Colin Campbell a trilogy

The story so far …

I have been looking for source documents to link these two families.

Colin CAMPBELL (1)

Colin CAMPBELL[1] of Grove Street married Margaret MIDDLEMISS in Glasgow on 29 December 1916, he cited his father’s name as Peter CAMPBELL (deceased) and his mother’s name and maiden surname as Elizabeth DUNCAN.

Colin CAMPBELL (2)

A fellow genealogist[2] cited this couple as her grandparents but the mother’s name and maiden surname as Elizabeth ANDERSON. They had a son Peter CAMPBELL who married Dorothy Rose BRICE in London. Their descendants now live in San Diego USA.

What I know

Colin CAMPBELL of Grove Street Glasgow appeared in the 1911 Census[3] with his father Peter CAMPBELL and mother Elizabeth, this led to a birth record. Colin CAMPBELL born 16 November 1896, father Peter CAMPBELL, mother Elizabeth ANDERSON. This is Colin (2) and in 1911 he lived in the same street as Colin (1), a close match but not yet close enough.


My next step is to research Peter CAMPBELL. It wasn’t hard to find his birth register in Scotland’s People, he was born[4] at 155 High Craighall Road Glasgow on 22 September 1917 and this date confirmed an unsourced entry in Family Search. This is the son of Colin (2). I am now researching in the modern era where the next census record will not be available until 2021 so without any details about him other than his name, I need to look at other records and search for him in a family unit.

I have access to Ancestry Library, so I did a wide search for Peter with his father and mother, and his son. I used his mother’s married name because I was looking for them as a family. I found a Canada Ocean Arrivals record dated May 1921[5] for Peter CAMPBELL aged 5 years that recorded his nearest relative in the country where he came from as his grandmother Mrs Jessie ANDERSON 124 High Craig St Glasgow. This Peter CAMPBELL is the son of Colin (1).

Next, I found the matching Canadian Passenger List for Colin CAMPBELL[6] and Margaret is listed as having her left hand missing. The family consists of Colin 24, Margaret 21, Peter 5, Jessie 1½, Thomas 1 month, and Jeanie 54, all on the same ticket, and intending to live with Colin’s mother in Toronto Ontario.

This means that Colin (1) also had a son named Peter. This is the second possible link between Colin (1) and Colin (2).

  1. Colin (1) and Colin (2) lived in the same street.
  2. Colin (1) and Colin (2) both had a son named Peter.

Two steps forward, one step back

Colin (2) is the father of Peter, who married Dorothy Rose BRICE in London and whose children live in San Diego, but Colin (1) emigrated to Canada when Peter was 5 years old.

Still using Ancestry Library, I decided to concentrate on Peter and Dorothy and look for their leaving the UK. Now I found a UK Passenger List[7] that recorded them leaving Southampton for Montreal in Canada on 17 May 1952 with Peter 34, Dorothy 31, Dorothy 10, and Jennifer 5.

I also found an application for permanent residence in 1957 for Peter CAMPBELL[8], a citizen of Canada, and his wife Dorothy Rose CAMPBELL, citing the same date of birth as Colin (2)’s Peter

So, now I have three Peter’s.

  • Peter (1), the son of Colin (2) emigrated to Toronto in Canada aged 5.
  • Peter (2), who married Dorothy and emigrated with two children to Montreal in Canada.
  • Peter (3), a Canadian national who applied for US permanent residence with his wife Dorothy Rose, with the same birthday as Peter (12).

For these two Colin’s and three Peter’s to be the same family, then Peter CAMPBELL had to have:

  1. Emigrated to Canada in 1921
  2. Returned to England
  3. Married Dorothy Rose Brice had two children
  4. Emigrated to Canada in 1952
  5. Emigrated to the US in 1957

I am pedantic in keeping written a record in my Family History Workbook[9] AS I GO as well as numbering and transcribing the documents I find into a spreadsheet AS I GO. When my mind has turned to spaghetti as is common when investigating an interesting member of the family tree, I might remember a minute detail, but I can return to these documents to find out when and where I found it or if I just imagined it. This is what happened yesterday.

The final resolution

In all these records there was one unique clue, I could have missed it but as I said I am pedantic. (I have also been using this blog to unravel this puzzle in a narrative way.) Peter (1)’s mother Margaret is listed in the Canadian Passenger List as having her left hand missing. Confirming whether Jean’s grandmother was missing her left hand or not, would finally link or unlink Colin (1) and (2).

This is the chase. it is the bit that keeps genealogists genealog-ing. I messaged Jean on Family Search and hoped against hope that she hadn’t found something else to do so she would answer quickly. To my very pleasant surprise, I received an answer in a few hours (my midnight sojourn closing the time gap to her midnight sojourn).

“Yes. It was her left hand and when I was little I thought she had ut it off by a sewing machine.”

She also confirmed that her father had returned to England and joined the RAF then emigrated to Canada in 1952.  Thank you, Jean! Now I can finally start entering this data in the family tree.


