back in Barrhead there is a possibility he went to Malta. His wife Mary died in America in the 1980's.

           Thanks for your interest and help


Title: Re: John Minnery
Post by: Shaun Conner on 25 May, 2010, 09:39
Hi John,

I will have to get into my attic to find the papers i need to check out if i have an address for Minnery. I will do this later today.Meanwhile i see that you are trying to get hold of his Army records. I would have thought his full name and rough age would be all you need. They get a bit worried about releasing info incase the person is still alive but if its pretty obvious he is dead i think they will release the info for a small charge. I have done this before. Will get back to you as soon as i can about his UK address in 1967 etc etc. Cheers
Title: Re: John Minnery
Post by: Shaun Conner on 25 May, 2010, 12:13
Hi John,

I have now had a chance to have a look at the papers for the sale of Ogaden Estate. The forwarding address given is C/o 49 Commercial Road, Barrhead, Glasgow, Scotland. I notice he asks for a number of things to be strored until he returns from the UK! I hope this helps you, good luck but please let me know if i can help further. I was told that Ogaden Estate was named after Minnery having served there in the army. The farm is about 6 miles outside Arusha on the Moshi road, i would not describe it as being on the slopes of Mount Meru as somebody else mentioned as a possibility.
Title: Re: John Minnery
Post by: havingbeen on 29 May, 2010, 19:09
Hello Shaun

The forwarding address you sent is being investigated. It may have been that of a family member or possiblly a bank.
You say he asked for items to stored awaiting his return from UK. I assume this was in 1967. Did he ever return?

The Ogaden was indeed a place where John served with the Kings African Rifles and where he won the Military Cross.
Do you have a description of the property and any history regarding former owners or how John acquired it?

His military career is my real interest. He was commissioned from the ranks and there is a mention of Sgt Minnery in the diary of an officer in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. It is from Christmas 1914 the time of the famous "truce" between the front lines in France. Football matches were even played between British and German. The officer says Sgt Minnery went into the German treches at the invitation of a German who knew Glasgow well.

Anyway Shaun thanks again for you help. Regarding his records. In exceptional circumstances they will release records where the individual's birth is more than 116 years without proof of death. Exactly what exceptional circumstances are I don't know. However if I can't obtain a death certificate I will wait until exactly 4:10am 20 December 2010 at which time the 116 years will be up.

Title: Re: John Minnery
Post by: Bryan Minnery on 25 January, 2011, 11:31
Hi my name is Bryan Minnery. John Minnery was my fathers uncle. My dad now is 77. He was born in Barhead Scotland. The story about John is that after returning from Africa that the Glasgow weather didn't suit him and he and his wife eventually moved to Malta. He died and was buried there. From what I understand he had risen up from the ranks,but I dont recall any stories of him in WWI, but I guess the timing would fit, and if you know what regiment he was in, there must be away of verifying that.Recently, my father went back to scotland and ran into a cousin who had been doing some research, and she sent my father a picture of John in his military uniform.
Title: Re: John Minnery
Post by: John Murray on 08 July, 2011, 04:41
 Hi, My Name John Murray- John Minnery was my dads uncle. My father, Robert Murray has passed a few years back, but I remember some of the stories of his uncle John that lived in Africa. My dad told us of some the stuff that his uncle john would send his mom, Her eyes would light up. Then she would open the box and inside was animal skins - lion, zebra. etc. Grandma would hang them on the wall. My dad lived in Johnstone, Scotland. He came to the US. I would love a copy of my dads uncle John, so I can attach the stories to a face and pass down to my children. Send a email. Would be nice to hear from my dads side of the family. Thanks John Murray
Title: Re: John Minnery
Post by: John Murray on 16 July, 2011, 00:37
I was reviewing past posted letters- John Minnery- wife died in the US. I remember my dad, Robert Murray said that she was put to rest in Akron Ohio. Robert Murray was a hydraulic pipe fitter and he was installing machinery in automotive plant years ago- late 70's. He tried to look up his relatives, but had no success finding them, he was on business- business first.---John Murray   
Title: Re: John Minnery
Post by: MarĂ­a Rivero Minnery on 22 November, 2012, 14:59
Hello, John

My name is Maria, and I'm Agnes daughter. Agnes is John's grandniece, and lived in Tanganika till the age of 11. Her  father Robert (Barrhead, Scotland) went there in order to work for his uncle John at his farm, and took his wife with him. Their 3 daughters were born there (being my mum the oldest).

I'll tell my mum about this forum so she can contact you and tell you everything about her grand-uncle John. He loved her very much, as he never had any children of his own. And she's also investigating about her family history, so I think she'll be glad to talk to you about it.

Please excuse any grammar mistake, I'm Spanish -my mum taught me the English I know :) -

Kind regards,

Maria Rivero
Title: Re: John Minnery
Post by: John Murray on 11 June, 2013, 02:44
hello Maria,

I just noticed that you posted a note in November of 2012. Its now June of 2013. Sorry, I go to college- all those school papers, exams what a nightmare. ----- I'm the grandson of Elizabeth Minnery (John Minnery sister). Elizabeth Minnery married Edward Murray (my grandfather)- Son- My Dad is Robert Murray. He married Elizabeth Spiers. Both my parents are from Scotland. Dad is from Johnstone and Mom is from Glasgow. They both immigrated to the US in January 1960. They first lived in New Jersey and later moved to Detroit Michigan, where I was born. I live in the suburbs of Detroit - Macomb Michigan. My father told Us many stories of his uncle John Minnery- his life in Africa. I would love to hear from you and your family. I can be contacted at my email- 67johnmurray@gmail.com 

God bless,
John Murray