22 September 2009

Campbells Part 1: Ahnentafel Roulette

Randy Seaver likes to play games. He’s good at urging us to examine our ancestors with his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. So I’m a bit tardy. Who’s keeping track? The idea was to calculate a random ancestor on your ahnentafel chart, so Randy calls it roulette. Ahnentafels are basically a pedigree system with a number for each direct ancestor. I cheated because the chart I’m consulting starts with my Dad instead of me so it’s all Scottish.

Plunging right ahead, my Dad would be 113 if he were alive today. Divide by 4 and round off. Let’s see, that must be 28.25. Rounded off Randy’s way, that makes it 29. An odd number guarantees it’s gonna be a female ancestor.

Say hello to my no. 29, Jessie McKenzie. Let’s not confuse her with my no. 13, Jessie McKenzie. Yes ... SIGH ... on top of too many John Frasers and Donald McFadyens, apparently I have two Jessie McKenzies. I probably have several Flora McLeans as well. Others with Scottish heritage probably share my desperate pining for an occasional Cassandra or Hortense to alleviate the pain.

That takes care of Randy’s first two tasks. Next up is tell us three facts about this person.
(1) Jessie was born 20 April 1782.
(2) Her place of birth was Dornoch in Sutherlandshire.
(3) She married Donald Campbell (oops, I see more than one Donald Campbell, damn!).

Whew, I made it, three for three. And how do I know all that information? Brilliant research on my part? Not exactly. My delightful cousin Madaline did all this work in her epic Our Campbell Legacy. It's so large I confess I haven't read every page yet. In what remains of my lifetime, I will never achieve what Madaline has accomplished. Fortune smiles on me that we share a lineage making us 4th cousins who have never even met each other in person.

I’m hereby writing this down about Jessie to fulfill Randy’s fourth requirement. Jessie and her husband Donald Campbell came to Cape Breton in 1817, probably on the ship Frances Ann among Rev. Norman McLeod’s followers. They settled on a land grant at St. George’s Channel (on Lake Bras d’Or) in a community that became known as Points West Bay in Richmond County. Their dates of death and place of burial are unknown and forgotten now. Perhaps I will have enough for a Campbells Part 2 one day, but I hope to have given Madaline a live hug by then!


Diana Ritchie said...

Ah yes, that wonderful terrible Scottish naming pattern which seems to offer the hope of knowing potential grandparent's names when looking at the children but also guarantees that in every generation there are sure to be multiple Williams and Jeans all born so close together as to make them sometimes indistinguishable.

At least when mine finally got to the US they had the decency to name a daughter “Hildegarde”!

Anonymous said...

Re- Campbells of Coll

Anonymous said...

Re Campbells of Coll,
if you want a copy of all the old pictures of Coll, including a Mrs. McFadyen, please email me from-