Charles Campbell (c1750-c1825): Unique Y DNA Chips Away at Parental Brick Wall – 52 Ancestors #256

I’ve been struggling for years, decades actually, to identify the father of Charles Campbell of Hawkins County, Tennessee. We’re finally making progress by combining family oral history with traditional records research, Y DNA, and the process of elimination – thanks to a combination of people.

I think you’ll find the twists and turns in this journey interesting. It sure has been enlightening!

Thank Goodness for my Campbell Cousin!

Recently, my Campbell cousin agreed to take a Y DNA test.

He descends from my John Campbell through son William Newton Campbell whose line migrated to Texas. William died in 1908 in Davidson, Oklahoma.

Charles Campbell testers.png

Sadly, both earlier testers from the Charles Campbell line have passed away, so their Y DNA tests can’t be upgraded. My Campbell cousin represented by kit 905207 has been the critical link in what I think might just be a chink in the long-standing brick wall of Charles Campbell.

And if it isn’t THE chink, it’s still chipping away at that wall.

Who Were Charles Campbell’s Parents?

Charles Campbell was in Hawkins County in 1788, in what would become Tennessee in 1796. He may have been in Sullivan County as early as 1783.

The people who settled in this part of eastern Tennessee, and specifically in the neighborhood along Dodson Creek where Charles Campbell owned land and lived most of his life arrived in what is known as the Rockingham migration.

In fact, this 1784 tax list from Rockingham County, VA shows several people who were Charles Campbell’s direct neighbors in Hawkins County, including Michael Roark whose property abutted Charles’. In addition, the Grigsbee (Grigsby) family is found nearby as well as the Kite family whose property is just down the road beside the Louderbacks.

Charles Campbell 1784 Rockingham.png

However, looking on the 1782 tax list for Rockingham County doesn’t show Charles Campbell who was having children as early as 1770, so was assuredly an adult on personal property tax lists, someplace, by 1782, assuming he wasn’t in a wagon on his way to the next frontier.

Note that Lexington, Virginia, now in Rockbridge County, but then in Augusta County, is on the same migration path down the Shenandoah Valley – the only reasonable path from Rockingham County to the area on Dodson Creek just south of Rogersville, Tennessee.

Charles Campbell Rockingham to Rogersville.png

It’s 72 miles from Rockingham to Lexington. You have to go through Rockbridge County, on the main road at that time, to get to east Tennessee from Rockingham County.

We know, from deeds, that Gilbert Campbell lived on the main road, a location at the ferry where travelers would stop to rest, and talk, and discuss the new frontier where land was available for the asking.

This is most likely the path that Charles Campbell traveled in the 1780s. But where did he come from, and who were his parents? Is there any way to make that discovery?

Y DNA Matching

Our Campbell tester matches both of the earlier two descendants of Charles Campbell, as expected, but there’s another person that this group matches as well.

At 111 markers, my cousin matches a descendant of Gilbert Campbell who wrote his will in 1750 and died in 1751 in Rockbridge County, VA.

Charles Campbell match.png

Looking at the Campbell DNA Project, the Campbell men are part of the HUGE group 30, compromised of many, many Campbell descendants. However, look at who kit 81436, a descendant of Charles through son George, matches most closely.

Charles Campbell Gilbert match

Click to enlarge

Yep, Gilbert again.

The Campbell Article

All I can say is that I’m extremely grateful for the Campbell DNA Project at Family Tree DNA, because without this project, and project administrator Kevin Campbell, this brick wall wouldn’t even be threatened.

Kevin along with James A. Campbell wrote an article that was published in the Journal of the Clan Campbell Society (North America) Vol. 43, No. 2, Spring 2016.

To set the stage, two groups of Campbell families settled in Augusta County, VA in the late 1730s as land became available in the Borden tract. Both groups had as their progenitor a man named Duncan Campbell, born in Scotland. No confusion there, right?

One Duncan moved to Ulster County, Ireland and died. His descendants immigrated into Pennsylvania in 1726, then on into Augusta County about 1738, according to the article’s endnotes.

This is the group, shown along the South River where the green arrows point, that our Campbell line matches most closely.

The Tinkling Spring Church, the first formed in the area is shown as well. For many years, the minister baptized children in homes because either a church building didn’t yet exist or was too distant. He baptized Gilbert’s son, Charles, in 1741.

Charles Campbell north and south.png

The second Campbell group, shown in red, settled along the North River in present-day Rockingham County, about 15 miles north of Staunton, then Orange County where we find a description of a deed in 1745. This family’s oral history relates that their ancestor, also Duncan Campbell, never left Scotland before immigrating to the colonies.

The red line is unquestionably not our line.

Gilbert Campbell’s land was located in present day Lexington, further south yet.

In the article, Kevin describes how he determined that the Campbell families of Southwest Virginia, specifically Augusta County, are actually two separate Duncan Campbell lines of Campbell men. This doesn’t mean they are unrelated historically, but it does mean their common ancestor is many generations in the past.

Thankfully, the 2 lines have developed enough mutations over time that patterns exist in both lines that set them apart from each other.

Let me review the relevant portions of the article that are pertinent both geographically and historically, as well as genetically.

This excerpt is indeed exactly how I feel about my Charles Campbell.

“Just looking at land transactions involving Charles Campbell from 1740-1770 in Augusta County and lands just south of Augusta County was disheartening. How many Charles were there? How did they relate? One needed a genealogical chart just to map Charles Campbell.

Who was, or were, Charles Campbell of Augusta County?”

The researcher who said that was Catherine Bushman who reported that there were two Charles Campbells in Augusta County in the 1740s on to past mid-century. One Charles Campbell was found on the North River who held land with Hugh Campbell at Mount Crawford. A second Charles was found on the South Shenandoah River who had multiple, sizeable land holdings. These men lived 20 miles apart.

But neither of these men can be our Charles, because our Charles died about 1825, so he would not have been alive and owning land by 1740.

But still, we have two adult males named Charles who might be the parents or relatives of my Charles. Unfortunately, neither of them appear to live in the green group.

The DNA of the North and South Augusta Campbells

Kevin compared the DNA of several males who are proven to descend from the North and South Augusta County Campbell lines.

On all 10 differentiating markers that form the signatures of the North and South groups, our Charles Campbell men match the South Campbell group, meaning that our Charles Campbell group is more closely related to Duncan Campbell whose descendants lived along the South River – the descendants of “White David” Campbell and his brother Patrick Campbell.

“White David” and Patrick were the sons of John Campbell and Grissel “Grace” Hay, who was reportedly the son of Duncan Campbell and Mary McCoy.

To the best of our knowledge, neither of these families had a Gilbert. Who was Gilbert?

Gilbert Campbell

The descendants of Gilbert Campbell have another defining group of markers that are only found among this group.

Charles Campbell Gilbert markers.png

While all of the testers have tested at marker CDY, only three have tested at markers DYS710 and DYS510. The other two yellow men are deceased, of course, but it’s very likely they would match kit 905207 given their proven line of descent.

The only close Campbell line matches who carry these markers are our three men and the descendant of Gilbert plus an unidentified William born in 1750 in Virginia and died in Alabama. The closest is Gilbert and he’s in the right place at the right time.

So, where did Gilbert Campbell live and what do we know about him?

I reached out to Kevin Campbell again, and he provided what he could. There isn’t much known, but combining what he provided with what I found elsewhere, there is at least something.

Gilbert lived in the right place at the right time, in what is now Lexington, Virginia, located in Rockbridge County.

Gilbert Has a Son, Charles

Perhaps the single most exciting piece of evidence discovered about Gilbert Campbell, in combination with his location, is that he had a son named Charles.

In the book Tinkling Spring, Headwater of Freedom, A Study of the Church and her People 1732-1952 by Howard McKnight Wilson, published in 1954, we discover the following:

Page 73 – The location of this road is shown at strategic points on the original map of Maryland and Virginia made by Colonel Joshua Fry…and Colonel Peter Jefferson…in the year 1751. Leaving Philadelphia, the road went through the present location at Lancaster, PA turned southwest and crossed the Potomac at Williamsferry (now Williamsport, Maryland) and continues south by the present site of Winchester, VA. It kept to the east in the Shenandoah Valley, then down Mill Creek and across North River of the James at Gilbert Campbell’s Ford, and on toward Roanoke, turning southward just west of Tinker’s Creek on the outskirts of the present city of Roanoke.

Page 74 – Orange County, VA court order dated May 23, 1745, the Augusta County people were authorized to make the first improvements upon this road, where it fell within the bounds of the new county. Report of the commissioners is as follows: …Inhabitants between the mountains above Thompson’s Ford and Tinkling Spring do clear the same and the said road continue from Tinkling Spring to Beverley Manor line and that Patrick Campbell, John Buchanan and William Henderson be overseers and that all the inhabitants above Tinkling Spring and Beverley Manor line do clear the same and that the said road continue from Beverley Manor line to Gilbert Campbell’s Ford on the north branch of the James River and…that the road continue from Gilbert Campbell’s Ford to a ford a the Cherry Tree Bottom on the James River…and that a distinct order be given to every gang to clear the same and that it be cleared as it is already blazed and laid off with two notches and a cross…dated April 8, 1745.

