Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I'll Get to Scotland Afore Ye

Andrew Campbell & Mary Gemmell Campbell
One of my first blogs on here was about my Campbell ancestors and how I'd been unable to go back any further than my great-great grandfather Andrew Campbell who immigrated to the United States about 1870.

But thanks to a distant cousin, the Scottish census, and some superbly detailed record keeping in Scotland, I've been able to push back two more generations and fill in some interesting details, too.

The journey back begins with my great-great grandfather's baptism record showing his birth date of September 27, 1845 (which I knew from family records and his grave marker in Newcastle, Texas). The baptism certificate gives Andrew's father's name as John (which I had not known) and most importantly lists his mother's maiden name, Helen Ramage, which I had not known at all.

Baptism record of Andrew Campbell (October 19, 1845)

The baptism record also gives Andrew's place of birth as Clackmannan, which is also new information, though Clackmannan is very close to Dunfermline, which is where family stories said we were from. With the names of Andrew's parents, one finds their marriage took place January 13, 1845. And with that it is fairly easy to find the family in the Scotland census, which offers a wealth of information.

In  the 1851 Scotland Census John Camble [sic], age 26, and his wife Helen, age 28, were living at 110 Store Row at Forth Iron Works in Carnock. John was a coal miner. In 1851 they had three children: Andrew, age 5 (my great-great grandfather); Margaret, age 4; and Janet, age 2.

In the 1861 Scotland Census the family is living at 83 Blair Row in Carnock. The children are listed as Andrew, age 15; Margaret, age 13; and several new children: John, age 9; William, age 7; Alexander, age 2; and Thomas, who is two months old.

Birth Record of Alexander Campbell (1858)

You may have noted that the youngest child listed in the 1851 census, Janet, is missing. Alas, she is listed in the death registry for January 1859.  A final child, Catherine Campbell, was born to John and Helen in 1865.

My great-great grandfather Andrew was 22 when he married my great-great grandmother Mary Gemmell in 1867. Both list their residences as Blair Row in Oakley.  The certificate also gives me the names of Mary Gemmell's parents (my 3rd great grandparents), James Gemmell, a labourer, and Jean Stewart.

Marriage record of Andrew Campbell & Mary Gemmell (1867)

Now comes a bit of a surprise. According to the marriage record above, they were married on October 7, 1867. But in Mary Gemmell Campbell's obituary from March 15, 1930, we find a marriage date of October 16, 1866. Regarding the discrepancy between the date of the 7th versus the 16th all I can assume is the child that wrote the obit failed to recall the anniversary correctly. The mistake in the year is more interesting, and I suspect the couple pushed the date back a year as their first child, Jean Campbell [Hardy], was born March 21, 1868 - less than six months after the actual marriage date.

Jean Campbell Hardy was a prominent resident of Newcastle, Texas (where this obituary ran). She had married Samuel Hardy who had in fact named the town and developed and financed several of the coal mines in the area. I am not sure if even Aunt Jean knew she had been conceived three months before her parents wed (I doubt it), but it is more than good reason for a fudging of the dates.

Andrew and Mary had two children in Scotland before they emigrated to the United States in 1870. Jean was the first (born March 21, 1868), and I just found a birth record for their second child, John Campbell, born July 30, 1869, in Carnock. You can read more about the thirteen Campbell children  in this earlier post.

Catherine Campbell, the youngest of John Campbell and Helen Ramage's children, married John Forsyth on December 31, 1886. They went on to have at least seven children. According to the 1891 Scotland census, her father was living with them, age 66. Helen Ramage Campbell seems to have died before 1891 - but I can't find a source thus far.

My great-great-great grandfather John Cambell died of pneumonia a few months after appearing in the above census on November 16, 1891, aged 67. I'm sure his life as a coal miner contributed a bit, too, to his death. He was living in Dunfermline, County of Fife, when he died.

John Campbell Death Record (1891)

His death certificate (above) survives, and thanks to the superb Scottish record keeping, allows me to push back the Campbells one more generation still. The death information includes the names of his parents, (my 4th great grandparents) Andrew Campbell (another coal miner) and Janet Allan. I believe I have found their marriage record, too, showing they married May 13, 1820, in Dunfermline, County Fife, Scotland.

I am deeply indebted to Alex Johnston. He is a first cousin, twice removed of the John Forsyth that married my great-great-great aunt, Catherine Campbell. He supplied me with much of the information above. In exchange I was pleased to give him a good deal of information on what happened to my Campbell ancestors that came to the United States in 1870.

1 comment:

  1. I am assuming I am writing to your name from facebook posted to my cousin Jennie Lusk. I am great grand-daughter of Jean Campbell Hardy. Love the information you have, you have filled in some gaps that I have in family history. Would love to visit and compare information sometime.