history

Crazy Busy Birthday Week

Well, it’s not all that busy. We are still doing our voluntary self-isolation, and all these folks have long passed on.

I’ve posted about this grouping of birthdays before, however, I left one out.  It wasn’t until I made a “Family Birthday” calendar (using Google Calendar) that this terrible omission was discovered.  I had not added my paternal great grandfather to this group.  Here are they chronologically, by birth year:

All these folks are on my paternal (father’s) side.  Starting with Great Granddad (not to be confused with Old Granddad which is a whole different thing…)

Samuel W. Campbell, 26 March 1861 – 8 February 1924.  This is the 159th anniversary of his birth.  I have no idea what the “W” stands for.  I have not been able to find much documentation of this gentleman.  I do have two obituaries and his death certificate for him but that’s all.  Worst of all is no pictures.  My grandmother (just down this list) had pictures of her dad, and of Herbert, and even lots of my dad as a child, but none that I can say is Samuel. 

But I do have his death certificate which gave me his parent’s names.

Then we have his son, my Grandfather.

Herbert J. Campbell, 31 March 1884 – 5 February 1919.  So, 136th anniversary. As with his father, I have no idea what the middle initial “J” is for.  My best guess is James, as that was his grandfathers name. That would be close to a traditional Scottish naming convention.  Had Samuel followed that tradition then James would have been his given name, not his middle name. I can find other Herbert’s across several branches of this line, so maybe he was named for an uncle or such.

Guess he played trombone. I would imagine that Nanny told me who the little girl was, but I don’t remember.

Next, we have Herbert’s wife, my Grandmother (or Nanny as I knew her)

Josephine Melinda (nee Bodle) Campbell, 27 March 1885 – 21 July 1975.  Happy 135th Nanny!  I have posted about Nanny several times. As she lived with us for most of my childhood, she was very instrumental in my upbringing. 

Nanny in front of the “Friends Union” (a Quaker meetinghouse) in State College, PA. She ran the kitchen there. I just love the hat and corsage.

Finally, dear old dad.

Donald Sherwood Campbell, 28 March 1912 – 19 February 1985. Wow!  108th for pops! If you look up “character” in the dictionary, my dad’s picture will be there. He is the main reason, along with my brother, that I have a warped sense of humor. And I’m proud to say that I have passed that on to my two sons! Hey – a legacy is a legacy. Even if it’s silly.

Sadly, no place or date for this photo of dad.

I can only imagine how this week was celebrated during the short time (1912 – 1919) when all four of these people could be together.

Peace,
B

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Fun With Photos

Yes, I know just yesterday I said I was done with genealogy, I did say I would continue to post family stories. But, then one of the sites I use often added a new feature. Colorize any black and white photo. Normally I am not a fan of colorizing black and white photography or films. But I had to go play around with it just the same.

So I took some old photos from both my family and Wifey’s family and ran them through the process. Some worked better than others, not surprised there.

I will display them with the original on the left, and the “new colorized” version on the right. I’ll start with Wifey’s family, since I was taught ladies go first.

Now, for my family.

And for the last photo I give you my father doing his Clark Gable impersonation. The colors really look good in this one!

As I said, generally I am not a fan of colorizing black and whites, but this last one really came out nice.

These were done with the free tool at My Heritage (Click here). I don’t know if you need an account with My Heritage to use the tool, but it’s free to create an account.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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The Day The Music Died

61 years ago (3 February 1959) the plane carrying Buddy Holly, “The Big Bopper” (J.P. Richardson), and Ritchie Valens crashed killing all three along with the pilot.

The sad event was captured in Don McLean’s 1971 hit American Pie. That was where I first heard of the tragedy. I played that song a lot. I was about 10 weeks old when the accident occurred.

It’s interesting that Waylon Jennings, who became a country music star later, gave up his seat to Richardson and Valens had won a coin toss with band member Tommy Allsup and took his seat.

Here’s Buddy Holly doing Peggy Sue on the Ed Sullivan show. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Another Anniversary

Last Thursday we celebrated not only Wifey and mine’s 38th wedding anniversary, we also celebrated Samuel & Eleanor Campbell’s (my great grand parents) 137th anniversary. Today we celebrate Samuel & Eleanor’s son.