Page 471 – Record of Baptisms by Reverend John Craig. Charles Campbell, son of Gilbert Campbell, October 15, 1741, at the house of Gilbert Campbell on the North Branch of the James River.

Woohoooo – look at that!!!

What other records exist for Gilbert and his wife?

In the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia by Lyman Chalkey, Volume 1, page 27, we discover what was surely the high drama soap-opera of the day. Everyone who could possibly attend court would have, and those who couldn’t surely waited anxiously for the sound of hoofbeats upon the road – the first person to return so they could hear what had happened.

Charles Campbell Gilbert 1747.pngCharles Campbell Gilbert 1747 2.png

Of course this begs the question of the identify of Mary Ann Campbell, and was she related to Prudence in some fashion? Unfortunately, Mary Ann is still anonymous, but we do have information on the immediate family members of Gilbert, and she’s not a daughter.

Gilbert Campbell’s Family

The family group sheet provided for Gilbert Campbell by the Clan Campbell Society provides the name of the wife and children of Gilbert. Gilbert’s wife was named Prudence and is reported with a surname spelled both Osran and Puran (Chalkey pages 19 and 22), in Augusta County Court records and elsewhere as Osmun and Ozran. Prudence died before March 16, 1768. The society lists their marriage as having occurred in Pennsylvania, but the source is not mentioned, with information as follows:

Gilbert died before February of 1750 (old date, 1751 new date.)

  • Son James born about 1734 in Ireland, married Elizabeth.
  • Daughter Elizabeth born about 1736 in Ireland, married a Woods.
  • Daughter Prudence born about 1738 in Ireland, married a Hays.
  • Daughter Sarah born about 1740 in Virginia.
  • Son George born October 21, 1740 and died on February 7, 1814, both in Augusta County. Married in 1765 to Agness McClure 1746-1797.
  • Daughter Lettis born in 1743 in Albemarle County married John Woods. (Note that if George was born in Augusta County in 1740, it’s unlikely that Lettis was born in Albemarle.)
  • Charles Campbell born in 1741.

If their date for the birth of Gilbert’s son, James, is accurate, he cannot be the father of our Charles who was born before 1750, based on the dates of the births of his sons. How the society estimated the date of James’ birth is unknown.


In 1742, Gilbert purchased 389 acres of land in the Borden Tract (Forks of the James River, now in Rockbridge County,) from Benjamin Borden for 11 pounds, 13 shillings, and 4 pence. The Crossing of the North Fork of the James (now Murray) River was known as Campbell’s Ferry. Roughly a decade after building his home, Gilbert died. According to Chalkey, persons owning land adjacent to Gilbert’s were John Moore (Chalkley, v3, p263), John Allison (ibid, p. 267-8), Robert Moore (ibit, p. 272) and Joseph Walker (after Gilbert’s death) (ibid, p. 340).

This is interesting because Jane Allison married Robert Campbell, the son of John Campbell and Grissel Hay, in Rockbridge County. Robert wound up in northern Hawkins County, Tennessee and his son James was long believed to be the father of brothers George and John Campbell. I chased this James, and his children for years, and there’s not even a shred of a hint of evidence that he was the father of George and John.

However, there could have been some morsel of truth in that they could have been related.

Gilbert’s Will

The abstract of Gilbert Campbell’s will is found in Lyman Chalkley’s Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, Vol. 3, p.19., Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1989.

The original is found in Augusta Co. Court, Will Book No. 1, p. 294. The abstract reads as follows, along with additional information:

Page 294: 29th August, 1750. Gilbert Campbell’s will, of Forks of James River, plantationer

  • Wife, Prudence Campbell, alias Osran
  • Son, George (infant)
  • Son Charles (infant)
  • Daughter, Elizabeth Woods, alias Campbell
  • Son, James
  • Daughter, Prudence Hays
  • Daughter, Sarah Campbell
  • Daughter, Lattice Campbell

Executors, James Trimble, Thomas Stuart and Andrew Hays.

Teste: James Thompson, Robert Allison, Alex. McMullen.

Proved, 26 February, 1750 (current 1751), by Thompson and Allison, and probate granted to Andrew Hays.”

Page 308. — 27th February, 1750-51. Andrew Hays’ bond as executor of Gilbert Campbell, with sureties Charles Hays, James Walker.” (Chalkley, v. 3, p. 20).

Page 372. — 23 May 1751. Gilbert Campbell’s appraisement, by Alex. McMullan, Robert Allison, James Thompson, Andrew Hays. (Chalkley, v. 3, p. 22).

Page 373. — 23rd May 1751. Appraisment of goods left by Gilbert Campbell to his wife, Prudence Campbell, alias Puran. (Chalkley, p. 22)

Will Book No. 2. Page 243. — 17th May 1758. George Campbell’s bond (with Robert McElheny, Robt. Moore) as guardian to Lettice Campbell, orphan of Gilbert Campbell.” (Chalkley, v. 3, page 48.)

Chalkley’s Abstracts, Vol 3, p. 102: Will Book No. 4 includes the following statement: “Page 82. . . 16 March 1768. Prudence Campbell’s proven account. . . “

It’s worth noting that James is not mentioned as an infant, meaning he was born before in 1729 or earlier, so the society’s estimate of 1734 is off by several years, unless they have used age 16 as the definition of “not an infant.”

It’s interesting that no guardians were appointed for George or Charles, or those documents haven’t been preserved/discovered/reported.

While Chalkey provides the extract of Gilbert’s will, in an old Rootsweb list posting, Gilbert’s full will is provided by Tim Campbell.

1750 Page 294: 29th August, 1750. Gilbert Campbell’s will, of Forks of James River, plantationer–Wife, Prudence Osran Campbell, alias Osran; son, George Campbell (infant); son, Charles Campbell (infant); daughter, Elizabeth Campbell Woods, alias Campbell; son, James Campbell; daughter, Prudence Campbell Hays; daughter, Sarah Campbell; daughter, Lattice Campbell. Executors, James Trimble, Thomas Stuart and Andrew Hays. Teste: James Thompson, Robert Allison, Alex. McMuIlen. Proved, 26th February, 1751, by Thompson and Allison, and probate granted to Andrew Hays. Augusta County Will Book 1

A copy of this document in is Tim Campbells’ files. Gilbert Campbell left his plantation to wife Prudence until son George came of age, at which time she was to have half, then when son Charles came of age, she was to have just the house and adjacent field, i.e., the 2 boys were to receive parts of the plantation as they came of age. George was to receive the half “next to the river” and Charles was to receive the other half. Children Elizabeth, James and Prudence were to receive one crown apiece. Charles and George were to pay the other 2 siblings, Sarah and Lattice, 2 pounds each and 20 pounds was to be set aside for their well being out of the plantation.

Land Location

Rockbridge County VA Deed book A page 7, April 7, 1778 – Joseph Walker sells to William Graham 291 acres (then in Botetourt, now Rockbridge County), bounded on north by James River, corner Gilbert Campbell’s and John Moore’s.

The part of Rockbridge where Lexington is located appears to have fall into Botetourt County for about a year.

Using Borden’s land grant map located here, along with an index located here, I have been able to locate Gilbert’s land in what is now Lexington, Virginia adjacent a James Campbell who was possibly/probably Gilbert’s brother. One of James’ tracts adjoined Gilberts and another was close by.

Charles Campbell Rockbridge map.png

On the detailed plat maps, here, that can’t be reproduced, tracts 198 and 184 are adjacent, while 172 is a bit more distant on the bend of the river. By searching for the names of Gilbert’s neighbors listed in deeds, you can see that the Moore, Allison and Campbell families all lived adjacent one-another.

Charles Campbell Gilbert google map.png

Looking at Google maps, it’s easy to overlay the approximation of Gilbert’s land, along with that of James. The James who obtained the 434 acres of land in 1756 could have been Gilbert’s son by either age estimation, but he could also have been a brother, other relative, or unrelated. The James obtaining the 175 acres of land adjacent Gilbert’s land in 1768 could have been brother or son, but is likely related.

Charles Campbell Lexington.png

A Campbell researcher descended from Gilbert’s son George tells us the following:

In my visit to the Rockbridge Co Historical Society last year I learned that the town of Lexington is on Gilbert’s plantation of 389 acres. Washington and Lee Univ. sits on top of the hill where Gilbert’s home was located. Gilbert’s ferry was where the waterfall is crossing the now Maury River (renamed from North River.) Has anyone found the marriage for Gilbert and Prudence??? I found in a book at their public library that Gilbert was quite active in the Presbyterian Church. Does anyone know where in Rockbridge he is buried?

Here’s a closer view of that area.

Charles Campbell Gilbert closeup.png

A very, very interesting aspect of this land is that the trail may not go cold with the death of Gilbert. When Gilbert died in 1751, his will dictated that his land descend to his two sons, George and Charles when they came of age.

Additional Charles Campbell Information.

Charles, the son of Gilbert would have come of age in 1762.

