23 January 2021

Voting and the 1870 US Census

 For the last few weeks, I have been working on my Campbell line almost exclusively.  I have had a possible breakthrough on one of my mother’s lines during this time, but I keep coming back to the Campbell’s.   After all, the search for that elusive Campbell immigrant is the whole reason I started this genealogy trek all those years ago.  And sadly, I’m still no closer than I was ten years ago.

This story is about my 2x GGF, James Campbell.  I am secure that this gentleman is indeed my ancestor, but I cannot go any further back in time with a high degree of certainty.  I have 9 pages of typed notes in my quest for his parents.  I do have a strong suspicion on just who they are, but I haven’t enough proof to lay claim quite yet.

Here’s what I can say with certainty; my father was Donald Sherwood Campbell, he was born to Herbert J. Campbell and Josephine Melinda Bodle (Nanny to me) on 28 March 1912 in Milesburg, Centre County, Pennsylvania.  I have his death certificate for documentation, and many memories of Nanny telling me about her husband, Herbert.  We lost Herbert during the “Spanish” flu pandemic in 1919.  I can also remember my father and Nanny talking about an Uncle Hiram.  Nanny passed away in 1975, long before I started this quest, so I couldn’t ask her any more questions.  No one in the family could remember Herbert’s parents, other than this Uncle Hiram.

After my father passed away my mother moved back to South Carolina, her family’s home state.  She had a large, detached garage on the property that many boxes of odds and ends that were never unpacked after the move stored there.  On one of our family trips to see my mother my wife and I started going through those boxes to see if we could find any clue as to either side of the family.  We were warned that it would be a fruitless endeavor.  Nope!  We found a mostly ruined baby book of my eldest sister’s.  And in that book, were Herbert’s parents (and several generations on my mother’s side too!).  So now I had a good lead.  I needed to find a Samuel W Campbell and his wife Adaline.

So off I went, back to Ancestry to look at the census records.  Back then, about 1998, not all of the census records were indexed, and you had to go page by page looking for names.  I would start in the last city or town, or even county I had of the family and start scanning.  I should also mention that I was doing this while at work.  My day job was running a computer service department.  I would start a few PCs on some task, and then using my workstation scan the census records on Ancestry while the computers did their thing.  It was a pretty cool setup.

Since Nanny told me that Herbert and died during the flu pandemic, I had a general idea of the time frame.  I sent a request to the Pennsylvania Vital Records folks to get a copy of his death certificate.  I guess I got lucky with the person who handled my request.  I “assumed” that Herbert had died in the Centre County area.  I had no records or stories that told me anything else.  One day (at work again), I received a call from a very nice person from the vital records saying she couldn’t find a death for any Herbert Campbell in Centre County, but did find one in Allegheny County.  The date was during the correct time frame, the cause of death mentions influenza, and the decedent’s father was Samuel.  Three facts I knew.  Commence to doing the genealogy happy dance!

Herbert Campbell's death certificate
Herbert's death certificate

It was a bit more scanning and luck that led me to census records for Samuel and family.  The issue there was that Adaline was not Samuel’s wife given name.  It’s Eleanor, Adaline is her middle name.  While it’s not uncommon for folks to go by their middle names, especially when they are named for someone that’s still alive, the prevalence of this amazes me.  I found the family in Boggs Township, Centre County in the 1900 census.  Adaline is listed as "Ada E." in 1890 census replacement, "Elner A." in the 1900 census, "Addie" in the 1910 census, and as "Adda" in the 1920 census.

Samuel and Eleanor's Headstone
Samuel and Eleanor's Headstone

Samuel’s death certificate, with Adaline as informant, gives us James Campbell as his father and Anna Calley as his mother.  So, here’s the first clue for names to start looking for.  In the 1890 census replacement for Centre County, over in Milesburg we can find Anna E. Campbell, with daughter Catherine and son Hiram J., age 22.  Here is Uncle Hiram I mentioned earlier.  Turns out that Hiram was dad’s great uncle, brother to his grandfather, Samuel.  Hey, an uncle is an uncle, right?

Samuel's death certificate.
Samuel's death certificate.

I now have another confirmation on Samuel’s mother “Anna”, and a sister Catherine.  Working backwards from 1890, I find the family first in the 1870 census (Samuel was born in 1861, so this would be the first census he would have been counted in).  And this is where this portion of the story is paused, but will be continued in another post, on another date.  This post is about that 1870 census, remember?

What was different about the 1870 census?  For me, just one question.  In column 20 it reads –

                “Male Citizens of the U.S. of 21 years of age and upwards where rights to vote is denied on other grounds then rebellion or other crime”.

It would appear that James has a tick mark in that column.  It may be just a stray mark, but it looks rather deliberate to me.  Even if it’s leaning the opposite way from the other marks for James.  Looking through all 36 pages of the census for Snyder Township, there are no other marks in column 20.

The 1870 census for James and family, the tick mark is in column 20 on the far right of the image.
The 1870 census for James and family, the tick mark is in column 20 on the far right of the image.

But just what does that mean?  Looking at the census website, the instructions aren’t all that clear, at least not to me –

“… It is a matter of more delicacy to obtain the information required by column 20. Many persons never try to vote, and therefore do not know whether their right to vote is or is not abridged. It is not only those whose votes have actually been challenged, and refused at the polls for some disability or want of qualification, who must be reported in this column; but all who come within the scope of any State law denying or abridging suffrage to any class or individual on any other ground than the par­ticipation in rebellion, or legal conviction of crime. Assistant marshals, therefore, will be required carefully to study the laws of their own States in these respects, and to sat­isfy themselves, in the case of each male citizen of the United States above the age of 21 years, whether he does not, come within one of these classes.” (Italics mine)
  Source: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/technical-documentation/questionnaires/1870/1870-instructions.html   

Hmm..  As I read it (and I am not a lawyer, and I don’t play one on TV), it would seem that to be included on this one must have been denied voting privileges due to

·         Some disability.  Maybe mental issues?

·         Want of Qualification.  That’s rather generic.  Here I’m thinking non-citizens (Native American’s were still not listed as citizens, nor were Mexican-Americans).

·         All who come within the scope of any State law denying or abridging suffrage to any class or individual on any other ground than the par­ticipation in rebellion, or legal conviction of crime.  Huh?  Just what does that mean?  Does it mean that if one tried to stop someone else from voting for a reason other than rebellion or conviction, they were also denied the vote? 

I am still trying to figure this one out.  I’m still looking for more resources for 1870 Pennsylvania and suffrage.  

The most likely reason I can find is a resident requirement.  It may be that James had just moved into Snyder Township from Franklin Township and had not met a requirement.  James and family did move often.  As an iron worker he, and his brothers, moved around from iron forge to iron forge.

Interestingly, I can find a James Campbell in the 1890 census as an inmate in the Western Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane.  If this is him, and I’m not discounting it, that would give us the answer to the tick mark in 1870, and maybe why he’s not listed with the family in 1890. 

1900 Census showing James Campbell as an inmate
1900 Census showing James Campbell as an inmate

None of the possible male siblings I have for James are noted as having their right to vote denied.

Anyone else have an ancestor with a tick mark in column 20 of the 1870 census?  Let me know if you’ve figured out as to why that mark is there if you have one.


Twitter  Instagram  FaceBook
Random Rambins’

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!


Twitter  Instagram  FaceBook
Random Ramblins’


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…


Twitter  Instagram  FaceBook
Random Ramblins’

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