Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Campbells are Coming!

We've spent a couple posts on my Kirkpatrick ancestors, so today I'm going to introduce some of my Campbell relatives. So far I have had little luck tracing the line back beyond my great-great-grandparents, Andrew Campbell (1845-1919) and his wife Mary Gemell (1847-1930).

Andrew Campbell (1845-1919) and Mary Gemell (1847-1930), circa 1870

Until I scanned this photo - the only photo I have of Andrew and Mary Campbell together - I had not noticed that something seems to have happened to Andrew's left ear. According to his grandson, Jack Denton, Andrew was a Mining Engineer, though several censuses list his occupation as Coal Miner.

My family was rich with Campbell stories. Andrew and Mary were married October 16, 1866. At this time they lived in Oakley, Scotland.  They immigrated to the US around 1869. I've yet to track down their boat, but family stories always told that they traveled in "steerage." They had thirteen children, two born in Scotland - Jean and a first son John, and eleven born in the United States.

Mary Gemell Campbell - Obit
Family stories said they first settled near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. But now I have an alternate scenario where they spent a year before that in Montana. I hope I can find a way to verify that.

I know that at some point during the early 1870s Andrew made a return trip from the US to Scotland (reason unknown). Mary and the children stayed in the US. Perhaps this voyage home was what prompted the move from Montana to Pennsylvania where I know they had settled by 1874.

They had at least three more children in Pennsylvania: my great-grandmother Mary Campbell (Kirkpatrick), a daughter Ellen - the second of this name, and a son Andrew. The second John and the first Ellen, who both died in infancy, were probably also born in Pennsylvania.

In 1886 they moved to Gordon, Texas. In that same year the eldest daughter, Jean, married Samuel Hardy. The Campbells then moved to Oklahoma for eight years where five more children were born: Robina, Margaret, Katherine, Jeannette, and Thomas. Soon after Thomas's birth they moved to Bridgeport, Texas. In all these places Andrew Campbell was involved in coal mining. I am unsure exactly what he did as a mining engineer. He was almost certainly not working the mines. The family was very comfortable, taking good care of their ten children, all of whom married very well - except possibly for Thomas, whose marital status remains unknown. And the fact that Andrew could afford to travel home to visit Scotland after the immigration indicates some money as well.

In the early 1890s they moved to Bridgeport, Texas, where son-in-law Samuel Hardy was prospecting for coal. Samuel must have done very well and the Campbells likely moved to  Bridgeport to join in the good fortune. In 1908 both the Hardys and Campbells moved to the newly founded city of Newcastle, Texas. Sam Hardy became manager of the Belknap Coal Company. And Andrew immediately built a two-story stone structure called "The Campbell Building." He also built a new family home in Newcastle, where Andrew and Mary remained until their deaths - his in 1919, hers in 1930.

As I mentioned above Andrew and Mary had thirteen children in all. A family story tells that after the kids were all grown one of them asked his mother why she stopped at thirteen. Mother Campbell replied in her thick brogue: "Your father woulda had more -  but I put my foot on it!" The Campbell clan thought this was just hysterical!

The Thirteen Campbell Children

Jean Campbell (1868-1961)
The first born child, Jean was the only child born in Scotland that lived to adulthood. She married Samuel Hardy and lived to be ninety-two.

John Campbell (1869 - ?
Their second child, John, was born July 30, 1869 in Carnock, Scotland. He died in infancy after his parents immigrated to the United States in 1870. Death date unknown. [Updated JAN 22, 2014]

John, and Ellen
After the first John died, they named another son John and he died as well. After the loss of two children named John, they did not try that name again. A daughter, Ellen was born shortly after the couple arrived in the US. She also died in infancy. They tried the name Ellen again for their eighth child (see below). But they always called her "Nel," to avoid the bad luck they had had with the two Johns.

James G. Campbell (1871-1938)
James's death certificate states he was born in Towanda, Montana. This is the only reference in family papers indicating that the Campbells spent time in Montana shortly after they arrived in the USA. Towanda does have mining interest, so since Andrew was in coal mining, it's certainly possible they spent their first year in Montana. James's older sister, Jean, was the informant on his death certificate, so I tend to take her Montana reference as accurate, despite no mention of the Montana adventure in the family lore. James married a woman named Katherine. He died when he was sixty-six.

Mary Elizabeth Campbell (1875-1966)
Mary was my great-grandmother, called Mamie. She married Louis Dillard Kirkpatrick and lived to be ninety-one.

Andrew Campbell (1876-1961)
Andrew married a woman named Nellie Maud Humphrey. He lived until he was eighty-four.

Ellen Campbell (1877-1962)
Ellen, always called "Nel," married Ausburn Black and lived to be eighty-five.

Robina Campbell (1880-1973)
Robina spent most of her adult life in Artesia, New Mexico. She married Herschel Denton and lived to be ninety-three.

Margaret Campbell (1884-1967)
Margaret married J. P. Newell. She eventually moved to Tennessee where she died at the age of eighty-three.

Katherine Campbell (1887-1979)
Kate married John Albert Nelson. She lived most of her life in Fort Worth, Texas. She lived to be ninety-two.

Jeannette Campbell (1888-1924)
Jeannette married C. C. Caldwell. She died of "Brights Disease," a kidney ailment, at the age of thirty-five.

Thomas Campbell (1891- ? )
Tom was the baby of the family. He was also a bit of a black sheep, and at some point the family lost contact with him. My mom remembered him from when she was a child, probably in the 1930s. The last information I can find on him is that in 1940 he turned over a share of property to his eldest sister, Jean. I would love to know what happened to him and if he had a family.

My mom knew and remembered Grandma Campbell, Mary Gemell. She said she was her favorite of her great-grandparents. One of the stories my mom often related was that Grandma Campbell would sit on the porch of her home in Newcastle, Texas, rocking in her rocking chair, staring out at the parched flat land of west Texas. She'd rock and sigh softly, "the sea . . . the sea . . . ," remembering the ocean of her youth.

Mary Gemell Campbell with five of her daughters. L to R: Jeannette, Ellen, Katherine, Mary, & Margaret, circa 1920.

I have a small stash of photos of a Campbell family get-together that occurred in the early 1920s. One appears above, showing Grandma Campbell with five of her daughters. Jeanette Campbell Caldwell died at the age of thirty-five in 1924, so this photo must be before that date. My great-grandmother, Mary, is in the dark dress. As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, I remember my great-grandmother - but I remember Aunt Kate (standing center back) really well. She lived until 1979.

While I have not been able to trace the Campbell line in Scotland, I recently got a copy of Mary Gemmel's death certificate and found her father's name listed as James Gemell. Her mother's maiden name was listed as "Hill," but with a cryptic additional note "Maiden name unknown."

I have a few mementoes from my Campbell great-great-grandparents, but I'll talk about them in future blog posts.Clearly, researching people named Andrew Campbell from Scotland is a rather daunting task. Perhaps one of my clansmen will read this blog and say hello!

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