Our Charles had sons John and George in about 1770 and 1772, but it’s not known how many other children he might have had, or his wife’s name.

Aside from the names of his sons, the location of his land and neighbors in Hawkins County, the only other firm piece of information that we have about Charles Campbell is that he died sometime before May 31, 1825 when a survey for neighbor Michael Roark mentions the heirs of Charles Campbell. A court record entry says that a deed of sale was to be recorded by Charles’ heirs, but it was never recorded in the deed book, and his heirs names are never given in any Hawkins County record. Nor did he have a will. So frustrating.

In Rockbridge County, formed in 1777 from parts of Augusta and Botetourt County, we find the following records:

  • 1764 John Campbell committed for abusing Henry Filbrick and disrupting the court. Charles Campbell committed for abusing the court.
  • 1764 Charles Campbell qualified as ensign.
  • Vol. 1 March 19, 1765 – John Moore to Charles Campbell, 230 acres in Borden’s track, corner John Houston’s land, Wit William Mann, Archibald Reaugh, Samuel Downey, Delivered to C. Campbell’s executors March 23, 1827.

Note the date in 1827 when this was actually delivered to Charles’ executors.

When I saw this note indicating that Charles Campbell had died by 1827, I became very excited. Is this the same Charles Campbell who had died in Tennessee? Did he still own land, absentee, in Rockbridge County?

John Moore’s land abutted Gilbert Campbell’s. There could be two different John Moores, but this is likely Charles the son of Gilbert.

1765 Page 46.-14th August, 1765. George Campbell, Agness Campbell, his wife, and Prudence Campbell (widow of Gilbert Campbell), his mother, to Andrew McClure, £130,194 acres in Forks of James and in the fork of Wood’s Creek and North Branch of James; corner Joseph Walker. Teste: Jno. McCampbell, Charles Campbell. Delivered: grantee, September 1770. Deed book 12

This 194 acres is probably George’s part of his father’s estate. Note that Charles signs and a John McCampbell does as well, or McCampbell is actually Campbell. Andrew and William McCampbell had grants north of James Campbell who lives on the bend of the river, west of Gilbert.

Of Gilbert’s 389 acre plantation, this leaves 195 acres remaining, plus Prudence Campbell’s house and field.

1766 – Charles Campbell (Borden’s land) appointed appraiser.

Page 137 – May 20, 1766 – Charles Campbell (Borden’s land) appointed Constable.

Page 138 – Charles Campbell – certificate for hemp.

Vol 2 Page 403 – 1767 Charles Campbell listed on Borden land, also noted as a constable.

In 1768, James Campbell also obtained a certificate for hemp. He is also appointed constable.

We know that Gilbert’s son Charles’ brother was James.

Vol 3 Page 484 – May 24, 1769 John Sproul and Margaret to Alexander Wilson, 250 acres in Borden’s tract, corner Andrew Steel and William Alexander, corner Robert Telford, Robert Lowry. Wit Charles Campbell, Thomas Alexander, Robert Wardlaw

April 27, 1769 Thomas Vance and Jenat to John Campbell. 148 acres on the North Branch of James, corner Mr. Thomas Vance, Wit James Cowan, John Alison, Charles Campbell, John Shields Jr.

Given the mention of John Alison and Charles Campbell, this appears to be near Gilbert’s land. The Allisons lived adjacent Gilbert and also directly across the river. There’s a John Campbell involved. He’s not the son of Gilbert – could be be the son of James?

Page 485 – June 15, 1769 Charles Campbell and Margret to Joseph Walker, 199 acres on Woods Creek in Fork of James River, corner Arthur McClure, Joseph Walker’s line, Robert Moore’s line, Wit James Hall, Joseph Walker, Delivered Joseph Walker June 1783

This has to be Charles, the son of Gilbert. The acreage equals exactly that of his share of Gilbert’s land and the neighbors are the same. Joseph Walker was a neighbor of Gilbert Campbell. This is also the timeframe when a Charles Campbell shows up purchasing land in East Tennessee. Did he sell out to move on? The land was sold in 1769, but never “delivered” until 1783.

Between 1768 and 1771, a chancery suite was in process involving Charles Campbell (trustee) for work to be done at the New Providence Meeting House that involved Wardlaw, Houston, Moore, Walker – all familiar names. This church was founded in 1746 on land purchased by the Kennedy family. John Brown, married to Mary Moore, the “Captive of Abbs Valley,” was the pastor for 42 years, resigning in 1794. This church was about 15 miles north of Lexington.

There is a 1773 suit where John is a son of Charles Campbell, so this Charles cannot be ours because his son John was not born until between 1772 and 1775.

Page 196 – Feb. 17, 1778 – Justice in the new Rockbridge County, Charles Campbell. This is likely Gilbert’s son.

1791 – Rockbridge County, VA Deed Book B, p. 340. 11 October 1791, 270 acres from    Robert Harvey and Martha his wife, heirs-at-law to Benjamin Borden dec’d of Botetourt County, VA to Charles Campbell between said Campbell’s plantation and John McCray’s land, Robert Wardlaw’s line. Signed: Robt. Harvey, Martha Harvey, Teste: William Buchanan, William Wardlaw, Wm. Wardlaw, Alexr. Sproul, Jas. Campbell, Delivered Anniel Rodgers per order of Saml. L. Campbell, one of the exors of sd. Chas. Campbell dec’d 26 March 1827.

This deed has a very similar date as the John Moore to Charles Campbell deed in 1765 that was delivered to Charles’ heirs in 1827. This deed goes further though and references Campbell’s plantation. It doesn’t say anything about Charles heirs being in Tennessee, and if this is our Charles, we know for sure that John and George were living in Claiborne County by then, and Charles Campbell was deceased by sometime in 1825 in Hawkins County. Of course, this land could have been owned absentee for all those years by Charles of Hawkins County.

The following deposition was found in the Rockingham County Circuit Court book, page 122:

Mary Greenlee deposes, 10th November, 1806, she and her husband settled in Borden’s Grant in 1737. Her son John was born 4th October, 1738. She, her husband, her father (Emphraim McDowell, then very aged), and her brother, John McDowell, were on their way to Beverley Manor; camped on Linvel’s Creek (the spring before her brother James had raised a crop on South River in Beverley Manor, above Turk’s, near Wood Gap); there Benj. Borden came to their camp and they conducted him to his grant which he had never seen, for which Borden proposed giving 1,000 acres. They went on to the house of John Lewis, near Staunton, who was a relative of Ephraim McDowell. Relates the Milhollin story. They were the first party of white settlers in Borden’s Grant. In two years there were more than 100 settlers. Borden resided with a Mrs. Hunter, whose daughter afterwards married one Guin, to whom he gave the land whereon they lived. Her brother John was killed about Christmas before her son Samuel (first of the name) was born (he was born April, 174xxx). Benj. Borden, Jr., came into the grant in bad plight and seemed to be not much respected by John McDowell’s wife, whom Benj. afterwards married. Jno. Hart had removed to Beverley Manor some time before deponent moved to Borden’s. Joseph Borden had lived with his brother Benj.; went to school, had the smallpox about time of Benj’s. death. When he was about 18 or 19 he left the grant, very much disliked, and dissatisfied with the treatment of his brother’s wife. Beaty was the first surveyor she knew in Borden’s grant. Borden had been in Williamsburg, and there in a frolic Gov. Gooch’s son-in-law, Needler, has given him his interest in the grant. Borden’s executor, Hardin, offered to her brother James all the unsold land for a bottle of wine to anyone who would pay the quit rents, but James refused it because he feared it would run him into jail. This was shortly after Margaret Borden married Jno. Bowyer. John Moore settled in the grant at an early day, where Charles CAMPBELL now lives. Andrew Moore settled where his grandson William now lives. These were also early settlers, viz: Wm. McCandless, Wm. Sawyers, Rob. Campbell, Saml. Wood, John Mathews, Richd. Woods, John Hays and his son Charles Hays, Saml. Walker, John McCraskey. Alexr. Miller was the first blacksmith in the settlement. One Thomas Taylor married Elizabeth Paxton. Taylor was killed by the falling of a tree shortly after the marriage. Miller removed and his land has been in possession of Telford. Deponent’s daughter Mary was born May, 1745. McMullen was also an early settler; he was a school teacher and had a daughter married. John Hays’s was the first mill in the grant. Quit rents were not exacted for 2 years at the instance of Anderson, a preacher.

Wow, talk about a goldmine of historical information!

Given that in 1806 Charles Campbell seems to be still living near where his father lived, by John Moore, this seems to preclude Gilbert from being the father of our Charles Campbell.

However, our Charles could be the son of the early James Campbell, if James was the brother of Gilbert. It’s also possible that our Charles is a grandson of Gilbert through his son, James, who was apparently of age by 1750 when Gilbert wrote his will.

Rockbridge County Tax Lists

Rockbridge County Tax lists are available in some format from 1778 to 1810, so let’s see if we can find a pattern there.