[1] Scottish Marriage Register, 1917, GROS Data 644/13 10 Margaret Middlemiss and Colin Campbell ( Accessed 22 September 2018)

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

[3] Scottish Census 1911 644/9 10/7 Page 7 of 35 Colin Campbell ( accessed 8 October 2018)

[4] Scottish Birth Register, 1917, GROS Data 644/7 469 Peter Campbell ( Accessed 8 October 2018)

[5] Library and Archives Canada; Form 30A Ocean Arrivals (Individual Manifests), 1919-1924; Rolls: T-14939 – T-15248, 1921 SS Cassandra, p 6 Line 21, Peter Campbell ( accessed 15 October 2018)

[6] Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010 1921 Colin Campbell. ( accessed 15 October 2018)

[7] UK, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012, 1952, Peter Campbell. ( accessed 15 October 2018)

[8]National Archives at Riverside; Riverside, California; NAI Number: 603760; Record Group Title: 21; Record Group Number: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009, 1957, Declaration No 552, Peter Campbell. ( accessed 8 October 2018)

[9] Adams, GF, Family History Workbook, unpublished, p 99-108


The Saga of Colin Campbell

What happens if there is an error in an original source document? When Colin CAMPBELL and Margaret MIDDLEMISS married[1], Colin’s father was listed as Peter CAMPBELL and his mother was listed as Elizabeth CAMPBELL M.S. DUNCAN.

A descendant of his[2] gave his mother’s maiden name as ANDERSON which raises two questions:

  1. Could there be another Colin CAMPBELL married to another Margaret MIDDLEMISS?
  2. Could the information in the Marriage Register is a mistake?

First, I checked ScotlandsPeople for his parents’ marriage (Peter CAMPBELL and Elizabeth DUNCAN) between 1876 and 1896 which is ten years either side of Colin’s estimated birth year (20 when married in 1916). This returned no records. This doesn’t rule out the possibility that Colin was illegitimate.

Second, I searched for Colin’s birth record between 1895 and 1897 and restricted it to the County of Lanark where they were married because CAMPBELL is a common name. This returned seven index records, but I had no way to differentiate between them.

Next, I searched for a Census record. The nearest available Census date was 1911 so I searched for Colin CAMPBELL aged between 13 and 15, restricted again to Lanark. It returned a single record[3]: in the district of Milton at 17 Grove Street, Glasgow, that showed a Peter CAMPBELL aged 47, and his wife Eliza aged 46, with children Elizabeth 20, Walter 17, Colin 14, and Alexander 5; all were born in Lanarkshire. This is the same street where he lived when he was married six years later, and I have researched enough of my Glasgow ancestors to know that it was common for families to frequently move and often only a few doors along the street. This could be the same Colin CAMPBELL, father Peter and mother Elizabeth.

I returned to the birth records where two of the seven were in Milton, but one had a middle name and Colin did not, so I chose to purchase that record. This was Colin CAMPBELL[4], born 16 November 1896, father Peter CAMPBELL, mother Elizabeth CAMPBELL maiden surname ANDERSON.

Jean’s father was Peter CAMPBELL, son of Colin CAMPBELL and Elizabeth ANDERSON. I am still not convinced that these two families actually the same people. CAMPBELL is a very common Scottish name, so is Elizabeth and Peter, and Glasgow in 1896 was very densely populated, there could still be two Colin CAMPBELL’s with a father called Peter, a mother called Elizabeth, and a son called Peter.

So, I have not yet answered either of the two questions. My next step is to research Peter to see if he provides any clues.


[1] Scottish Marriage Register, 1917, GROS Data 644/13 10 Margaret Middlemiss and Colin Campbell ( Accessed 22 September 2018)

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

[3] Scottish Census 1911 644/9 10/7 Page 7 of 35 Colin Campbell ( accessed 8 October 2018)

[4] Scottish Birth Register, 1896, GROS Data 644/8 1527 Colin Campbell ( Accessed 8 October) 2018)


Getting somewhere

This is week five of my family history course and I would be hard pressed to tell you half of what I have learned.

Pedigree charts and family charts are great for getting started as well as keeping up. This week it has been suggested to create a time line for the person of interest.

Wow and I mean wow! I spent the day transferring as much as I knew about William Charles HARVEY, as well as any other information contained in the documents. I carefully added the references (I was becoming a bit overwhelmed with references) and transcribed the detail wherever possible. I added a column for clues and inserted a hint where something must have happened before, after or between the documents.

Lastly I wrote the results into my Family History Workbook and when I was finished I had uncovered and/or documented ten more clues. That’s right, ten more clues.

I am a happy researcher.

Interview with self

I spent the afternoon writing everything I could think of that I knew about the HARVEY  family. This is the branch I have decided to investigate.

I have purchased an A4 exercise book to keep a written record before anything is entered into the computer. Eek that’s right – pen and paper, that is so 20th century.  I rarely use this method because I like everything at the tip of my fingers, or available in my ubiquitous phone.

I have, however, learned a lesson about losing information to obsolete technology. In this case my back up of last resort is the faithful pen and paper.

Providing it is stored properly it could even survive the Zombie Apocalypse.

Begin at the beginning

For a host of reasons I won’t bore you with, I have decided to throw my current family history research out (figuratively and not so figuratively ). And START AGAIN.

The software I was using is now obsolete,  and I have to use some legacy software to retrieve it.  I have downloaded digital images of nearly all the information I have found so far and I am able to reference all my data.

Beginning at the beginning is easier than trying to backstep especially now that I know how to properly reference.

There is never anything wrong with rechecking my findings so off I go.