15 January 2021

16 January

Not all that important a day for you, but it is for me.  Two rather momentous events occurred on that day, 99 years apart.

The first:

My paternal great grandparents, Samuel W. Campbell and Eleanor Adaline Taylor were married on 16 January 1883, in Milesburg, Centre County, Pennsylvania.

CENTRE DEMOCRAT - Thursday, January 25, 1883


                Milesburg Items:


                     ......  The day following (Jan. 16, 1883), Mr. Samuel Campbell and Miss Ada Taylor, both of this place were made one by Rev. Woodcock ......


Excerpt from the church register for Samuel and Ada E.'s marriage
Excerpt from the church register for Samuel and Ada E.'s marriage

Samuel was born 26 March 1861 in Centre County to James Campbell and Anna Elizabeth Campbell née McCauley.  I have Samuel’s death certificate and two obituaries for him from local papers.  His death certificate has James Campbell as his father, and Ann Colley as his mother.  Both obituaries say he had one brother living, Hiram Campbell.  Hiram’s death certificate has James Campbell and Anna McCauley as parents.

Samuel W Campbell's death certificate
Samuel's death certificate

One of Samuel’s obits says his wife, who was the informant on his death certificate, had suffered a “stroke of paralysis several years ago”, so this may have left her with slurred speech so the name didn’t come out as she wished, or the recorder may have misheard, or even she didn’t remember exactly.  I have many certificates in my collection with incorrect names, or even none at all.

DEMOCRATIC WATCHMAN - February 15, 1924


CAMPBELL - Samuel W. Campbell, a watchman at the High Street crossing, died very suddenly and unexpectedly in the office of Dr. David Dale, about ten o'clock last Friday morning, as the result of an attack of angina pectoris.  He lived in Milesburg and came to Bellefonte that morning with John Scholl, in the latter's car.  He complained of not feeling well and the latter advised him to go see a physician.  He walked up to the office of Dr. Dale but the physician being out he returned to his post of duty and worked until the morning trains had come in and gone out, when he again went to the doctor's office.  The doctor was at the hospital and remarking that he felt very bad Mr. Campbell sat down in a chair and expired before the physician could reach his office.

Mr. Campbell was sixty-two years old and most of his life was spent in Boggs township.  In his early life he was an iron worker and was employed in the rolling mills at Curtin and McCoy & Linns, but later worked for the Pennsylvania railroad company and during the past two or three years had been a crossing watchman in Bellefonte.  He is survived by his wife and two children, H. Lester Campbell, of Tyrone, and Mrs. Josephine Campbell, of Pittsburgh.  He also leaves one brother, Hiram Campbell, of Tyrone.

He was a member of the Methodist church and Rev. J. Fred Andreas had charge of the funeral services which were held at two o'clock on Monday afternoon, burial being made in the Milesburg cemetery.


KEYSTONE GAZETTE - February 15, 1924




Samuel Campbell of Milesburg, employed for a number of years as crossing watchman at the High Street crossing, Bellefonte, died suddenly in Dr. David Dale's office, Friday morning of a stroke following an illness of several days.  Although, he reported for work during the week he was not enjoying the best of health and was a frequent visitor at Dr. Dale's office, receiving treatment for some form of heart trouble.  After going to work Friday morning he became ill and upon approaching the physician's office discovered that there were several patients there ahead of him and he returned to his work but became worse and again returned to the office where he passed away before receiving relief from the physician.

He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Campbell and was born near Milesburg over fifty years ago-- He was united in marriage to Miss Ada Taylor who survives with two children: Lester, of Altoona, and Mrs. Florence Campbell of Columbus, Ohio.  His wife suffered a stroke of paralysis several years ago and has since been confined to her bed.  Deceased was well-known in Milesburg and Bellefonte and leaves a host of friends who mourn his demise.  He was a member of the Methodist church and of the I. O. O. F. lodge of Milesburg.  Funeral services were held from the home Monday afternoon, the Rev. Andreas officiating with the assistance of the Rev. M. C. Piper and the members of the I.O.O.F. lodge.  Internment was made in the Trczlyulny cemetery.