Tax List Name Additional Info Comment
1778 Charles Campbell 2 tithes
Charles Campbell (possible second entry, according to a different source)
George Campbell 2
1782 A (alpha list) Charles Campbell Esq 1 tithe, 2 slaves, Fanny, Dennis, 9 horses, 30 cattle Alexander, John, Henry, Joseph Sr and Jr. Campbell also Crockets
George Campbell 1 tithe 7 horses 12 cattle
George Campbell 1 tithe 6 horses 17 cattle
1783 George 1-0-0-6-14 Tithes, slaves>16, slaves <16, horses cattle,
George 1-0-0-7-9 Joseph, Joseph, John, Alex with note Dougal, Duncan, Henry Campbell
Charles 1-1-1-7-28 Slaves Jenny, Dinnis
1784 George 1-0-0-6-14 Joseph, Hugh, David,
George 1-0-0-6-11
Charles 1-1-1-9-29 Slaves Fanny, Dennis. Other Campbells incl Alexander, Duncan, Henry
1785 George 0-0-0-5-10 John, Joseph, (both no tithes), Joseph, Hugh, Andrew, Duncan, Alex, David, Robert Campbell
George 1-0-0-3-4
Charles 1-1-1-9-28
1786 Charles 1-1-1-11-26 Slaves Fanny and Dennis, other Campbells include Joseph, John (no tithe), Andrew, Henry, Samuel,
1787A George 0-0-0-3-6 Duncan, Henry, Samuel, Robert (no tithes), Alex no white tithes
Charles 1-2-0-11-30
1787B George 0-0-0-3-18 David, John, Joseph, Joseph, Andrew, Hugh
1788 A George 1-0-0-2 Robert, Duncan, Alex, Henry, Samuel,
Charles Campbell, Esq 2-2-0-10
1788B George 0-0-0-4 Andrew, John, Joseph, David, Hugh
1789A George 1-0-0-2 David, Duncan, Alex, Henry, Samuel
Charles 2-2-0-11
1789B George 0-0-0-3 Hugh, John Jr., Andrew, Robert
1790A George 1-0-0-2 Samuel, Henry, Henry Jr, Duncan, Alex, David,
Capt. Charles Campbell 2-2-0-10
George 1-0-0-2
1790B George 1-0-0-4 Alex, Hugh, John, John, Robert
1791A George 1-0-0-2 David, David, Duncan, Henry, Samuel, Alex
George 1-0-0-2
Capt. Charles 3-2-0-10
1791B George 1-0-0-5 John, John, John

I skipped ahead to 1800 and Charles is still on the tax list. He’s easy to recognize because he seems to be wealthier and has more livestock, not to mention slaves.

Given his presence in Rockbridge County, clearly Gilbert isn’t the father of our Charles. But the name Charles clearly runs in Gilbert’s line too.

What About James Campbell?

It’s worth noting that there is no James Campbell on these early tax lists, at all, so the James who owned land in 1756 and 1768 either died or moved on. Could this James be the father of our Charles?

Depending on his age, it’s certainly possible.

The son of Gilbert named James is probably accounted for by an 1804 deed from James Campbell who lives in Kentucky in the suit John McCleland of Rockbridge County vs James Campbell involving the Hays family.

On the muster list of the year 1742 – on Capt. McDowell’s list – Gilbert Camble and James Camble are listed together, so this James was clearly of age then, meaning he could have been the father of Charles Campbell who would have been born in 1750 or earlier.

I need to work on James, in particular land sales, to see if I can figure out what happened to him.

The James Story

The oral history of James Campbell being the father of John and George Campbell took root years ago with an earlier researcher.

Several years ago, Mary Price sent me information titled “Campbell – Dobkins Connections” which she compiled in the 1960s and 1970s before her mother’s death. Unfortunately, Mary was elderly at the time and only sent me the first few pages, although she meant to send the rest and thought she had. I’m hopeful maybe she sent the entire document to another researcher who will be kind enough to share.

Unfortunately, some of the books in Claiborne County (TN) Clerk’s office that Mary accessed were missing by the time I began researching a generation later, and I fear that much of what she found may have gone with her to the grave.

Mary descended from the same John Campbell that I do. All 3 of John’s sons, Jacob, George Washington and William Newton went to Texas.

  • Jacob Campbell was born in 1801 in Claiborne County, TN, had 5 sons and died in Collin County, Texas in 1879/1880.
  • George Washington Campbell was born in 1813 in Claiborne County, died sometime after 1880 and had at one son, John C., born in 1845. In 1860, he’s in Collin County, TX, along with Mary Price’s relatives, in 1870 in Denton County and in 1880, in Cooke County.
  • William Newton Campbell was born in 1817 in Claiborne County and died in 1908 in Davidson, Tillman County, Oklahoma. In 1870, 1880 and 1900, he lived in Denton County, Texas, He had 5 sons, all born in Tennessee and all died in or near either Tilman County, Oklahoma or Ringgold in Montague County, Texas.

Our Documented Campbell Line, According to Mary

Mary Price starts with John Campbell:

John Campbell was probably born in Shenandoah Co., Va. in the 1770s. In the 1950s a descendant of John Campbell interviewed some of his uncles in Texas who were in their eighties as to the name of John’s father. They all said his name was James Campbell as they were told by their grandparents.

That means the uncles would have been born in the 1870s and were probably second-generation Texans.

There is a James on the 1783 tax list for Shenandoah Co., Va. It is not known if he ever moved to Tennessee. Perhaps he did, to Jefferson Co., Tn., however, we have no proof. We researchers have found that there were new numerous Campbell families – all using the same first names – in almost every county searched.

We have been unable to find a will or an estate settlement for this James Campbell.

Claiborne Co., Tn. was formed in 1801 from parts of Grainger and Hawkins Co. We find our John Campbell serving on the jury in 1803. In 1802 our John purchased land in Claiborne Co., Tn. from Alexander Outlaw. Outlaw lived in Jefferson Co., Tn. and was married to a Campbell lady. This Alexander Outlaw also had dealings with our Jacob Dobkins in Jefferson Co., and also with our Dodsons in Jefferson Co., Tn.

Mary’s family was from Tom, Oklahoma, east of that area, but her grandfather, Lazarus Dobkins Dodson, according to Mary, settled in Texas in the 1880s or 1890s near the Campbell relatives. He married in Denton County in 1899 and died in Cass County in 1964.

Charles Campbell Texas.png

Given the proximity, I’d wager that the Campbell men Mary mentions were the ones in Collin County. Given the people involved, they were at least 3, if not 4 generations removed from John Campbell, and of course, they had never lived in Claiborne County. Their grandparents or great-grandparents moved to Texas.

George and John Campbell’s father appears strongly to be Charles Campbell, not a James. There is no James that fits. But Charles, who lives in the neighbor county, on Dodson Creek, down the road from the Dobkins family, sells land to his sons, John and George, who jointly dispose of that land just before arriving in Claiborne County. In Claiborne, they are both married to Dobkins sisters and live very close to Jacob Dobkins, their father-in-law. Furthermore, I match 45 Dobkins descendants who descend through other children of Jacob Dobkins.

It’s not surprising, several generations removed, that Mary’s relatives remembered the name of John’s father incorrectly, but John’s grandfather may indeed have been James.

It’s worth nothing that the name Gilbert never appears in the children of John or George.

John Campbell has children:

  • Jacob (his wife’s father’s name)
  • Elizabeth (his wife’s sister’s name)
  • Elmira
  • Jane
  • Martha
  • Rutha
  • George Washington (George is his brother’s name)
  • William Newton

George Campbell has children:

  • Dorcas (his wife’s mother’s name)
  • Peggy
  • Jenny (his wife’s sister’s name)
  • Charles (his father’s name)
  • James
  • John (his brother’s name)
  • Elizabeth (his wife’s name)

Back to Mary’s Story

The Campbell family, from which our John Campbell descended were originally from Inverary, Argylishire, connected with the famous Campbell clans of the Highlands of Scotland, and emigrated to Ireland near the close of the reign of Queen Elizabeth in about the year 1600. The Northern portion of Ireland received, in that period, large accessions of Scotch Protestants, who proved to be valuable and useful citizens. Here the Campbells continued to live for several generations until at length, the emigrant and progenitor of our Campbell Clan to America, old John Campbell arrived in 1726 in Donegal, Lancaster, Pennsylvania with 10 or 12 children.

Some of his children had already married and had children of their own. It did not take long for them to start making records. Old John Campbell’s son, Patrick who was born in about 1690 was serving as a constable by 1729.

About 1730, old John Campbell along with 3 of his sons, Patrick among them, removed from Pennsylvania to what was then a part of Orange Co., which later became Augusta Co., in the rich Shenandoah Valley of Va.

This Patrick Campbell became the ancestor of the famous General William Campbell and William brother-in-law and first cousin, Arthur Campbell. These two men were prominent men in Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee during the time of our Campbell’s there.

Arthur Campbell (1743-1811) lived just over the Claiborne County, TN border in Middlesboro, KY, with his son James transacting business in Claiborne County. I chased this line for years and it’s not ours.

Our line of Campbell (John) was no doubt close kin to them, but so many John Campbells, that I cannot tie him in or document him for sure.  But I do not have any doubt that this is the clan we descend from.