Herbert J. Campbell & Josephine Melinda Bodle were married 20 January 1909, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. This is the grand father I was happy not to follow in his footsteps, and “Nanny”, my grandmother who raised me as much as my parents did. Today marks 111 years.

Wedding register. The happy couple are listed on line 15.
Herbert’s WW1 draft registration dated 12 September 1918. It shows Josie as his wife and has the same address as his death certificate the next February.

Sadly, I have no pictures of them together.

Peace,
B

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How Did I Miss This?

I have been doing my family genealogy on and off since 1999 or so. That’s about 20 years of research. And just last week I realized that one set of my paternal great grandparents were married on the same date as Wifey and I were! Just many, many, years apart. Ninety nine years apart to be exact.

Church record showing Samuel W. Campbell and Ada E. Taylor marriage.
A blow up of the happy couple’s registration with the date.

I have no idea when I found that church record. It may have been tucked away in my software for years. I have asked the local genealogy society for help in determining the church, and if it’s still standing. My guess it would have been the Methodist church, as Samuel’s obituary mentions he was a member there.

I should also note that Miss Taylor’s legal name is most likely Eleanor Adaline. I have her in census records as Ada E. several times as well as Elner A. But the gravestone shows Eleanor.

In my defense, I originally had a different date for this marriage.

CENTRE DEMOCRAT – Thursday, January 25, 1883

Milesburg Items:

    ……  The day following (Jan. 17, 1883), Mr. Samuel Campbell and Miss Ada Taylor, both of this place were made one by Rev. Woodcock ……

This newspaper article seems to say the marriage took place on 17 January. But seeing as to how it wasn’t published until the 25th, I’m going with the church record. Besides, I think the church would have a better record of what when on in the church than some entry level copy editor that’s just reading a news ticker, or whatever served as a news ticker in 1883. Probably some even lower wage worker making a hand written list.

The newspaper, Centre Democrat, was published out of Bellefonte, PA. The wedding, as indeed most of what I’m finding on all my Campbell’s, is in the Milesburg, PA area. Both are in Center county, but back then Milesburg was a small area split into several townships. Bellefonte is the county seat.

I’m thinking that way back when, I entered the 17 January date first. Then when I found the better church record, I just changed the date not seeing the fact that it was my wedding anniversary as well. Could have been one of those 0400 insomnia mornings…

The weird thing to me is that this is the line I’m most actively researching. My family name – Campbell. Yet somehow this just slipped by, unnoticed.

Who else is working on family history? Let me know how it’s going!

Peace,
B

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Where Were You?

I’m sure there are many videos, articles, blog posts, and even conversations about the events of 22 November, 1963. All of them will be better than this one. I remember where I was on that day. When I heard that the 35th President of the United States had been assassinated.

I was sitting in my 1st grade classroom. Luckily back in those days, we didn’t have streaming news everywhere. My little school had maybe 5 black and white TVs on carts that they would move around the school (usually the upper grades used them more than the 1st or 2nd grades). So I’m not sure if any of the students were watching live. It would have been about 1:30PM when it went down (eastern time).

I do remember the announcement that was broadcast over the loud speaker about the assassination. It didn’t really mean that much to me at that point in time. I was 5. I knew what the president was, I knew his name, but that was it. I was not yet emotionally synced with the adult world. But the adults were in shock. There wasn’t much schooling accomplished that day.

The two things that captured my young mind were first; it was Friday, just like this year. And Friday meant grocery night. Even as a young kid, I have always enjoyed going to the grocery store. As the baby of the family my mom took me everywhere with her. When we went to the grocery, I felt like I had a hand in planning the meals for the week. I really didn’t, but it felt that way. Mom would ask me if I wanted a particular dish that week. No matter what I answered, mom bought what she wanted. Her queries were nothing more than to keep me occupied. But I still enjoy the event.

More importantly to my 5 year old brain was the fact that the next Monday would be my 6th birthday. That meant a party, and gifts, and food!!! Did I mention presents?!?!?!

