John Campbell of Derry and Londonderry, PA

My interest in studying John stemmed from the will of his father James Campbell of Londonderry who died testate 1771. I’ll refer to James with the notation of (1771) going forward. Per James LW&T (Last Will and Testament) he had sons Patrick and John. Because I am interested in anyone named Patrick (or John for that matter), and because there was a John Campbell who owned land near James (1771), I thought I would do some research.

Note: The names of the Townships of Derry and Londonderry are used interchangeably throughout the documents transcribed here. Don’t let this throw you off too much. Londonderry was split from Derry in 1767. I transcribed as were written.

Family of John Campbell

Patrick Campbell, John’s brother, married Elinor Hayes 6 Feb 1755. Elinor was the daughter of Patrick and Jean Hayes. 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.)

Patrick had a son James who was mentioned in James (1771) LW&T. Besides James, Patrick and Elinor had several other children which will be discussed in a future sketch. I mention the marriage here to give a sense of John Campbell’s age – I can guess he and his brother were probably born sometime between 1720 and 1730. My feeling is that it was closer to 1720 if not a bit earlier.

John Campbell died intestate, sometime bef 3 Apr 1776, when we find his wife Margaret (surname unknown) selling her interest in the estate, to John’s brother Patrick. John was living 7 Jun 1775, when he made a deed poll with the sheriff of Lancaster so he passed sometime between Jun 1775 and April the following year.

In the deed of Margaret to Patrick Campbell, we find irrefutable evidence that Patrick Campbell of Peters Township in Cumberland County, whose wife is named Elinor, is the brother of John Campbell. In later estate transactions, we discover there were no other living brother’s or sisters to John or Patrick. John Campbell and Margaret had no (living) children and Patrick had a son James. All of this, combined with the LW&T of James Sr in 1771, makes the family relationship clear.


John probably wasn’t a farmer by trade. He seemed to be in the business of buying, selling and renting properties especially in the later years.

At his death he was in the process of developing Campbelltown, now in Lebabnon Co, PA. Campbelltown was subsequently sold to Peter Grubb who, I assume, finished laying off the parcels. Campbelltown is still in existence today and is located about 4 miles East of Hershey, PA as shown in this Google map. Hersey was the approximate location of his father James (1771) – plantation:

Hersey to Campbelltown map

Google map: A) Hersey, PA B) Campbelltown, PA

According to the US Census Bureau (and Wikipedia) Campbelltown has a total area of 2.9 square miles, 2,415 people, 900 households, and 682 families in the year 2000.

Mystery Land

Before I get in the weeds about John Campbell’s land holdings, I want to point out the land he didn’t own at his death – nor have I found evidence he ever owned it. The land was located a few plantations away from James Campbell Sr (1771) and is the pictured here (below Henry Walker).  It contained 267 acres and was patented 27 Nov 1771 by a John Campbell – as I said, I can’t say if it was this John Campbell although it would make sense.

NOTE: all of the maps on this page can be found here. If you want to see more maps, go to my All Sources Page above or read this sketch: Searching PA Land Records to learn how I found all this information in total.

Land-JamesC Derry

According to Survey C220-250, the land was formerly owned by James Walker. If you look at the surrounding surveys, you will see the names of John Myer, George Henry, William Leitch, and John Walker.  Drilling down further and viewing Survey C97-133 and we find that Ulrick Weltmer owned the land in Oct 1771. So whoever this John Campbell is, he must have purchased the land from Weltmer.  Unfortunately, I can’t find a deed for a Weltmer to Campbell (or vice versa) in the Lancaster Deed Index so I am at a loss.

I want to point out something that threw me off. When John died, he owned a parcel of 40 acres (Survey H-384) warranted 21 Nov, 1771.

John C 40A SurveyThis parcel looks very similar to the bottom piece/tail of the tract pictured above on the map. The directions on the surveys are different and the patent date is off by 6 days, but still I was skeptical – it might be part of the above land. However, in the deeds that will be discussed below, we find the above survey of 40 acres (resurveyed to find it contained 42 + acres), is described as being:

  • Other plantation or  tract of land in the Township of Hanover, in the county of Lancaster, containing about 40 acres now in the tenures or occupation of Thomas Wallace.

Clearly this property is not in Hanover, so the mystery continues.  It’s important to me as I am looking for a John Campbell…  Just not this (subject of this sketch) John Campbell. Although I’ve grown fond of him too

Land of John Campbell

The remainder of this sketch is going to get ugly and tedious – sorry. It’s probably only important if:

  • You are looking to differentiate one John from another in Londonderry although; I haven’t run into many John’s besides this John. Or…
  • You are looking for the paper trail/evidence that Patrick Campbell who married Elinor Hayes (Eleanor Hayes), is the son of James Campbell (1771) of Londonderry, Lancaster (or Dauphin) Co, PA. Even then you can skim the remainder, taking note of the bold and italic areas.  Plus, read the Sketch on James Campbell of Londonderry.