The Campbell family that eventually migrated to Claiborne County Tennessee is first documented with Dugal Campbell in 1490 in Inverary, Argylershire, Scotland and is the Campbell clan. His son Duncan b 1529 had son Patrick b 1550 who had Hugh b 1580 who had Andrew b 1615 who had son Duncan b 1645 who married Mary McCoy in 1672. Duncan and Mary immigrated to America with their children and grandchildren.

Their oldest son, John was born in Drumboden, near Londonderry, Ireland and married Grissel Hay, but died on the boat to America in 1725. However, they already had children, Robert b 1718 in County Down Ireland, died Dec. 24, 1810 in Carters Valley, Hawkins Valley, Tn, Archibald, Colin, William and Catharine. Some researchers show additional children.

Robert Campbell married Letitia Crockett b 1720/30 d abt 1758 in Prince Edward Co, Va. They had James Campbell b 1745/49 died before May 31 1792 in Carters Valley, Hawkins Co, Tn., Alexander b 1747, Elizabeth b 1751, Catharine b 1753, Anna b 1755, Jane b 1757, Martha b 1757, and Robert b 1761.

James and Letitia Allison, a niece of his father’s second wife Jane Allison, had John Campbell b 1772/75 d Sep 22, 1838, Elizabeth and George b 1770. James was killed by the fall of the limb of a tree while at work stocking a plow at his home in Carter’s Valley, 19 miles from Rogersville, Tn. The widow married William Pallett, settling in Warren Co.

Mary states the informatoin about John Campbell who died in 1838, meaning our John, being the son of James Campbell and Letitia Allison as fact, but it was then and is still unproven. She had found a James Campbell and assigned John to him.

I chased the Robert Campbell family too, relentlessly, for more than a decade – researching on site, finding Robert’s land and several cemeteries but not any sons of the James who died there in Carter Valley in 1792. There’s NO evidence that he’s the father of John. Nothing in the court records for orphans at his death. Nothing at all.

Robert Campbell Carter Valley.jpg

The land in Carter Valley is beautiful, and I was sad that I couldn’t find any evidence since Mary had seemed so sure. It was a beautiful wild goose chase:)

Robert Campbell Carter Valley Cemetery.jpg

It is interesting to note though that Robert Campbell settled for some time in Rockbridge County, married an Allison, and is found on tax lists before moving on to Hawkins County. He probably knew Gilbert and may have been related.

However, there is absolutely no connection found between Robert’s son, James, or his widow and her second husband, to Claiborne County or any John or George Campbell. Believe me, I tried.

Given the name of Allison, and the affiliation of Gilbert Campbell with Allisons and Crockets in Rockbridge County, I’m not entirely convinced the Prince Edward County Campbell’s were terribly far removed from the Rockbridge County Campbells. They may have know they were related and may have been relatively closely related, aunt/uncle, first cousins, even undocumented siblings perhaps.

The name of James Campbell may still be important in our search, because Gilbert Campbell’s brother appears to be James, or at least a James is associated with Gilbert in some way, aside from being his son. A William Campbell lives close by too.

Y DNA would not be able to differentiate between brothers and autosomal DNA is too many generations removed. If we knew the names of James Campbell’s wife, meaning the James who was the probable brother of Gilbert, we might be able to use autosomal DNA to determine a connection with her family.

However, without additional actual documentary evidence, such as information about James, his wife or even a definitive surname for Prudence, we’re mired in the mud.

According to Governor David Campbell

The grandson of “White David” Campbell, to differentiate him from his cousin “Black David” due to his fair coloring, not as a racist designation, became governor of Virginia and thankfully recorded a great deal, in his own handwriting, which has been preserved today at Duke University.

Ken Norfleet, perhaps the preeminent Campbell researcher, quotes David as follows after providing an introduction:


I have no documentary evidence which substantiates the existance of any of the early generations of Campbells prior to John Campbell (d. 1741), husband of Grace Hay. Hence, mention of these early Campbells should be carefully qualified. The early generations of Campbells shown in this genealogical report are those cited by Governor David Campbell in a note I found among his papers (see below).


Governor David Campbell (1779-1859) of VA was a meticulous researcher and it is mainly due to his work that the story of John Campbell and Grace Hay (parents of White David) and their descendants has survived. Governor Campbell’s papers and other documents are part of the Campbell Papers Collection (about 8,000 documents) located at Duke University, Durham NC. A microfilm copy of the Campbell Papers is located at the Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville. In 1996, while reviewing this microfilm copy, I found the following note, in Governor David Campbell’s handwriting, on microfilm reel number 1 (my comments are in brackets):

“Genealogy – The Campbell Family

“The farthest back the Campbell family can be traced is to Duncan Campbell of Inverary, Scotland, the place where the old Duke of Argyle and most of the Scotch [sic] Campbells lived. It was in the latter part of Queen Elizabeth’s reign that Duncan Campbell moved from Inverary to Ireland. Not long afterwards, in the reign of James First, when he had come to the throne, forfeitures were declared at Ulster in 1612, and Duncan Campbell bought a lease of the forfeited land from one of the English officers. One of his sons, Patrick, bought out the lease and estate in remainder, whereby he acquired the [land in] fee simple. How many other sons Duncan may have had is not known.

“Patrick had a son Hugh, and he a son Andrew. The generations from Andrew to our great-grandfather John [husband of Grace Hay] are not stated. It should be to Duncan, father of John Campbell, [who] emigrated to America with his family in the year 1726 and settled in the Sweet Ara river where Lancaster now stands in Pennsylvania. He [meaning John Campbell, husband of Grace Hay] had six sons, Patrick, John, William, James, Robert and David. Three – to wit – John, William and James were never married. John died in in England having gone there with Lord Boyne and became [his] steward.”


Governor David Campbell (1779-1859), in a letter to Lyman Draper, dated 12 Dec 1840, had this to say concerning the origin of his branch (White David’s) of the Campbell Clan in America (my comments are in brackets):

” … The Campbell family from which I am descended were originally from Inverary in the Highlands of Scotland – came to Ireland in the latter part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth & thence to America. John Campbell [husband of Grace Hay] my great grandfather and the great grandfather of Gen’l William Campbell of the Revolution came from Ireland with a family of ten or twelve children, leaving behind him only one son, and settled near Lancaster in Pennsylvania in the year 1726. His eldest son Patrick was the grandfather of Gen’l William Campbell. His youngest son David [White David] was the father of Col Arthur Campbell and my grandfather. So that Gen’l Campbell and myself were second cousins. The family remained in Pennsylvania but a few years and then removed to the frontiers of Virginia, in that part which afterwards formed the county of Augusta. Here they lived many years. John Campbell (my father) the eldest son of David and Col Arthur Campbell the second son were born, raised and educated in this county. Gen’l William Campbell was also born, raised and educated here. …” [see Draper Manuscripts, Kings Mountain Papers, 10DD6, pages 1 and 2.]

From my own research, I can place these Campbells in Beverley Manor by 1738 – in that year Patrick Campbell acquired 1546 acres of land in the Manor. John Campbell (husband of Grace Hay) died in about 1741 as his estate was appraised/inventoried in that year. In summary, based on my own research among the records of Orange and Augusta Counties VA, Governor David Campbell’s story of the origins of his family in America appear to be entirely reasonable.


Date:01 January 1998

” …although a number of people have attempted research in Ireland absolutely no further information has appeared about the ancestry of Duncan Campbell who married Mary McCoy.

“Pilcher states quite clearly at one point in her book that her information on those earlier (likely fictitious generations going back to Inverary) were taken by her from an elderly relation who thought she remembered that information. Pilcher had not intended to publish her book and it might have been better had she not, since the misinformation has misled so many and God knows how many family histories have now been published giving her bogus material as their source. Her later material appears to be more sound, although since she often gives no sources or references (as to where material was found), it means that anyone of the descents of those whom she outlines has to re-do the research.

“I have also thought that there might be some connection between the Drumaboden and the 18th century Virginia Campbells. But none has as yet appeared. Two professional research efforts in Ireland have so far been conducted, one just completed and the other in the ’80s.These were conducted by getting a group of descendants to put up some funds each and were coordinated through the Genealogists of the Clan Campbell Society of the time. While both were helpful in clarifying where no information could be found (so making easier any future research efforts), neither produced any clarification on the ancestry of either family going back from Ireland to Scotland.

“If you want the results of the second research effort you could write to the Society Genealogist, Dr.Ruby G. Campbell PhD, 3310 Fairway Drive, Baton Rouge LA 70809 USA, and ask her to let you know what to send her for the photocopying and mailing costs. But the information is not, I seem to remember, directly concerned with Drumaboden. …

” … There are in fact three sets of Northern Irish Campbells who may or may not be connected: Drumaboden, Duncan and his cousin Dugald Campbell, and the 18th century Virginia Campbells descended from one John Campbell who came over to Pennsylvania at a fairly advanced age in the 1720s or 30s.”

What Does This Mean, Exactly?