 Eleanor was the daughter of Jacob Taylor and, I believe, Mary “Polly” Hancock.  She was born on 4 October 1858 in Ridgeway, Elk County, Pennsylvania.  Her death certificate lists Jaccob Taylor (odd spelling, typo or was that how he spelled it?) and Unknown (Hancock).   The informant for her certificate was her daughter, Florence using her married name of Mrs. Oscar Campbell.  Yes, she married a 3rd cousin.

Eleanor Adaline Taylor Campbell's death certificate
Eleanor's death certificate

It would appear that Eleanor didn’t use her given name most times.  Most everything I find for her has her as Ada E. (1890 census), Addie (1910 census), or Adda (1920 census), with one odd Elner A, (1900 census) thrown for good measure. 

I can put Samuel using census records only for now, in the home of James and Anna Campbell in 1870.  They were in Snyder Township, Blair County, Pennsylvania, and in 1880 in Boggs, Centre County, Pennsylvania.  By the 1890 census, Samuel and Ada were married and living in Boggs, Centre, along with their son Herbert (my paternal grandfather), and daughter Florence.

Census records have the family still in Boggs in 1900, then in Milesburg for the 1910 and 1920 census.  So, unlike his father, Samuel didn’t move around following the iron mills.  He is listed in various iron working occupations from 1880 through 1900, then he went to work for the railroad.

(Note to self:  Get back to looking for any railroad pension records!)

Campbell house in Milesburg, PA
I believe that this a photo of Samuel, Ada, and their granddaughter, Adaline at the house in Milesburg, Centre County.

Oh, the second thing that happened on 16 January was in 1982.  Wifey and I got married too!

Wedding Picture
Damn I was skinny!


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03 January 2021

To Cast or Not To Cast?

Right up front I will tell you I have no plans of doing a podcast.  I can’t imagine anyone wanting to sit and listen to me ramble incoherently for any length of time.  I mean if that’s something that you enjoy, may I recommend listening to any political press conference.  And if you’re really masochistic about it, there’s a certain elected person that has to be some kind of idiot-savant in this area.  I’m not naming names here…

And here’s the thing.  I am not a fan of podcasts or audio books.  I just can’t sit and listen to people talk no matter the subject matter.  My mind drifts to easily.  All I would need is a video of the speaker or speakers.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a “zoom” type of broadcast, or some professional thing with a soundtrack and credits rolling at the end.  Just something for me to focus on please.

I know lots of folks that love podcasts and audio books.  Seems some folks even listen to “Books on Tape” while driving.  I would nod off before the first page was finished.  Lord forbid it was a long-distance trip.  Major carnage would ensure.

In the meantime, I’m down a rabbit hole following a completely unsourced tree that has one of the lines on my mother’s side.  While this tree has some good leads on a few generations father back, it gets rather out of hand and claims descent from the Royal Stuart line of Scotland.  James II to be honest.

I’ve posted before about how many Americans seem to covet a royal ancestor.  Now I’m not saying that I would be upset to find a “royal” in my heritage.  Quite the opposite.  I’ve already determined that my Campbell line is not descended from the Duke’s line.   It’s not causing me to lose any sleep.  

I have not checked to see if my DNA, either Y-DNA or atDNA, can be matched with of the markers for the Stuarts or not.  I doubt that I will match in anyway.  I should mention that this so called connection is via an illegitimate child.  So no, I won’t be starting another Jacobite uprising.  Besides, I’m not Catholic.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it yet again.  Do not trust any genealogy data on the web that is not backed up with good documentation.  This rabbit hole I’m in is a prime example.  I knew from the beginning that the “connection” to James II would not be valid.  Before I go into detail on the errors of this tree, a little background as to why I even went down this rabbit warren.

