Not too long ago, I posted about folks with bad family trees on the interwebs. Seems that I’m one of those people. No surprise there. The one name that I called out explicitly, my 2x great-uncle Lloyd Campbell as having a different set of parents, was wrong. I’m not sure at all at where I had any parents for him at all. I think I was mixing him up with Sara Catherine Campbell, his sister.
Here’s my (new and improved) reasoning. Not long after writing that post I had two new DNA matches. One was a Y-DNA match, so that meant he had to be related on my paternal side. It’s also nice that we have the same surname. But he doesn’t answer my emails, so I guess we’ll never figure it out.
The other match is an atDNA match at Ancestry. This is with a woman, and only a possible connection with the Campbell line. However, she does share matches with folks that I know have to be on my Campbell side, so that’s good. She believes that her great grandmother was a Campbell. A Catherine Campbell to be exact. And what was the other name in my tree I was complaining about? Why Sara Catherine Campbell of course.
Now here’s where I make my confession. It seems that the early census records I have for this lady have her as Catherine. No Sarah anywhere. Why did I change her name? Because I was following a marriage for a Sarah Catherine Campbell, despite the fact that I had a death certificate for this lady with different parents. I will allow myself a bit of a way out as the listed father’s name was James R. Campbell, the same as my 2x great-grandfather. Plus, her mother’s name was Ann Story, which is very close to my 2x great-grandmother Ann McCauley. I know I’ve had this record for quite some time, so I’m thinking that I held on to it hoping it was just an honest mistake.
Then that second DNA match, with the Catherine Campbell name made me go back and look again. With a bit more research knowledge now, I found the correct family for this Sara Catherine Campbell. Hint: Not my family. Her parents were James Ray Campbell and Anne Story. So, I have removed the married family from my tree and returned her to her original name of Catherine Campbell (without the Sarah), under her parents, James Richard Campbell and Anna McCauley.
Obviously, this DNA match answered my email, otherwise how was I to find the Catherine Campbell match? Funny thing is my previously mis-named Catherine Campbell is a close match to the age and location for Catherine Campbell from my match. For once, I get to research a family that’s not my own!
It’s been about a week since I’ve started this hunt. And while it’s been a lot of fun running searches on websites I’ve not used before; it’s also been quite frustrating. I have not been able to match up anybody in either of our trees yet. One of the problems is, again the name Catherine and its various spellings. In this search I find that this couple (Catherine Campbell and her husband, a direct male ancestor of my DNA match) have her name is three different ways. Catherine, Catharine, and Kate. There is even a possible Katie involved, but I think I can rule that one out.
Here’s the deal; The first mention I can find of them together is the 6 January 1893 issue of the Democratic Watchman (Bellefonte, Center County, Pennsylvania newspaper) that lists them as having been issued a marriage license. Her name there is Kate. In the 1900 census (the husband died in 1898), she is Catherine living with her two daughters in her mother-in-law’s house, who was also a widow. I have not found her after the 1900 census. At least not in Pennsylvania. She is also listed as Kate in one daughters’ birth record (my DNA matches grandmother) and her other daughters’ death certificate.
Needless to say, searching for any marriage records for her under the known names and her husband only finds the newspaper article mentioned above. So, I can’t link these two fine people together.
As I’ve mentioned before, the 1890 census was lost in a fire. However, Centre County used this data to compile a directory of businesses and its citizens. I can find the husband with his parents not all that far from most of my family, including my Catherine and her family in Milesburg. But having found that connection be yet another brick wall, I kept looking and found another Campbell family a little east in Millheim and there is a Kate listed! Could this be the one? Nope. As far as I can tell, Kate is the wife of a married son living with his parents. Kate and her husband (yet another Samuel) do not appear to have any children. Another dead end.
The funny thing (funny as in strange, not ha-ha funny) is that Catherine/Kate’s husband was adopted. This was well known by the family, and I can find all kinds of records on his adopted family. I’m hoping that we match through this Catherine/Kate and not through the husband’s biological family. I have never done any adoption family tree work. And quite honestly, I’m a bit a’scared to even start.
I’m not giving up, just calling it a day. The single malt is calling my name.
Here’s a somewhat related video – because I feel very lost and can’t find my way home.
Remember, genealogy isn’t rocket science. It’s much more difficult than that!