You may be wondering right about now what all of this means, to me. You might be wondering why I just didn’t stop when I discovered that Gilbert’s son, Charles never left Rockbridge County.

Clearly, my Charles in Hawkins County can’t be Gilbert’s son – so why didn’t I just throw in the towel and call it a day?

Negative evidence isn’t all bad, even though it’s disappointing when we were hoping for something more.

Let me just say that I’m really grateful that I did the extra research NOW, not in Rockbridge County in 3 weeks, because that’s where I was headed.

To be quite clear, it’s still possible that my Campbell line descends from James, Gilbert’s probable brother or possibly Gilbert’s son, James – although that’s much less likely, given his age. I need to find deed records for the earlire James selling his land to determine what happened to him, and if he can potentially be the father of my Charles.

However, even if we don’t know the identity of Charles Campbell’s father, YET, we know one heck of a lot more now than we did before this exercise, such as:

1 – We know that we don’t match the North River Campbells, and I can disregard those lines.

2 – We know that we DO match the following South River line in some way:

  • Duncan Campbell and Mary Ramsey
  • John Campbell (the immigrant) and unknown wife
  • John Campbell (1645) and Mary McCoy
  • John Campbell (1674) and Grace/Grizel Hay, immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1726. They had 6 sons. John died in England and James in Ireland, leaving Robert and William who never married, along with Patrick and “White David.”

3 – We know that we match Gilbert’s Y DNA more closely than any other lineage,  represented by descendants of the South River group in Augusta County through John and Grace’s sons David and Patrick Campbell.

4 – We have discovered a unique Y DNA “signature” in our line that will assuredly help us unravel future matches – and may lead to another match that is even more revealing.

5 – We have identified a James Campbell to follow. Given the close geographic proximity of James to Gilbert, as well as the “rumor” of James in our line, in addition to the fact that George named a son James – the James who owned land adjacent to and near Gilbert may in fact still be a good candidate. In fact, right now, he’s our best candidate!

I’d love to discover more about that James Campbell and locate a Y DNA descendant to test.

Seeking James Campbell

Do you descend from a James Campbell found in Orange, Augusta or Rockbridge County, Virginia in the 1740s through 1770s? Did he own land on the James River sometimes after 1756 and before 1782?

We know by 1782 that James wasn’t living in Rockbridge County, because he’s absent from the tax lists.

Do you know the name of the wife of the James Campbell who was associated with Gilbert Campbell?

Do you descend from Gilbert Campbell and his wife, Prudence?

If you descend from the Augusta, Rockingham or Rockbridge County Campbells or from the Lancaster County, PA lineage, have you DNA tested?

I’d love to hear from you.



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56 thoughts on “Charles Campbell (c1750-c1825): Unique Y DNA Chips Away at Parental Brick Wall – 52 Ancestors #256

  1. Another excellent article. I learned a lot from it. I descend from James Campbell and Grizel Hay through their son Patrick. Patrick’s daughter, Grizel, was my 6th great grandmother. She married James McCutcheon.

  2. I try to read your posts, marveling at the degree of involvement and wishing for your skills, drive and intellect. I always think our paths will cross and I think today they did. Benjamin and Joseph Borden are in my line. If you go to Find-A-Grave for Benjamin Borden, Jr, you will find a bit more interesting info but it doesn’t mention Campbell’s. I’m trying to prove down to The Dungans in Smyth Co. VA. Specifically land records for John Robert Dungan d. 1845. Have a great day!

  3. I am a big fan of “name’s the same” puzzles, and you have done a great job of bringing this one forward. Campbell isn’t an easy name to research (although try Johnson and Wilson). I can imagine you sitting in courthouse basements in the must an dust, and developing cervical spinal stenosis looking at microfilm machines back in the day.

  4. Yes, I am in awe as well ( and a wee bit jealous) at the level of info you’ve been able to achieve. Koodos to you for keeping on with that brick wall. I’ve also had my brother test to the Y 500 level to get past our McPherson brick wall. What was most surprising was that we were really ‘hidden MacGregors’ and because of that match many different surnames, including Campbell. Rob Roy MacGregor took his mothers surname of Campbell for a time, which made me think of your tree. I’m still at the brick wall, but at least I know there are MacGregors on the other side of it! : )

  5. I may have something of interest in the Mt-DNA line. I have a full Mt-DNA exact match to Prudence unknown Jenkins born about 1787, Tennessee. She married John Jenkins born 1780, Tennessee. They lived in Washington County, Tennessee. John Jenkins died 1865, and Prudence died after that date, unknown. Their daughter, Eliza Jane Jenkins, born 1828, Washington County, Tennessee, married David Patton Campbell, born 1833, in Virginia. It seems maybe likely for them to have married a distant cousin. I would think the Prudence name would have been given to descending generations following the Campbell in your story.
    This is the best hint I have found concerning Prudence unknown Jenkins.
    Thank you for your careful research, and your interesting stories.

    • The parents of David Patton Campbell that I have were Abraham Campbell, b. 1794, Russell County, Virginia; died 1858, Johnson City, Washington County, Tennessee, and Winifred Sevier, b. 1795, North Carolina; died 1885, Washington County, Tennessee. I am not sure if Abraham was related to the Campbell of your story, but he could have been. Winifred’s death certificate says she was born in Halifax County, Virginia, which does not appear to me to have been a likely place, but they did travel widely. I do not have great documentation.

      • Thank you Rosemary. I know that some of the Campbell people were also found in Amelia County and Prince Edward County as well.

        • Roberta,

          Replying to the 9-29-19 post

          I am descended from Josias Campbell of Bedford Va. and Mercer, Ky.
          I have tried to connect him with the John Campbell who owned land on South River, Augusta snd his father James.
          One of my closest matches at Family Tree dna is descended from Your George of Claiborne Co.
          Do James and John mentioned above fit with George or Josias?

          Jerry Campbell

          • I will look at this more closely when I’m at home and will contact you via email.

        • I have more to add. As you know, my son, James Taylor, has James Campbell, whose DNA you added to GED Match, as his closest Campbell relative. I have been getting very odd information on how James Campbell is related to my son, as sometimes the info comes back related to my husband, and sometimes to me. It is possible he might be related to both of us? I know I had ancestors in Hawkins County, Tennessee. It is of huge importance to my research if my husband did as well, particularly related to Campbell.

          So, I started researching all Campbell in my tree. I researched a William Campbell who was a direct ancestor to my childhood friend, surname McAteer. I knew her family, and I know her father came from Texas. I provided proof on my tree of the relationship to William Campbell.

          I still am not sure how Campbell is related to my son, who provided the GED Match DNA.. I guess I will have to ask you the direct question, was Jim Campbell a descendant of William Campbell, or a descendant of his brothers?

          If you do not want to discuss Jim Campbell’s DNA publicly, please email me. I really need to know something, even if it is you do not know.

          The spelling used recently and in Texas of McTeer was McAteer.

          Prudence unknown Jenkins, mentioned above, had some sort of connection to Taylor as seen on census.

          I also have several women closely connected to me named Prudence Smith. One woman, Prudence Smith married Cannoy. Cannoy were in the same place as your Vannoy in North Carolina.

          We also have DNA matches to Dodson.

          It is such a mess.

          • The Campbell line I researched back to was James Campbell, b. 1770, Washington County, VA;, d.1838, Fentress Co., Tennessee on the McAteer line. I was interested in the Crouch connection because there seems to be Crouch DNA associated with my mother’s Smith.

            The McAteer who married Campbell in Texas was not the direct line of my friend, but her uncle, or great-uncle. We grab what info we can get.

          • JIm Campbell’s DNA match to my son (39 cm on line 10 all in one place) does not show if it is on my side or his fathers at FT DNA. The rest of my family who tested do not have this match. My son was lucky???

            I am doing more research.

            Thank you for your response.


          • Hi,

            My haplogroup R-FT137130 matched with descendants of Lt. Joseph Campbell(b. 1778- d. 1850s) who died in Fentress, Tennessee buried apparently in the Campbell Family cemetery in a unmarked grave. Also there is a match with a descendant of James Campbell born 1776(Scotland). Is this a line you researched? I can be reached at mckoston86 at gmail dot com

            Thanks in advance

          • You know I had to go and look right away:) It’s close, but not the same branch if you look at the group in the Campbell project on the Group Time Tree. We are haplogroup R-FT442221 which coalesces into R-FT357997, then R-BY152990. So probably related in Scotland not long before they came over.

  6. I show Kelly as a GD 9 at 111. Don’t know if he did Big Y, but I tested to 700. Kit 8817 I am one of those folks that matches Campbells all over the place (Including Nacogdoches) but only one other Mitchell surname that only tested to 37 before he died.

      • I ordered the step up from Big-Y 500 to Big-Y 700 back on August 30. Son of a gun, they have already completed it and it looks like my only Mitchell surname match dropped off.

        My dad’s sister is 95 and I sent her a Family Finder kit which she received on 16 Oct, so maybe if she actually swabs and returns the kit I can get some extra insight into our Mitchell line, or even those Campbells.

