23 – Capt Dugald Campbell of NY: Father of John and Jenette

Capt Dugald Campbell is an elusive character and most of what I know of him comes by way of various family members. I’ve found no original records pertaining to him while he was alive. He is the father of Jenette Campbell VanNorden and her brother John who I have discussed at length.


Capt Dugald was probably the son of Dugald Campbell and Jenette Cunningham. This bit of information comes to me from a researcher for whom I have high regard. While he states good source (“Genealogy of the Cadets of the Family of Auchinbreck” Vol IV), neither of us have confirmed. It states that Dugald was a shipmaster of Boston and had a daughter. Using that as a starting point, I have seen references stating he was a shipmaster of Boston and New York including many versions of where he was born:

  • The above reference points to Kilmalie (Kilmallie), Argyll
  • A tree at familysearch.org refers to Glensaddell, Argyllshire (Note: linked tree starts at Capt. Dugald’s father)
  • A poster here quotes information she received from Clan Campbell stating Killin, Scottland (Stirling)

I have not verified the above information. Currently, I’m more interested in Capt. Dugald’s time in NY vs. his ancestry. I present it here as a guide for future research.

Wife of Capt Dugald Campbell

Captain Dugald m. Rachel LeMontes . She was baptized 31 Dec 1693 New York Reformed Dutch Church. I assume Captain Dugald to be about the same age if not somewhat older. The family tree (linked above) states Dugald was b. 1684. The names associated with the LeMontes (LeMontez) family were some of the most prominent and wealthy members of  the business community of New York. They were merchants, mariners, and Esq’s – all undoubtedly educated.

References to where Capt Dougal and Rachel were married vary between New York and Boston.  From what I know of the LeMontes family, NY makes the most sense as they were well established.  I searched the marriage records available at familysearch.org but nothing indicating Dugald Campbell was married or died in Boston was located in the Town Clerk records.

By the same token, I have not found a marriage record in NY. However, through other records to be discussed, it is clear Capt Dugald married Rachel before 1719 and probably earlier.

Children of Capt Dugald Campbell

Capt Dugald and Rachel LeMontes had two children: John and Jenette  Campbell (addl sketches linked which includes sources)  Jenette’s sketch gives additional information on the Campbells and Rachel LeMontes.

Jenette was baptized 17 April 1720 at the New York Reformed Dutch Church. She married Tobias Van Norden and lived in the area of New Brunswick, NJ.

I am less clear about Capt Dugald’s son John. I have not found a baptism record for him.  I believe he is the John Campbell of Somerset Co, NJ who d. intestate abt 1764. John’s eldest son, Archibald, administered his estate. Archibald later lived in Albany, NY and is commonly known as the surveyor of the Argyll patent in Washington County, NY. He was also a merchant.

I noted more about John at the bottom of this sketch but understand:

  • John is PRESUMED (by me) to be the son of Capt. Dugald – I am still lacking direct evidence (or even a preponderance there of)

I am confident that Archibald of Albany is the son of John Campbell who d abt 1764 in Somerset Co, NJ and detail evidence at the bottom of this sketch. My doubts surround his father.

Nephew of Capt Dugald Campbell

Capt Dugald had a nephew Archibald Campbell, Merchant of NY, who left a will in 1733 (see will here). In his will, Archibald (1733) referred to his Uncle Dugald Campbell as deceased and left a legacy to his Cousins John and Jenette.

Archibald (1733) was b. abt 1700 and is said to be the son of Dugald’s sister Mary Campbell who m. Donald Campbell (see tree).

Capt Dugald and Archibald (1733), married half sisters and daughters of Helena Fell of NYC.  (Note: There are many versions of Helena’s name and those of her husbands so be flexible when researching). Helena Fell married first, John LeMontes Sr. He d. abt 1693 (see will here):

  1. Son: John LeMontes, Jr d. abt 1736 (see will here)
  2. Dau: Rachel LeMontes, married Captain Dugald Campbell, subject of this sketch

Helena m. 2) Robert Griggs then m. 3) Caleb Cooper:

  1. Dau: Mary Cooper who married Archibald Campbell (1733), nephew of Captain Dugald Campbell.

Note: Helena had more children but they are not a part of this sketch. You can see Caleb Cooper’s inventory here.