But then came the funeral procession on that Monday. And it was on the TV in the family room. And that’s when it all hit me, and hard. I vividly remember lying on the living room sofa crying my eyes out. When my mom asked what I was crying about, all I could say was “They shot the president!”. She sat down with me and held me until it was over. And her mentioning the upcoming party made it that much quicker.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy may not have been the best president we’ve had, but he certainly isn’t the worst either. It may be the way his legacy has been passed down that I see him in such a favorable light. It is tough to disparage a leader when they’re cut down at the height of popularity. His involvement/build up in Vietnam polarized my generation and left great rifts between generations. But the social reforms he started, albeit way too slowly, are still encouraging democratic leaders today.

In some small way, I still miss him.

Peace,
B

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What’s In A Name?

Now that I’m “retired” I have time to get back into my genealogy. My loyal readers (I do have loyal readers, right?) know the problems I’ve encountered researching my Campbell line. I have spent untold dollars on DNA tests for all three aspects for using DNA with genealogy (as in not for medical reasons). While I have found many cousins on my mother’s side, and on my paternal grandmother’s side, not many Campbell’s. My joke is that my male Campbell cousins won’t do a DNA test for fear of being tied to a cattle raid in the 1500’s! Not true of course, but I find it funny.

So let’s take a look at the typical naming conventions used in Scotland over time.

According to “The Scottish Onomastic Child-naming Pattern,” by John Barrett Robb, another naming system called the “ancestral pattern,” generally went as follows:

The first son was named for his father’s father.

The second son was named for his mother’s father.

The third son was named for his father’s father’s father.

The fourth son was named for his mother’s mother’s father.

The fifth son was named for his father’s mother’s father.

The sixth son was named for his mother’s father’s father.

The seventh through tenth sons were named for their father’s four great-grandfathers.

The eleventh through fourteenth sons were named for their mother’s four great-grandfathers.

The first daughter was named for her mother’s mother.

The second daughter was named for her father’s mother.

The third daughter was named for her mother’s father’s mother.

The fourth daughter was named for her father’s father’s mother.

The fifth daughter was named for her mother’s mother’s mother.

The sixth daughter was named for her father’s mother’s mother.

The seventh through tenth daughters were named for their mother’s four great-grandmothers.

The eleventh through fourteenth daughters were named for their father’s four great-grandmothers.

https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Scotland_Names_Personal

First, we’ll generally ignore the “eleventh though fourteenth” parts. Not only is that way too many children, I don’t have any families on the Campbell side with more than 9 offspring. Still, 12 kids running around the house? No thanks! Of course that does mean more farm hands are available.

A simpler version is like this.

The Scottish, for the most part, had a naming pattern which can be seen in many families. The pattern generally went as follows:

The first son was named after the father’s father.

The second son after the mother’s father.

The third son after the father.

The first daughter after the mother’s mother.

The second daughter after the father’s mother.

The third daughter after the mother.

https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Scotland_Names_Personal

My one and only male Campbell DNA match is with my my 3rd great grandfather’s generation, James Richard Campbell Jr. My cousin’s line stems from James Jr’s. brother Richard Campbell. I was very lucky finding my cousin as he had paperwork from the area of Pennsylvania that our family lived in the 1790’s or so. With paperwork to back up the DNA match I knew that I had a very reliable match.

But the names I have are not following the pattern I mentioned earlier. Since I had a Junior, it is reasonable to assume that his father would be a Senior. Good to go there?

Let’s follow the naming pattern starting with my grandfather, Herbert. As the first male child, he should have been named for his paternal grandfather. But he wasn’t. I can find no other Herbert’s in earlier generations.

Next we have Herbert’s father (my great grandfather), Samuel. Following tradition, my father should have been named Samuel. He wasn’t (Donald). And Samuel, being the third male child should have been named for his father’s father’s father (his great grandfather). Nope, he was James Sr. Again, the James Sr. is somewhat speculative. I can only assume that I have the “Senior” correct since, I know that his son was a “Junior”.