  7. Roberta,

    The BigY results for kit 905207 are now in. Your new kit 905207 was assigned R-BY152990 which was my original haplogroup. But with this new kit and that of my son’s, we were bumped down to a new haplogroup R-FT18226 under yours. So it would appear we share a common ancestor. The million dollar questions is as to when?

    My brickwall is also a Charles Campbell but he was b: 1785 in KY, parents unknown. So how do we use the YDNA testing to help unravel our mystery. We probably need a couple more tests but who do we focus on? Kit 905207 has a 1/2 brother (same father) which may help name the 2 private variants for kit 905207. Also the other kit 488239 in your haplogroup has a nephew we could possibly test in order to name the 2 private variants in that kit. There are currently no options for my haplogroup but have some ideas I could run by you.

    Do you know why there would be such a large genetic distance difference between the 2 kits in your haplogroup to mine? Your new kit has a GD of 8 while the other kit is a GD of 2 which is my closest mach other than my son?

      • Roberta,I

        Replying to the 9-29-19 post

        I am descended from Josias Campbell of Bedford Va. and Mercer, Ky.
        I have tried to connect him with the John Campbell who owned land on South River, Augusta snd his father James.
        One of my closest matches at Family Tree dna is descended from Your George of Claiborne Co.
        Do James and John mentioned above fit with George or Josias?

        Jerry Campbell

        • Jerry,

          What YDNA test did you complete as I did not see you as a match under Y111? I am a close DNA match with the Claiborne Co., TN Campbell’s so would love to see your results. Also do you have a family tree online I could take a look at?

          Kevin Campbell

  8. You mention that Gilbert’s sons inherited Gilbert’s acreage, plus widow Prudence got the house and field. What became of her house and field? When was it sold and to whom? I’m curious.

  9. I have re-read your articles over and over because I have the brick wall named Charles also. My Dad’s aunt, Clara Campbell Rogers, wrote down some information and said her relatives came from Cambeltown and it was a big family of ten. So I am now wondering if John Campbell and Grisel Hay are the big family she meant. They didn’t come from Cambeltown, but they were a big family. I’m looking at daughters too.

  10. I just started researching the Campbell side of my family this week. My 4th gg grandmother, Mary Polly Campbell is the daughter of George Washington Campbell and Agness Nancy McClure.

    • Hello. Do you know birth/death dates for GWC and Agness? I’m interested to know more if he descends from or is related to GWC (1813-1880). Thank you!

      • (5th) George Washington Campbell (10/21/1736 – 2/7/1814) (LCTG-CSH) was born in Augusta, Virginia Colony and died in Woodford, Kentucky. In 1758 in Rockbridge, Virginia, he married Agness Nancy McClure (1746 – 1795) (MM4G-6RP) who was born in Augusta, Virginia Colony and died in Woodford, Kentucky.

        When George Campbell was born on 21 October 1736, in Augusta, Virginia, British Colonial America, his father, Gilbert Campbell, was 38 and his mother, Prudence Osran, was 32. He married Agnes “Nancy” McClure in 1758, in Rockbridge, Virginia, United States. They were the parents of at least 2 sons and 11 daughters. He died on 7 February 1814, in Woodford, Kentucky, United States, at the age of 77.

  11. Gilbert Campbell’s son George, as per the guardianship petition in Augusta County, was 13 when his father Gilbert died and thus born in 1737. (Augusta County records). Gilbert’s oldest son James and two of his daughters, Elizabeth and Prudence were all married by 1750. James’ line is documented by a descendant Charles Campbell, historian (1807-1876) author of _A History of Virginia) who left an extensive collection of family and other records now in “Special Collections” at the College of William and Mary Library. You will find he is the only Gilbert Campbell who was a third son of Sir James Campbell, 5th baronet of Auchinbreck and his first wife, Janet McLeod (married in 1696, as per marriage contract in National Archives of Scotland), who according to a famous inheritance lawsuit sometimes called “the Lort Inheritance suit” was living in Virginia according to the widow of his older brother James. She didn’t know he’d died by the time she filed a suit, and it was “the heirs of Gilbert” who had to answer the suit. Gilbert may have been a cousin of an Irish line that came to Virginia and thus share some DNA, as the lands ascribed to “Duncan” were first owned by a member of a cadet house to Auchinbreck (cadet to cadet, actually). Anyhow, Gilbert’s oldest 3 children were all born between 1725 and 1730. Marriage age in colonial VA was 21. Ditto Presbyterian church rules. Gilbert married Prudence Osman in Scotland. This is a name from the eastern part of Scotland. His father was a member of the Scottish parliament at the time and the family was often in Edinburgh and Stirling. There were 4 surviving children (lived to adulthood) of the baronet’s first marriage: Duncan, James, Gilbert and Anne. The baronet married a cousin, Susannah Campbell of Cawdor, in London, at St. James church in 1717 (marriage register–and index didn’t say whether this was father or son, the register identified him as the baronet). The baronet bankrupted himself and participated in 2 rebellions (1715 and 1745–and his 2nd son James was at the Glenshiel rebellion in 1718-9, which got him exiled to Spain) causing additional financial losses and was imprisoned in Dumbarton castle for about a year 1745-6 and released to essentially house arrest at Lochgair and under the eye of his more distant kinsman the Duke of Argyll. His heir, was James, grandson of his oldest son, who inherited almost nothing, and was a captain in the British army. Gilbert’s oldest daughter was married to a Richard Woods before 1750 and this is significant because it shows he came with the Woods’ family to the Borden Grant in 1739. Mary Magdalena Woods-McDowell was the first Richard Woods’ sister and her first husband was John McDowell, a leading surveyor for the Borden Grant (agreement with Bordens’ filed in Orange County court), and her second husband was Benjamin Borden Jr. , the principal heir to the grant. Mary and Richard were children of Samuel Woods, brother of Michael Woods of Albemarle County, whose son, Samuel was also baptized by Rev. Craig, at Gilbert Campbell’s home. I descend from Richard’s and Mary’s sister, Martha Woods who married Peter Wallace, and also from Richard’s and Mary’s aunt, Elizabeth Woods who married Samuel Wallace, Esq., of County Down, Ireland. I’ve been researching the Woods, Wallace and Campbell lines for 50 years. Also Michael and Samuel Woods the brothers whose children intermarried and were brothers to Elizabeth Woods wallace, married Campbells, Mary and Elizabeth, respectively who were out of the Campbells of Skeldon in Ireland who lived in Counties, Antrim and Down and gradually expanded into Armagh and Louth. (Irish records). The Campbells of Skeldon were a cadet house to Cessnock and Loudon. There are at least FOUR lines of Campbells in Virginia prior to the French and Indian War, not just two.

    • You have done incredible work. I will check this out. The Y DNA shows a closer connection to this line than any other. Still have no idea where my Charles comes from.

      • Yesterday, I found all the baptismal records of baptisms done by Rev. John Craig including the one for Charles as his youngest child. You missed a couple critical ones. Andrew Hays and his wife Prudence Campbell, Gilbert’s second daughter, had two children between 1746 and 1750. Richard Woods (my direct ancestress’ brother) married to Elizabeth Campbell had three in the same period One of his sons was also named George, same as Elizabeth’s brother and I can tell you for a fact this was not a Campbell name at this time. It always came from somewhere else in the very few instances it was used. I have four files, each about 2 inches or more thick of Campbell notes from 5 decades of research starting in the days before personal computers, and when to see records, you had vacations that were half research, and you always carried a stock of antihistamines and sudafed for the consequences of being in dusty, neglected archives, courthouses and stacks. (Definitely still recommended for a couple of places I can think of, in both the U.S. and Ireland where I did some research recently.) By the way a great-grandson of Gilbert had an interesting biography done when he was alive in Peoria county, which indicated the family knew that Gilbert had been a “somebody” in Scotland but confused which ancestor it was and had Overton for Osman, Gilbert’s wife’s family name, because in the 1830’s and later when the great-grandson was being interviewed, Overtoun was a lord and at Dumbarton, where the father of Gilbert (1698/99–1750) had actually been imprisoned for a year after participating in the 1745 rebellion. Osman was the family name of aforesaid Gilbert’s wife. The surname is in Scottish records in eastern Scotland near Edinburgh. Gilbert’s father, as a baronet was a member of the Scottish parliament until the Act of Union in 1707, and the family spent considerable time in Edinburgh and Stirling where the Parliament met and the principal political and social seasons occurred. The family “seat” otherwise was a mansion not in the best of shape at Lochgair, in Argyllshire, Gilbert was his father’s third son by his first wife and Gilbert’s father bankrupted the family in his illegal schemes. Lands were already sequestered by 1745 and the Crown or creditors confiscated most after the baronet was imprisoned and the rest had to be sold for debts when the baronet died in 1754. His children, and his heir by his oldest deceased son all knew they would inherit next to nothing, especially no land. His heir, the grandson by the oldest son, had quickly realized the situation and bought a commission as captain in the British army about the time Gilbert left for Virginia. The irony is when the baronet became so on the death of his own father, he had been one of the richest men by far in Scotland, actually had more money than the Duke of Argyll, at times. Gilbert did well to leave and distance himself as much as possible from his rogue of a father. The first wife of Sir James Campbell, 5th baronet was Janet McLeod, sister of a clan chief on the Isle of Skye (not that this meant a lot at that time, also). The McLeod’s were kin to the baronet’s maternal grandmother who was the late Earl of Argyll’s (executed in 1685) 2nd wife at the time. The marriage contract is in the national archives and when found had been so recently acquired that it was not yet in the online index and could only be found by an in person researcher. It shows the marriage took place in June or July, 1696. The baronet’s second marriage was in LONDON in 1717 to Susannah Campbell of Cawdor, sister to the Thane of Cawdor who at that time lived in London.. His third was in Argyllshire, to Margaret Campbell of the Campbells of Carradale in 1736, marriage papers registered with the Sheriff of Inveraray in 1739 referring to the marriage year. I found the marriage record for the second marriage. There was an index record online but which did not say which James of Auchinbreck (father or son) had made the marriage, and the archivist kindly wrote back to me with the full details of the record confirming it was the father, the baronet, who was about 20 years older than the wife. For a long time, this and the Woods’ families were my migraine-inducing lines for research..