Captain of a SHIP not the ARMY.

While I’m not concerned about ancestry of Captain Dugald Campbell right now, I am interested to know if he was a sea captain or a military captain.  Most sources state Capt. Dugald was a shipmaster of Boston and (some say) New York. Given that his father in law John LeMontes and step-father in law, Caleb Cooper, were Mariners, coupled with his family living in a port city (NY), I tend to concur.

Death of Captain Dugald

I don’t know how or why Capt. Dugald died, I have searched newspapers and death records for Boston and found nothing that I can tie to Capt Dugald – even remotely. In fact I can find no evidence of him being in Boston although, I have no reason to doubt he was known in several ports at one time or another. Maybe I’m missing something in my searches.

The same can be said for New York.  I know the LeMontes Family and his nephew Archibald (1733) lived there but have found no records for Capt. Dugald.

Helena Fell, Capt Dugald’s mother in law, wrote her will in 1726 in which she included: To my daughter Rachel, wife of Dugall Campbell…. (see Jennet Campbell Van Norden). I assume Capt Dugald was alive since Helena did not reference Rachel as a widow. We know he was deceased in Archibald’s (1733).

Capt. Dugald died intestate per an undated memorandum found in the records of Albany, NY. The file located here and I will post the documents below. Inside the (modern) file folder, there is a memorandum stating that Letters of Administration (LOA) are to be drawn up for the Estate of Dugald Campbell:

Memorandum for Mr Robin…

To make out Letter of administration On the Estate of Dugald Campbell dead (?) intestate to John Le Montes and Archibald Campbell two of the nighorst (?) of kin to the Intestate for the use ? and in part (?) for the two Children of said Intestate viz John Campbell and Jannet Campbell

From what we know of Capt. Dugald, the above memo makes sense. Presumably, John LeMontes would be Capt. Dugald’s brother in law, and Archibald Campbell would be his nephew.

Also in the file, is a certificate of a search for a Dougal Campbell (note difference in spelling of Dugald vrs Dougal):

Fort Edwards

August 5th: 1770

This is to certify that there have been a considerable number of inhabitants of these parts in search of Dougal Campbell Esq, Late of South Carolina, Clerk of the Common Pleas and the Crown, who left Lake George on the 20th of July and struck into the creek where the King’s sawmills used to stand, and notwithstanding the most diligent lookout for the space of twelve days have not been able to get any tidings of him.

Attested by me,

_____ Smyth, Justice

Wittness: Francis Lewis Junr

This Certificate of Search (as it is called in the file) is a problem since by 1770, Capt. Dugald had been dead at least 37+ years.

The easiest and most obvious answer is that one or the other of these records has been misfiled. Someone mistakenly put Dugald and Dougal in the same file assuming they were the same person. After a bit of research on Dougal Campbell, Clerk of the Common Pleas of South Carolina, I believe that is the case.

Nothing indicates that Dougal of SC and Uncle/Captain Dugald of NYC were the same person. That said, there are a remarkable number of coincidences in this mistake and it wasn’t time wasted as Dougal Campbell of SC had a pretty interesting life. If you needed a “body double” to pick up where Uncle/Capt Dugald Campbell left off, you couldn’t ask for a better candidate.

Read more about Dougal Campbell, Clerk of the Common Pleas of SC here (coming soon!).

The remainder of this sketch is primarily background on the family of Capt Dugald and where you can find additional information and sources. If you have any thoughts, theories or corrections, please leave a comment or email me.

Capt Dugald Campbell File

View Capt Dugald’s complete file, courtesy of familysearch.org here. It is found in the microfilmed records of Albany Co, NY.

I believe that many of the very early records of NYC were moved to Albany Co, NY for some unknown reason. The inventory of Caleb Cooper (Helena Fell’s 3rd husband) is also located there although I have not looked for it – I only happened on it in the index. The will of Archibald (1733) is found in the records of NY. While a move from NY to Albany could explain a misfiling of Capt Dugald and Clerk Dougal’s records, I am sure several hands have touched these records in the past couple of hundred years.

