Which Colin Campbell is which?

I love it when people contact me through one of my family tree sites and connect their family tree to mine. This happened a couple of weeks ago through FamilySearch. Jean appears to be my second cousin; her grandmother and my grandmother could be sisters. I say appears and could because I am yet to connect all the source information together.

It begins with Thomas MIDDLEMISS (FamilySearch entry) or (WikiTree entry). He married Jessie Jane ANDERSON and they had six children, Grace Hay MIDDLEMISS is my grandmother and Margaret MIDDLEMISS is Jean’s grandmother.

Whenever it’s possible, I like to fill in all the brothers and sisters for all my ancestors, when I have a bit of spending money and some time to spare. Recently I started to fill in the marriages for the children of Thomas MIDDLEMISS. I added, amongst others, Colin CAMPBELL[1] as the spouse of Margaret MIDDLEMISS, and this is what brought Jean into contact[2]. Jean told me that Margaret had a son Peter CAMPBELL, who was her father.

My method for entering collateral people (those not in my direct line) begins with a marriage record, so for Margaret MIDDLEMISS, I had created Colin CAMPBELL from the marriage record, then continued finding marriages for each of the MIDDLEMISS children. My next step is to return to the new person and fill in their parents, again from the marriage record. I had not reached this next stage when I received Jean’s message.

Next, I made a mistake. I merged my Colin CAMPBELL (L1TQ-4VH) with Jean’s (L1BL-LJF) before I had added Colin’s parents. Too late I discovered that his marriage certificate listed his mother’s maiden name as Elizabeth DUNCAN, but Jean listed his mother’s maiden name as Elizabeth ANDERSON. I had no choice but to undo the merge and begin researching Colin CAMPBELL again from the beginning.

Beginning again / starting over, is a good quality for a genealogist. Sometimes I just need to relearn a pre-learnt skill. I cannot resist a good genealogical mystery. I’ll be back


[1] Scottish Marriage Register, 1917, GROS Data 644/13 10 Margaret Middlemiss and Colin Campbell (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/view-image/nrs_stat_marriages/11600229: Accessed 22 September 2018)

[2] Adams, GF, Family History Workbook, unpublished, P 99-100

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