The pattern isn’t holding here. Is it due to becoming “Americanized” and the traditions have faded or am I missing children of my earliest ancestors that have come to America? James Jr. is actually the fifth son born to James Sr. That would mean he would have been named for his father’s mother’s father. And that information I do not possess.

James Sr. is where I am currently brick walled. I have a lead for his parents, John Campbell, Jr., and Jean Ralston. Here we go with the Junior again! I have this John Jr. born in Scotland and dying in Pennsylvania. If the naming convention holds true that would make him the third son of a John Sr. Alas, according to what I have found he is the eldest son. I will readily admit that the two Johns are best guesses. Even James Sr. is unverified.

To further ignore the naming, my eldest sister should have been named Dora (mother’s mother), my brother Herbert (father’s father), my elder sister Josephine (father’s mother), and me Talmadge (mother’s father). Not a single one. I cannot find any ancestors with our given names at all!

I didn’t know of this pattern when my sons were born. But in a way we followed it. Son-the-eldest is not named the same as my father but they have the same initials (DSC). Son-the-younger is named for his mother’s father, we just switched the first and middle names.

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 13 August

(A.K.A. The Woodstock Edition)

This week will be the 50th Anniversary of the legendary “Woodstock” music festival.  Admittingly, I was too young to attend, not to mention it was many miles away from my south Florida home. 

Just in case you’re unsure about the whole thing let me quote from the wiki page;

Woodstock was an American music festival held August 15–18, 1969, which attracted an audience of more than 400,000.  Billed as “an Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music”, it was held at Max Yasgur‘s 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York, 43 miles (70 km) southwest of Woodstock. It was alternatively referred to as the Bethel Rock Festival or the Aquarian Music Festival. Thirty-two acts performed outdoors despite sporadic rain.[6] It has become widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history, as well as the definitive nexus for the larger counterculture generation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodstock

I was healthy 9 years old at the time, so my musical tastes were more inline with The Monkees and The Beatles than Jimi Hendrix.  But that all changed when my sister brought home the 2-album set. I listened to those records constantly.

All this week SiriusXM is featuring music from the festival. The Deep Tracks channel is playing the complete tapes.  Every band and every song all week long. While I haven’t heard Country Joe McDonald’s “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag” and it’s now legendary audience involvement, I did hear something that I don’t remember being on the albums.  Before I get to that let’s mention a few of the other performances. 

Richie Havens opened the show, 3 ½ hours late. He was scheduled fifth on the bill on the opening day. Problem was, all the acts for that day were stuck several miles away at the area motels reserved from them.  The roads were blocked by cars that had just parked in the street since there was no other place to go, so the bands couldn’t get their gear nor themselves to the concert area.  Richie had the least equipment, one guitar for him, one guitar for his lead guitarist, and a set of conga drums for the percussionist, was all that was needed, so they were the first to be helicoptered in.  Richie was a bit afraid to be the first one on.  Since the show started so late, he was worried that the crowd would be angry and hostile. Needless to say, that was anything but the case.  

Joan Baez closed out the fist day (the “folk” day), she was 6 months pregnant! Her set was from roughly 1 – 2 AM.

Santana did a 45-minute set on day 2, and Carlos Santana was totally tripping the entire time.  The video of that entire set is electrifying!

John Sebastian (best known as part of the Lovin’ Spoonful) was not on the bill but was there enjoying the show (he had a house in the area). He played a short set while, again, other performers were delayed in arriving.

And who can forget Joe Cocker’s physical rendition of “With A Little Help From My Friends”? This single performance catapulted him into the US conciseness. Also giving John Belushi a new act.

Crosby, Still, Nash & Young doing an hour at 3AM. I still get chills listening to their set. To produce such vocal harmonies, live, and at that time of night, blows me away.

Let’s get to what is stuck in my head.  I heard just the end of this yesterday.  (I have SiriusXM streaming while at work) I wasn’t exactly sure just what I was listening to, and there was no mention, that I heard, of the performer.  I recognized the song, but not the artist.