In this post (and it’s follow up), I mentioned how I had to work through lots of errors, committed by myself and many others, in correcting a family for my great grandmother, Julia “Jewel” Sawyer.  Long story short, I corrected her mother’s line from Turbeville to Dozier.  This whole story comes from that unsourced tree I found has what appears to be that Dozier and her husband’s family, Flowers, back a few more generations.  So I was hoping only to find those few generations back on those two names only.  I will mention that the reason this tree is unsourced is it is on FamilyTreeDNA.  The trees on that site do not have the usual documentation available.  No census records, birth, marriage, or death certificates.  All it is for is to let you match your DNA with other folks so you can contact them to share records and hints.  So the tree owner is not to be faulted for not having documentation. 

Once I looked at the next generations for the Flowers and Dozier lines, and added them to my tree – marked as “UNVERIFIED”, I kept going down the various branches.  And that’s where the “gotcha” hit.

My 4th great grandmother is Martha Flowers.  I had that in my tree before this started.  But I didn’t have her parents.  According to this tree, her parents were Henry Burwell Flowers, Jr. and Rachel Stuart.  I have now found documents that give me a good probability of this being the correct parents.  So far, so good.

Rachel’s parents would be David Stuart and Elizabeth McQueen.  Nothing odd there.  David’s parents, David Stuart and Jane Gibbons, and Elizabeth’s were John McQueen and Janet Stewart.  Still nothing really odd.  Yes, both have a common name in their parentage, but they are spelled differently.  I did think that maybe there was some endogamy going on.  Endogamy is the custom of marrying only within the limits of a locality, community, tribe, or clan.  This is during the period of the American colonies, so the courting/marrying pool would be less than back in home in the kingdom.  Still not worried.

But let’s skip back a few generations.  All the way back to what would be my 12th great grandfather (if I believed this tree).  He would be Esme Stewart, 1st Duke of Lennox, 6th Lord of Aubigny, and his wife Katherine de Balsac.  Lord Darnley was a 1st cousin to Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, the second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, and was a 1st cousin, once removed (1C1R) of King James VI.

Lord and Lady Stewart had five children but we are interested in just two of the three daughters.  Lady Henrietta Stewart married George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly.  Lady Mary Stewart married John Erskine, Earl of Mar.  This is all very documented in countless books. 

Now it gets interesting.  Go down 4 generations from Lady Henrietta, her 2nd great grandson is Charles Stuart, 6th Earl of Moray.  Go down 3 generations from Lady Mary and you get her great granddaughter Lucy Erskine. 

I’m sure you see this coming, but Charles and Lucy married.  Of course they did.  If I did the generational math correctly (no guarantee) Lady Lucy would be Lord Charles 2nd great aunt.  Honestly, I’m not in the least bit sure what their relationship was.  Someone give me an answer in the comments, please?

Here’s the basic tree.  Maybe looking at it will make it a tiny bit more understandable.