I will start by summarizing the information found in the Deed from Margaret Campbell to Patrick Campbell whereby Margaret relinquished her interest in and administration of John’s estate to John’s brother Patrick. In this document (sources sited below- in the section on deeds) all of the holdings of John were summarized:

His Mansion: His Mansion house where he resided at the time of his death was in the Township of Londonderry containing about 325 acres (See Survey A66-179). This was the future site of Campbelltown. The survey says the tract is 352 acres.

  • Per the survey, this land was warranted to John Campbell by the Proprietors, 13 May 1752 and surveyed 14 March 1754. His father, James Campbell’s (1771) land was located NW of this land on the Londonderry Map). The Land was sold to land was sold to Peter Grubb after John died. See #6 in land transactions below.

Campbelltown Warrant Map

Adjoining Land: Plantation and tract of land, adjoining situate his other plantation in the same Township of Londonderry, occupied by Joseph Sherrer

  • Probably Survey A45-76. The land was originally said to be 210.10 acres but was returned as 102 acres per the survey dtd 5 Sept 1761. Also, see Warrant Registers, Lancaster Co, page 42, warrant #450.
  • In deed #4 (below) it says: one certain plantation or tract of land now known by the name of Campble’s Town track adjoining lands of Peter Dalibaugh, on the southwest lands of William Sayers and others, containing about 450 acres. Adding this with his Mansion property we get 352 acres + 102 acres = about 450.

Other plantation or tract of land in the Township of Londonderry, containing about 150 acres in the tenure of Conrad Wishong.

Other plantation or tract of land in the Township of Londonderry, containing about 80 acres in tenures or occupation of Peter Shields

Other plantation or  tract of land in the Township of Londonderry, containing about 30 acres; 3 undivided 5th parts of and in a certain other plantation and tract of land, in Londonderry containing about 150 acres. Under the tenure or occupation of Jacob Bender

  • I’m unclear as to the exact location of the above 3-4 properties however there are some hints: From Deed #4 (below) one other 3/5ths of an undivided tract of land now in the tenure of Henry Shell adjoining Conrad Wishon and others. The reference to the 3/5th property and Conrad Wishon may put at least 2 of these properties in the same general area.
  • From Deed #4 (below): One other tract of land lying on both sides of the road leading from Canawago Creek to Landisses Mill in Derry and Londonderry Township known by the name of Cross RoadsThe reference to Canawago Creek places the property South of Campbelltown. Here is another Historical Map that gives some context. Campbelltown is in the middle of the hour-glass shape. There is a cut out to the right. Canawago creek is south.

Other plantation or  tract of land in the Township of Hanover, in the county of Lancaster, containing about 40 acres now in the tenures or occupation of Thomas Wallace.

  • See Warrant Registers, Lancaster Co, page 42, warrant #481. Land was warranted 21 Nov 1771. This 40 acres went from Patrick Campbell to James Campbell (Patrick being James’ father) then back again. See Deed #4 below. Patrick Campbell had the land resurveyed 8 Nov 1784. See Survey H-384: 40 Acres found to contain 42.87. Patented by Jacob and George Moyer (dtd 22 Mar 1826 ?) This parcel was discussed above in the section on Mystery Land

Deeds executed by John Campbell or his Estate

All of the following transactions can be found on-line at the Recorder of Deeds, Lancaster Co. For instructions on how to search the database, you can see my sketch: Searching PA Land Records, Go to the paragraph titled: Land Records by Name in Lancaster Co.

1)  Willing To Campbell: Book G, page 202, Image 214: 7 May 1761, Thomas Willing, merchant of Philadelphia to John Campbell of Derry, for £200, land in Derry on Swahatars Creek (Swatara Creek). Recorded 5 Nov 1761.

  • This land was warranted to Hugh Chambers 10 Jan 1744, Valentine Klunegar and wife Katharine patented land 6 Nov 1752. Thomas Willing and wife Ann Willing, executors of Charles Willing, late of the city of Philadelphia, Merchant, were highest bidders at the sheriffs sale. Purchased for £62, 2 Aug 1758. Sheriff to Thomas Willing – Original Survey Map: A64-176
  • To see the deed where Thomas Willing purchased the land See Book D, page 459, Image 474

2)  Campbell to Hummell: Book H, Page 100, Image 119: Selling same land as above (Willing to Campbell): 6 Oct 1762, John Campbell and Margaret his wife to Frederick Hummel, of the township of Derry, for £200, 150 Acres, recorded 24 Nov 1762.

Swatara Creek Land (John C)

The upper highlighted property is the location of James Campbell (1771) plantation. The lower highlighted land was purchased by John Campbell from Thomas Willing.