Another thing that was interesting, was that I had just finished reading an article about the song which was written by John Lennon.  This song stunned all The Beatles when John first played it.  The entire band, George Martin (producer) and everyone in the studio all thought it was “stunning”. And then I hear it again on the way to work this morning.

Here is Richie Havens’ “Strawberry Fields Forver”.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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The End Of The Line…

(Genealogicaly speaking..)

Faithful readers of this blog (both of you) probably have noticed my love-hate relationship with genealogy.  But after almost 20 years and way too much money, I think I’m calling it quits.

I am still stuck in Pennsylvania in the early to mid-1800’s.  Every lead I get on that ever elusive “immigrant ancestor” just seems to fall away after more digging. Even more importantly, no one in my family has any desire to keep the research going.  

But I did have some wonderful finds along the way. The time I found my oldest sister’s baby book in a box in our mother’s shed. It gave me the name (which I later confirmed via census records) of our paternal great grandfather, Samuel W. Campbell.  The one and only Campbell DNA match, that gave me the next male Campbell in that line, James Campbell. Do you have any idea just how many James Campbell’s there are in that time and place? It’s maddening!

My favorite find was identifying my father’s first wife, Gertrude Mary (Trudie) Lyman.  That was just some good detective work and lots of help from the wonderful folks on the Blair County (Pennsylvania) Genealogical Society. 

So, for now, I have suspended my various genealogy and DNA service accounts.  I have not removed my data from any of the services (Ancestry, My Heritage, GEDMatch, Family Tree DNA, etc.. etc..), but I am no longer paying for the services.  Since my data (DNA and Family Trees) are still fully searchable there is a hope that down the road, someone, somewhere will make that connection that I can’t find.  And maybe, just maybe, when I do finally retire, I will head up to Pennsylvania and do some hands-on research. You never know.  But for now, I’m tired. And broke.

For anyone that would like to see my various family trees, compare YDna, mtDNA or atDNA, leave a comment and a way to connect with you and I’ll answer. You will also find my various social media links at the bottom of this and every post, as well as in the side bar.  Twitter is best contact method after email.

I’ll leave you with End Of The Line by The Traveling Wilburys.  And that’s what we want to become, The Traveling Campbells.  In fact, the First Annual Campbell Christmas Vacation is in high planning mode as I type this. Well, not as I really type this, everyone else is still asleep. But you get the picture.

Peace,
B

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Closing A Genealogy Door

I’ve mentioned my father’s first wife, Trudie, before. It’s taken close to eight months of research and hard work but I am ready to close this door. (You can read the other posts here and here.)

As a quick recap, dad didn’t speak much about Trudie. In fact all I knew of her was her name. Even then, was Trudie her given name or a nickname? Doing searches in every genealogy database I had access to for both Trudie and Gertrude (hoping that was a good guess for a given name), and in all the pre World War II locations that I knew dad lived in, turned up next to nothing. The first link above gives more detail, but it wasn’t until I found the 1940 census records that things started to fall into place.

With a little luck, and some help from the Blair County, Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, I found the marriage license (that’s the second post above). All that was left, as far as unanswered questions, was what was the cause of death?

One of the resources I have used for many years is VitalChek. This organization has found birth and death certificates for many of my ancestors over the years. I hoped they could help me again.

I won’t go into all the problems that occured with this request. Just know that it took about two and a half months to get my request filled. It wasn’t VitalChek’s fault. They were helping me the entire time. The Vital Records folks in D.C. were the problem. But in the end, I got what I needed.

Gertrude Campbell’s death certificate

The cause of death is listed as Uremia, secondary to Nephritis. Basically, she died of kidney failure. Now I can close this line of inquiry and go back to my “regular” genealogy quests.

Several folks on other social media have questioned why I have spent the time and energy on researching someone that I’m not related to. In my mind it wasn’t about adding another branch to the family tree. Dad would not let my mother buy him a wedding ring. He wore Trudie’s ring until the day he lost it doing yard work. He and I (and I think my brother) spent hours going blade by blade of grass looking for that ring. We never found it. He never wore another ring either. If she meant that much to him, it was worth my meager time, energy and money.

Don and Trudie

Peace,
B

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