James Campbell Sr (d. 1771) of Londonderry, Lancaster, PA

Let me start by asking if anyone knows if the family of Patrick Campbell who m. Eleanor Hays is represented in the Campbell DNA Project? I don’t see an obvious line represented but I could easily be missing something.

If you know of a male descendant, who is for sure of this line, I would strongly encourage them to consider joining. I’ll explain later but they may be able to solve some of the John Campbell/Grace Hay debate.

James Campbell of Londonderry, Lancaster, PA

I know Londonderry is now in Dauphin Co but it was Lancaster back then and is where you find the bulk of information about James. Also, he originally lived in Derry (where you find him on a map) but Derry divided in 1767 and subsequently the place where James lived became Londonderry. When researching, I would suggest both searching both counties and being aware of the Township change.

James Campbell died testate in Londonderry, Lancaster, PA in 1771. When comparing his will to that of Patrick Campbell who died in Donegal, Lancaster Co, PA  in 1772, no obvious connection can be drawn. I’ll include links to both wills and transcriptions at the bottom but to summarize:

  • James had 2 sons: John and Patrick. His grandson, named James, was “the son of his son” Patrick. James Sr, left his plantation to his grandson James, and if his son John were to ever have a surviving male child, it was to be divided between James the grandson, and John’s oldest surviving male. His will was proven 8 Nov 1771. Others were named but not important here. Read the will for full detail (see below)
  • Patrick had 2 brothers: Robert and David. Both predeceased Patrick. David died abt/bef 1758 and his children were Patrick, David, Mary and Jane (Read more about David here – Read more about Patrick here). Robert d. unk but he had a son Samuel. Samuels’ children in 1772 were: Robert, Mary and Agnus. A John Campbell (deceased) was also mentioned but the relationship was not stated. John’s children were Robert, William and John. Others were named but not important here. Read the will for full detail (see below).

Neither Patrick nor James cross referenced each other in their wills or their various family members. I suppose, Patrick and James could be brothers (or even nephew/uncle) but it’s somewhat glaring that there are no James’ in Patrick’s family, nor did James make any allowance for the orphaned children of David (Patrick’s brother) who were under age at the time of his death. That’s what I mean by no obvious connection…

What is interesting about James’ will is that he skipped a generation when he willed his plantation to his grandson(s) – present and future – yet he made his 2 sons executors so no family squabble there.  In fact, both John and Patrick had land prior to James’ death. J

Land-JamesC Derry

Click to Enlarge

James’ will was proven in Sept 1771 by John Roan and by the second witness, Daniel Davidson on 8 Nov 1771.  If you look at the cut out of the map of Derry, you find James land (279A) but also that of a John Campbell who patented his land 27 Nov 1771. While I can tie John Campbell to several other land transactions in and around Lancaster, I can not tie him to the land only a few plantations away from his father. See the entire map here.

You can read more about John, his life and land here: John Campbell of Londonderry and Lancaster, PA

Patrick Campbell, son of James

Patrick lived in Peters Township which was Cumberland co. in 1772. In 1784, it became part of Franklin County. He married Eleanor Hays.  I am going to cut and paste some information I found here – not all of it is copied here so read for yourself if you want more. This very nice person transcribed a chapter from a book entitled: The Families of Joshua Williams of Chester County, PA and John McKeehan of Cumberland County, PA With Some Allied Families ; compiled by Bessie P Douglas, Augsburg Press Minneapolis, Minn, pub 1928, p 267-273. I checked but this book is not available at Google books. I will refer to this book as “Douglas” going forward.

Douglas starts with a genealogy of Duncan Campbell who married Mary McCoy, then down to John Campbell who m. Grace Hay. She is using Egle’s version of the genealogy in Pennsylvania Genealogies: Scotch-Irish and German, by William Henry Egle, published in 1886, page 516. You can read that book here.

By process of elimination, Douglas determines that James is the son of John Campbell who m. Grace Hay and he remained in PA. I don’t disagree with her logic assuming that Egle’s version of the genealogy is correct.