SVG Family Tree TreeDarnley

Generated by Parallax View's SVG Family-Tree Generator V5.3.3. See https://parallax-viewpoint.blogspot.com/2018/09/svg-family-tree-generator-v50.html Born in 1958. Bruce L. Campbell (1958–) Born in 1912. Died in 1985. Donald S. Campbell (1912–1985) Born in 1921. Died in 2001. Geneva M. Hicks (1921-2001) Born in 1898. Died in 1949. Talmadge W. Hicks (1898–1949) Born in 1898. Died in 1972. Dora Calder (1898–1972) Born in 1877. Died in 1944. Daniel P Hicks (1877–1944) Born in 1871 in South Carolina. Died in 1963 in South Carolina. Julia V Sawyer (1871–1963) Born in 1827. Died in 1910. Thomas Sawyer (1827–1910) Born in 1836. Elizabeth C. Dozier (1836–) Henry F. Dozier (?–) Sarah J. Rowell (?–) James T. Dozier (?–) Martha Flowers (?–) Born in 1748 in Marion, South Carolina, USA. Died on Wednesday November 5, 1806 in Marion, South Carolina, USA. Henry B. F. Jr (1748–1806) Born in 1755 in Craven, North Carolina, USA. Died on Tuesday October 30, 1827 in Marion, South Carolina, USA. Rachel Stuart (1755–1827) Born in 1733 in Virginia Colony. Died in 1789 in Marlborough, South Carolina, USA. David Stuart (1733–1789) Born in 1736 in Society Hill, Darlington, South Carolina, USA. Died in 1791 in Richmond, North Carolina, USA. Elizabeth McQueen (1736–1791) Died on Friday January 31, 1749 in Virginia Colony. David I Stuart (?–1749) Born in 1699 in Abdie Church, Fife, Scotland. Died on Saturday January 24, 1750 in St Pauls, Stafford, Virginia. Jane Gibbons (1699–1750) Born in 1656 in Darnaway Castle, Dyke, Moray, Scotland. Died in 1730 in Scotland. Charles Stuart (1656–1730) Born in 1650 in Scotland. Lucy Erskine (1650–) Born in 1634 in Darnaway Castle, Dyke, Moray, Scotland. Died on Tuesday November 1, 1701 in Donibristle, Fife, Scotland. Alexander Stuart (1634–1701) Born in 1626 in Pitcullo Castle, Cupar, Fife, Scotland. Died on Sunday January 17, 1683 in Darnaway Castle, Dyke, Moray, Scotland. Amelia Balfour (1626–1683) Born on Tuesday April 6, 1627 in Broughton, Midlothian, Scotland. Died in 1671 in Scotland. David Erskine (1627–1671) Unknown (?–) Born in 1608 in Dyke, Moray, Scotland. James Stuart (1608–) Born on Thursday June 28, 1607 in Exton, Rutland, England. Died on Saturday May 1, 1683 in Scotland. Margaret Home (1607–1683) Born on Monday September 26, 1605 in Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland. Died on Saturday April 1, 1628 in Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland. Henry Erskine (1605–1628) Born on Monday April 1, 1602 in Broughton, Dorset, England. Died on Sunday January 1, 1640 in Scotland. Margaret Bellenden (1602–1640) Born in 1581. Died in (Date?). James Stewart (1581-Date?) Born in 1610. Died in 1674. Anne Gordon (1610–1674) Born in 1563 in Huntly Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Died on Friday June 13, 1636 in Dundee, Angus, Scotland. George Gordon (1563–1636) Born on Saturday April 7, 1573 in Aubigny-sur-Nere, Cher, Centre, France. Died on Saturday August 2, 1642 in Lyons, Rhône, Rhône-Alpes, France. Henriette Stewart (1573–1642) Born in 1558 in Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland. Died on Thursday December 14, 1634 in Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland. John L. C. Erskine (1558–1634) Born on Wednesday April 7, 1576 in Aubigny, Cher, Centre, France. Died on Wednesday May 11, 1644 in Strathblane, Stirlingshire, Scotland. Mary Stuart (1576–1644) Born on Wednesday April 1, 1542 in Lennox Castle, Midlothian, Scotland. Died on Thursday May 26, 1583 in Ville, Paris, Ile-de-France, France. Esme S. of Darnley (1542–1583) Born in 1547 in Entrages, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France. Died in 1631 in Paris, Île-de-France, France. Katherine De Balsac (1547–1631)

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to pour me a double…


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P.S. Wasn’t I talking about podcasts?  What happened to that??

28 December 2020

Genealogy Software Questions

I started my genealogy quest some time ago.  I couldn’t give an exact date, but it was in 1997 or so.  I had retired from the Army and was working at a small computer shop.  I set up my first account at Ancestry and didn’t have any software on my home PC, so everything was online. 