Dougal Campbell File Folder-1

Click to enlarge

Memorandum for LOA Dougal Campbell-1

Click to enlarge
Memo to issue LOA for Capt Dugald

Certificate of Search for Dougal-1

Click to enlarge
Back of “Certificate of Search”

Dougal (1770) Missing-1

Click to enlarge
Certificate of Search

Additional Notes

Jennet Campbell: Daughter of Captain Dugald

I have written extensively on Jenette Campbell (1720-1796) who married Tobias Van Norden (1715-1800) and lived in New Brunswick, Somerset, NJ. Much of her life is documented with wills, gravesites and baptismal records.  Visit the above link for specific sources. Also, there are multiple spellings of “Jenette” and I am using one of the least popular – keep that in mind when researching records yourself.

John Campbell: Son of Captain Dugald

I wrote a bit about him here but I’ll point out that I am less clear about the details of his life.  I suspect he died intestate in Somerset, NJ. From NJ Colonial Documents, Calendar of Wills  1761-1770 page 70:

  • 1764 Dec 31. Campbell, John, of Somerset Co, Int. Adm’r – Archibald Campbell, the eldest son. Fellowbondsman – Greear Brown; both of said Co. 1764 Dec 28 Renunciation by Margrit Campbell, the widow in favor of her son, Archibald Campbell. 1765 March 6. Inventory, £78.13.6, made by Michael Schooley and Thomas Irwin, Lib H, p. 376

My reasons for theorizing that John Campbell (1764) is the brother to Jenette are:

  1. He lived in the same area
  2. Was of the same generation/time frame as Jeanette
  3. Doesn’t belong to any of the other Campbell families in the areas
  4. Named his eldest son Archibald – and name that is prevalent in the family of Jenette and that of her cousin Archibald who will be discussed below.

Admittedly none of these are great reasons to link this John as the brother of Jenette but, by way of an excuse, I have spent much time researching this particular John Campbell, the other Campbell’s of Bound Brook, and the Van Norden family. I have a strong feeling about him but… I could be wrong. For all I know, John died young without descendants.

For the purposes of this sketch however, know that I assumed my theory is correct.

Archibald Campbell, son of John Campbell (1764)

John Campbell (1764) had a son Archibald who eventually moved to Albany, NY. I believe he is the Archibald that is commonly known as the surveyor for the Argyll patent in Washington Co, NY located near Fort Edwards. My evidence for this comes by way of a 1784 newspaper article where Archibald of Albany was selling the family land in NJ:

  • Political Intelligencer, New Brunswick: To be sold, a farm on the Bank of the Raritan River, with Middle Brook running through it, with two houses, on 138 acres with an old mill house which may be easily repaired have the stones and irons entire. Also, 22 acres nearly adjoining.  For terms apply to Greear Brown living on the premise, or Archibald Campbell of the City of Albany who will give title for the same.

Note the name Greear Brown is common to both the Will of John Campbell (1764) and the sale of land 20 years later. I wrote briefly about Archibald of Albany here. If I am correct in assuming John Campbell (1764) is the son of Capt. Dugald Campbell, then Archibald of Albany would be Capt. Dugald’s grandson.

LeMontes Connection

Helena Fell (maiden name – various spellings) was the maternal grandmother of John and Jenette.  She married 1) John LeMontes 2) Robert Griggs 3) Caleb Cooper. Helena had children by all three of her husbands but for our purposes we are only concerned about:

  1. Son: John LeMontes Jr
  2. Dau: Rachel LeMontes who married Capt. Dugald Campbell (Subject of this sketch)
  3. Dau: Mary Cooper (of Caleb) who married Archibald Campbell, Merchant of NY. This is the Archibald that left the will in 1733 stating Uncle Dugald was dead.

In her will, Helena left legacies to both John and Jenette children of her daughter Rachel LeMontes. Helena’s will is unrecorded but I have documented my sources in the above linked sketch on Jenette.

If you want to see all my sketches on East New Jersey, go to the page at the top of this blog labeled East New Jersey and it will list them and provide links.


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