        • Migraine inducing. You know it. This is incredible research and I will absolutely look at your site. I’m still stymied as to my Charles Campbell but I we will get getting the Big Y results from someone in Gilbert’s line very shortly.

          • I looked at the history of the Campbells in Hawkins and Claiborne county, briefly. Will do more on this. Hawkins came from a county that originally straddled the Virginia Tennessee line and this area was settled in significant part by families that had come from Augusta County by way of MONTGOMERY county, where two sons of James, son of Gilbert lived. There was a brief something I saw yesterday in the analysis of some more of Chalkley’s abstracts and the Charles Campbell collection indexes as well that said that James’ brother Charles was also in this county during the Revolution, living with one of his nephews, briefly. James Campbell,, Gilbert’s oldest son, was born in about 1725, to marry before 1750. Charles was born in 1741, at least 16 years later. Gilbert’s widow also went to Montgomery County. James had died in 1779-80 and his son Isaac inherited the bulk of his property. There were two Isaac Campbells, by the way in and near Lexington. It took some doing to sort them out, and the help of the Rockbridge Historical Society. They are still too easily confused. I don’t know how close you live to the College of William and Mary but I can tell you that Charles Campbell (1807-1876) Collection in Special Collections really needs to be examined thoroughly. The index alone shows he was a direct descendant of Gilbert through his oldest son James. The index also shows he was in communications with NUMEROUS cousins, and he was IN TENNESSEE in the 1830’s which is where he had married his first wife and had his first son Calloway Campbell..

        • One might look at the actual page image of the records Gilbert’s Will, take a careful look at Prudence’s surname spelling, and the strokes on the O as well as the form of the second letter of the surname:

          Then his Estate Inventory:

          Then her portion of the Estate is Inventoried on the right hand side, middle of page, notice the surname spelling, very clear and quite distinct- Puran. Now go back and look quite carefully at the Will’s spelling.

      • Hi Roberta, I married an Estes whose father grew up in Gay, Georgia. I was wondering where your Estes family originated.

      • It took some hours of digging but I have a couple of clues from the Claiborne-Hawkins lines. Take a look at what’s online regarding a Barnet Campbell and look at his connections and ancestry. He goes back to a George Campbell b. 1770 in VA who had three sons: James, Charles and John. and left a will when he died in Claiborne in 1855. What’s interesting is how there are only guessing games with no proof as to who George’s father, and there is in this line another interesting name: Henley Campbell. The Henley family was married with the Charles Campbell line that descended from Gilbert’s oldest son James–as per his descendant, the historian Charles Campbell (1807-1876). In fact, his records collection starts in the 1740’s, and in some of his letters he refers to an “Aunt Henley.” besides him stating he was in Tennessee, married there and had his first children there. Tomorrow I’m going to dig into Montgomery County, where sons of James and his brother Charles were stated to be in other records. I’ll see if I can find some more documented links. By the way Joseph Young Campbell is from another line, though he was in Claiborne also.

        • I’m not sure how much of what I just sent Kevin Campbell is going to survive the upload, but here goes. I am 95% sure that Charles Campbell is the one who died in Rockbridge County (near the Montgomery and Botetourt junctions) in 1790. I’m going to try to forward to you the long message I sent to Kevin Campbell resulting from four days of work while also being very concerned about events in Ukraine. I went through four files, a couple of volumes of print Kentucky genealogy and biography (from old state history republished by McDowell publishing some decades ago), two books on East Tennessee history and families, and new online research. In my message to Kevin, I included transcriptions of original records showing a documented link between this Charles and a near paternal relative to Charles Campbell the historian born in 1807. That relative, Dr. Samuel L. Campbell actually was the first person to begin collecting family records and compiling them and then sent them to the historian, and his son, Samuel D. finished that process of transfer in the 1840’s. Briefly, Charles had three sons: George, David and one whose name I have yet to determine since he was unnamed tithable on a 1789 tax record. George married twice and by his second wife had AT LEAST two sons who did go ultimately to Claiborne County, named Barnet Campbell and James Campbell, and probably had more than two sons. Those two sons are decently documented however as were their children. That’s in what is being forwarded.

          • Thank you. George of Claiborne County is the brother of my John. He didn’t have two wives, only one. Those brothers married Dobkins sisters. I’m not at the computer, but I wrote about both John and Charles, the believed father of both John and George in Hawkins County.

  12. Thanks for posting your information. I have been looking for information on my great grandfather according to Ancestry and he is a John Campbell with no other information given. If Ancestry is correct, he fathered my grandfather in 1889, possibly in Johnson City, TN or Elliott County, Kentucky. I have no information on whether he was married to my great-grandmother but Ancestry does list him as a spouse to Mary Jane Waddell. Were any of the Campbells that you traced from that area?

  13. Hi Robert, my sister and I are trying to figure out if we are on the right track with our Campbell family, I found one dna match on which is where we have our tree, this matches ancestor was Predence Campbell, so I searched Prudence Campbell which leads me to your page so a bit of a bread crumb, also my mom has a cousin with the last name Estes who is related to her great uncle James Campbell, my mom’s grandfather was his brother Walter Campbell, was wondering if you might have a connection to my moms cousin or just a coincidence? If not there is still the Prudence Campbell relation?
    Anything would help, best regards Nina Serna

    • If you can find a Campbell male from your line to test, order the Big Y test for him. There’s a Campbell genealogy group on Facebook too where people work together.

  14. I haven’t seen anyone follow this gentileman carefully on WikiTree or otherwise, but just discovered an unsourced family tree note left by a Kevin Guy Campbell with a blank profile:

    There is a William Campbell, of Augusta, with a brother Charles Campbell specifically called out in his Will, dtd. 8 Nov 1744. He specifically calls out his father as Patrick Campbell, as well calls out his brother Patrick Campbell, and leaves Lightfoot to brother Charles Campbell(continues on next page). His daughter Mary Anne Campbell and his wife (see cross out) my well beloved wife Mary Anne Campbell, are brought up as well.:

    On the second page, we see James Campbell as Executor, and the following entry, where he takes the Obligation, then the following court acknowledgement entry following that. Oddly, it is on 28 Feb 1744, so maybe the year on the Will is off?

    It keeps on going through page 45, right side near the bottom you will see Charles Campbell, James Patton, Ja Campbell’s “seal” for the last obligation.

    Though Augusta was spun up about 1738, it took a number of years before records showed up there, so look in Orange County…

    Then William Campbell’s Estate Inventory, note the other surnames involved, Fulton, Mitchell, Buchanan, and James Campbell signs it:

    I’ve added some of these notes to William’s profile found here:

    I do not know how this Campbell is related to the others there in Augusta, but thought someone might find it useful.

    A John Campbell’s inventory shows up on page 103, and dispersed here on page 305 (though I don’t seen any associations to the other Campbells mentioned earlier):

  15. I also discovered a Charles Campbell and William Campbell were in the Importation for Land Headrights to a Patrick Campbell 22 May 1740 there in Colonial Augusta, which would fit with the possible son Charles listed above. As well as William Campbell. I’ve added source links at WikiTree to Patrick “the 1st”, if you want to check out this lineage. Looks to be the same Patrick Campbell that had the Land Indenture 1738 there in Augusta for 1546 Acres, found in map at C-5, BeverlyPatentLandOwnersMap.pdf (

    I discovered he is selling the same plot in 1745, but due to my struggles with reading some of these docs, I’m not certain, it looks like he is selling a portion maybe? Sale of a portion of the 1738 Land Patrick Campbell purchased, Actual original book page image,

    Far easier to link to the profile for what information we have, and I’d highly encourage folks to include the links to all of their sources, it greatly promotes and encourages other researchers to dig further into these folks. There appear to be some place/date issues for the original profile, but as folks chase rabbits, we would likely to find more (actual Wills, Estate Inventories, gravestones, and so on, instead of fanciful memorials at Find-A-Grave based on wisps):

    • Some of those lineages are already Y DNA tested and proven though. Not sure which ones without checking again.

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