One day I was working on a client’s PC at his house and noticed that he had lots of family history items displayed.  One thing that caught my eye was a large, framed photo of a soldier in a Union Civil War uniform.  He told me it was a picture of his grandfather.  I thought that a photo like this was something I wished I had.  One thing led to another and when he learned that I had just started in my family tree search he showed me his laptop and how he did his genealogy.

He was using Family Tree Maker.  Back then it was published by Broderbund.  So that’s what I bought and started using as a local copy, as well as keeping my Ancestry tree going.  FTM has been bought and sold by quite a few companies since then.  And I’ve continued to use it off and on since.  It’s a love-hate thing.

I’ve played around with other software over the years.  I still have Legacy Family Tree installed on my laptop.  I mostly use that for looking at what I call my “combined” tree.  It’s combined because it has both mine and my wife’s trees together.  The problem is this tree is riddled with errors.  Back when I started this whole genealogy thing, I would tend to accept any and everything I found.  I now know better, but back then I was naive.  I added branches from known cousins to both sides of the tree that turned out to have no documentation at all.  Some of those I have proven to be good connections, but mostly I was burned.  But this big tree helps me look at the possible connections that I’m trying to prove now.  It is for reference only.  I’ve also played around with Heredis, RootsMagic, and The Master Genealogist.  Hell, I even tried GRAMPS on Linux!

I have not tried the Family Historian, but from I remember it doesn’t sync with Ancestry.  It has been some time since I looked into it, so it may have changed.  And I may be misremembering too.  Wifey says I do that all the time.

But as I mentioned, I have a love-hate thing with FTM.  Their tech support isn’t the best, but it’s not terrible.  But the usual answer I get for some of my bigger issues is “start over”.  I have no desire to start my main tree all over.  There are over 7000 names in the tree. 

The three main issues I have with FTM that tech support can’t figure out;

1.       I have cross-linked documents.  By this I mean I’ll have a census for a member of the family that is linked to not only the correct person but also to someone else that is not a member of that family.  Or it will be linked to a second person that was not alive when that census was taken.  This has been going on for over a year, and probably longer, but that’s about when I got this new laptop, and the log files start with the new install, and that's as far back I we can go to troubleshoot.
2.       I have documents linked to folks in Ancestry that do not get linked to my local copy when I sync.  So while the 1870 census shows up for a ancestor in Ancestry, it’s not showing on my laptop in FTM.  This is a rather common occurrence.
3.       My local tree has about 100 more people than the online version.  Tech support showed my how to get a chart that will show the folks that aren’t attached.  Great! If it worked.  The chart does show about 15 people floating in jetsam.  That’s nowhere near the difference in the head count.  Plus, the majority of the folks unattached are listed elsewhere in the correct families in the chart.  If I removed the floaters, both entries go away, the correct person and the “extra”.

So, here’s the question.  Sorry it took so long to get around to this.  How about some recommendations for what you use and why? 

Here’s what I need:

  • Must sync both ways with Ancestry.  I’ve been with them too long to start over.  Plus, all my siblings are there and I’m not about to try to walk them through switching to something else.
  • Gedcom import/export.

Things that would be nice:

  • Support for other software packages like Evidentia or Clooz.
  • Tech support that isn’t on Facebook.  I really, really, REALLY do not care for Facebook.  User groups for the software on FB is fine, but not the company.
  • Good reporting tools.
  • Charts.  Oh yes, I need charts.  Lots of them.
  • Mapping. 
  • Support for more than one tree.

I did have an account with MyHeritage but had to let it go due to expenses.  I can only afford one big genealogy service, so I will stick with Ancestry for the reasons I stated above.

So, what are your thoughts?  Do you have a genealogy software package you love?  Please let me know in the comments.  But I have to admit that putting the issues I’m having down in writing makes me think a “do-over” may be in order.  I may try to sync the online tree with a new empty tree locally first.


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