Douglas’ primary concern with the Campbell’s was connecting them to the family of Rev. Joshua William’s which she accomplished through the daughter of James Campbell Jr (d. 1781 – the grandson). I am cutting, pasting and editing for clarity from the above linked web site. My notes are in brackets, not italic and noted as such. If you don’t feel like reading all I made bold the important parts:

  • James Campbell, born, 1689 in Ireland; died, May 31st, 1771 at Londonderry (now Hershey)
  • March 2d, 1737, James Campbell is on a list of warrantees of land in Derry Twp.  for 300 acres.  On the same date 279 acres of land in Derry Twp. were.  “surveyed to” James Campbell.
  • James Campbell was survived by (My Note: his wife and her children, sisters “if they come to this country) his sons John and Patrick; and James Campbell, son of his son Patrick. Rev John Roan was witness to the will.
  • James Campbell is buried in old Derry churchyard and the inscription on his tombstone has been published numerous times as an example of the lugubrious in epitaphs….
  • Patrick Campbell (James): Married: Feb.  6th, 1755, Eleanor Hays, daughter of Patrick and Jean Hays. The marriage service was preformed by Rev John Roan.  (See records of Paxtang Presbyterian Church, History of the Sesqui-Centennial of Paxtang Church, by Mathias W.  McAlarney, p.  269.)
  • That Patrick and Eleanor (Hays) Campbell were the grandparents of Eleanor Campbell who married Rev.  Joshua Williams is matter of absolute family knowledge. Children:
  • Jane married, 1st, Stockton, 2nd, McFarlane, and probably others.
  • James Campbell (Patrick, James) born 1756, died June 10th, 1781.  Married: probably 1779, Margaret McMichael; died Sept 7th, 1825, buried at Carlisle, Pa. After James Campbell’s death, his widow married 1st, Aug.  19th, 1782, Lambert VanDyke, son of Henry and Elizabeth (Davis) VanDyke of Buffalo Valley.  The service was performed by Rev. John Elder of Paxtang Church.  By her second husband Margaret (McMichael) Campbell had six sons. After the death of Lambert VanDyke, his widow married a third husband in 1795, Benjamin Thompson of Carlisle, Pa.
  • James Campbell was a soldier of the Revolution and died at the early age of twenty-five, from wounds received in battle.  Family tradition says that he was an officer.  A James Campbell was ensign in the Officers Seventh Battalion, Col.  John Boyd, 1777.   (My Note: Do not confuse Col John Boyd with John Byers to be discussed later)
  • After having, searched printed records in vain for a notice of James Campbell’s death, the writer made a trip to Derry graveyard and discovered that several mistakes had been made in copying the inscriptions for publication.  Three inscriptions of different names Campbells were found to be incorrect in Mr.  Egle’s compilation of them. 
  • I found a small stone in-scribed “In memory of James Campbell, who departed this life June 10th, 1781, aged twenty-five years.  Egle had given the date as June 10th, 1783, ten months after James Campbell’s widow had married her second husband.  As his parents were married in 1755, and we know from the statement of his daughter that he did not die until she was about a year old, this date on the tombstone fits in exactly with facts we know, and beyond question marks the grave of our James.
  • Children Eleanor born June 26th, 1780: Eleanor Campbell, (James, Patrick, James), born, June 26th, 1780; died, 1856. Married: June 15th, 1800. Rev. Joshua Williams born, March 8th, 1768, son of Lewis and Mary (Hudson) Williams.
  • Rev.  Joshua Williams was pastor of Paxtang and Derry congregations from Oct 1799 until 1801 and met and married his wife during that period, which is further proof that her family still lived at Derry.  Her property of twenty-five thousand dollars was probably her share of her father’s estate.

Regarding that last point, 25,000£ !!!  WOWZA!

You can read a bit about Joshua Williams in the above referenced book: History of the Sesqui-Centennial of Paxtang Church, by Mathias W.  McAlarney, p.  256. Link to the Google Book here.  I am sure Douglashas more to say about the William’s family in her book. The transcribed Bible Records of Rev Joshua Williams family (Eleanor down) can be found in Publications of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania Vol VII, Pub 1920, Page: 272.

I applaud Douglas’ effort of going to the graveyard and finding the stone of James Jr. The incorrect transcription of his stone must have been frustrating.   There is a nice picture of the stone at Find A Grave. You can link to it here: Find A Grave Memorial# 19229935 I must admit it looks like a 3 to me but it could be a 1 that was chipped – Even the transcriber of the stone thought it said 3. It is listed 2ce at Find A Grave.  The other lister says it’s a 1 but no picture so they could have entered that from a book – not the actual cemetery – I don’t know.

I will point out that the Find-A-Grave stone is located in the same cemetery where James Campbell Sr is said to be buried, and that of his father (depending on which genealogy you believe), John Campbell who m. Grace Hay.

For now, Douglas’ genealogy makes sense (James d. 1781 age 25) and it seems like she researched her work well. Her interest in this family was in Eleanor, dau of grandson James (d. 1781). James, the grandson, left a will in Lancaster which I have copied and sourced it below but here are the highlights:

Will of James Campbell of Londonderry (1781)

  • Written Feb. 2, 1781 and Proven June 25, 1781, Executors: Wife Margret & David Hay & Timothy Green, Witness George Bell & Samuel Wier
  • Beloved wife Margaret
  • 15 bushels wheat each year until my daughter arrives at 18
  • My daughter Elinor the whole of my real estate but in case my wife is with child of a son I alow him to have 2/3 of my real estate my daughter the other 1/3
  • (If heirs die then real estate to be sold and money) equally devided between my brothers and sisters
  • I alow all my wearing apparel to my Brother Patrick Campbell

Will of James, Campbell Sr (1771)

When James left his plantation to his grandson (thereby skipping his own two sons), he put in quite a few stipulations. Again, read this for yourself and please correct me if I’m wrong but when it came to the plantation:

  • James (son of Patrick) was to have one half;
  • The future, oldest, surviving male of his son John Campbell was to have to other half; I say future because it appears that at the time James Sr wrote the will, John had no children – or at least sons.
  • If John did not have surviving sons, the entire plantation was to go to James (grandson)
  • If James died before maturity, the plantation was to go to the oldest surviving son of Patrick; if none of Patrick’s son’s survived, it was to go to Patrick’s oldest surviving dau.

First of all, I think James Sr really wanted his plantation to stay in the family. He must have loved his land. That said, John (s/o James) did die with no issue and his estate was passed to his only brother Patrick and his wife Margaret (surname unk although reported as McMichael by Douglas above). 

It would seem, per the terms of James (1771) will, that Eleanor, dau of James (1781), inherited her grandfather’s entire plantation along with her mother. I haven’t found the documents relating to the sale of the plantation but I have yet to search at any great length nor have I searched for Eleanor’s will in Cumberland Co, where she is said to have passed in 1856.


My next sketch will be the land documents of John, brother of Patrick who married Eleanor Hays and son of James.  For now, I will summarize a few thoughts:

James Campbell, who died in Londonderry in 1771, is not related in any obvious way to Patrick Campbell who died in 1772, in Donegal, Lancaster County, PA. (Will is posted below) He lived at a 279A plantation which he warranted 1734. Had 2 living children:

  1. John Campbell d. abt 1776 m. Margaret and left no issue
  2. Patrick Campbell m Eleanor Hayes

Patrick Campbell (son of James). Had children:

  1. James, inherited his grandfathers plantation when he was 15 and d. 1781
  2. Patrick Campbell who was given clothing in his brother James’ will dtd 1781
  3. Other brothers and sisters not named in James’ will dated (1781)

James Campbell (son of Patrick)

  1. Died in 1781 and is buried at the Derry Presbyterian Church Graveyard
  2. Married Margaret ____
  3. Had a daughter Eleanor mentioned in his will (Will is posted below)

As always, if you disagree with anything I say here, or even suspect you disagree, please let me know.  I’m just learning about these families so it may be easy for me to miss something.

And one last thing…  Campbell DNA Project. I would be VERY interested to see the results of a known descendant of Patrick and Eleanor Hays. Many people think that James Sr (1771) was the son of John Campbell who married Grace Hay – probably many of them belong to this family.

Members of Campbell/Hay family have participated (White David line – possibly other lines – 3 participants). If a descendant of Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hays matched, well that would answer a lot of questions not to mention dispel many, many myths.

If there wasn’t a match, then Hmmmm…I would still find it interesting – maybe more so.


The LW&T of  Patrick Campbell (1772) can be seen in my post: Patrick Campbell of Lancaster, PA or here: Wills 1730-1773 Vol A-B, on page 656 (Image # 469)

The LW&T of James Campbell (1771): The will of James Campbell Sr (1771) is posted below or can be found just a few pages prior to Patrick’s At FamilySearch.org: (link)  Wills 1730-1773 Vol A-B, on page 651 (Image # 467)

Will contains more info than I have listed here:

Click on Image to enlarge:

James Campbell in Landcaster1James Campbell in Landcaster2

James (1771), names his wife Rosanna, Jean Edmingston Step daughter, James Vernon son to step son Henry Vernon, Robert Crows children to be equally divided at mature age, Sister Martha Cary, Sister Elizabeth Long, Flavel Roan. Grandson James Campbell “son to my son” Patrick Campbell his heirs and assigns one half of my plantation. And his other son John Campbell. Nov 8, 1771 Probate & Letters granted to John Campble and Patrick Campbell the two Executors for Feb 8, 1772 accounting.

The LW&T of James Campbell (s/o Patrick) d. 1781: Will Book D, Page 14, Image #322

Click on Image to Enlarge



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