I want to mention that there is something “nagging” me about this purchase. It feels somewhat random. He had warranted the Mansion property back in 1752 (352 acres) and probably had a house built. Why buy this property and sell for the same amount a year later? I can’t say – however, since the Deed mentions a wife Margaret, I attribute it to this John, but I’m keeping my options open.

3)  Margaret Campbell to Patrick Campbell: Book S, Page 519, Image 536

Margaret Campbell, widow and relict of John Campbell, late of Derry Township. Whereas the said John Campbell died without issue leaving the said Margaret, Widow and one brother to wit Patrick Campbell of the Township of Peters in the County of Cumberland. John Campbell died intestate seized of plantations and tracts of land (See above section Land of John Campbell for details).

Margaret is entitled to ½  part of the personal estate of John Campbell and the administration of the estate. In consideration of £1,100 lawful money of Pennsylvania, she has agreed to release (her share and interest) of all real estate land tenements and hereditaments late of the said John Campbell. Together with her share and part of the personal estate and administration of the estate, to Patrick Campbell. Recorded 3 Apr 1776.

4)  James Campbell to Patrick Campbell: Book R, Pg 567, Image 568

  • My Note: At some point in time (I haven’t found the deed) Patrick Campbell conveyed some (most? all?) of John’s land to his son James. I will mention here that James had inherited ½  of the land owned by his grandfather, James Campbell Sr (1771). The other ½  was to go to the eldest son of John Campbell, now deceased, should he ever have male issue. Because John Campbell died with no sons, James Jr (s/o Patrick) presumably inherited the entire plantation of his grandfather – see map pics above: James (1771) land is shown in a few. Not really important here but thought I’d mention it.

Whereas, asserting John Campbell of Campbletown, (Londonderry Township, Lancaster Co) died possessed of a real estate being an lying and lying in the aforesaid Township, county and state aforesaid, one certain plantation or tract of land now known by the name of Campble’s Town track adjoining lands of Peter Dalibaugh, on the southwest lands of William Sayers and others, containing about 450 acres and one other 3/5ths of an undivided tract of land now in the tenure of Henry Shell adjoining Conrad Wishon and others and one other tract of land lying on both sides of the road leading from Canawago Creek to Landisses Mill in Derry and Londonderry Township known by the name of Cross Roads and one other tract of land in Hanover Township, county and state aforesaid containing about 40 acres being the same more or less.

And whereas it is covenanted by and between my father Patrick Campbell of Peters township Cumberland County and the state aforesaid and I and the above named James Campbell for the above mentioned premises and tracks of land and every part there of together with one other tract of land now in the tenure of Conrad Wishon in Londonderry Township, containing 175 acres or that are about to be the same more or less joining Robert McCallan and others… For £1000 current money of Pennsylvania to me this said James Campbell in hand paid by my said father Patrick Campbell the receipt and payment whereof I do hereby acknowledge together with a certain tract or parcel of land being part of the state of the said John Campbell, deceased, joining Michael Jannens land Lodwick Slingar and others containing about 50 acres of land to be the same more or less conveyed to me by my said father Patrick Campbell… Forever quitclaim and to the said Patrick Campbell all my estate, right, title, interests, property, claim in demand, whatsoever of, in, two and out of the townships aforesaid… Said premises in every part and parcel thereof so far as it relates to the property of me by the decease of John Campbell aforesaid but … not to extend to my estate and interest in the same premises as the estate of my said father Patrick Campbell. Signed: 26 December 1778, James Campbell, Witnessed: Robert Heayes (Hayes), Samuel Rodgers

5)  Patrick Campbell to James Campbell: (Book R, Page 654, Image 656)

  • My Note: Patrick sells the 3/5th part back to James 5 months later

27 March 1779, between Patrick Campbell of the County of Cumberland, yeoman, and Eleanor his wife, of the one part and James Campbell (son of the said Patrick Campbell) yeoman.

Whereas John Campbell, late of Londonderry Township, in the County of Lancaster,  deceased, by virtue of a deed poll bearing the date of the 7 Jun 1775 under the hand and seal of John Feree, Esq, then high sheriff of the County of Lancaster became and was at the time of his deceased seized in fee and lawfully possessed of 3/5th part of the following described tract of land situate, lying and being in the Township of Londonderry in the County of Lancaster aforesaid being bounded and described as follows, corner of John Overs (Obers) land, corner of Williams Sawyers land thence by other lands late of the said John Campbell containing 150 acres.

And the said John Campbell being so aforesaid seized in fee and lawfully possessed of the aforesaid 3/5ths part of the above described tract of 150 acres the whole into five equal parts to be divided, he the said John Campbell lately died intestate without issue having no sisters but one brother only to wit the said Patrick Campbell to whom this said 3/5th part of the above described tract of land descended and came as sole heir at law of the said John Campbell, deceased.

The sum of £700 lawful money of Pennsylvania to him this said Patrick Campbell in hand well and truly paid by the said James Campbell.

All of those the aforesaid 3/5th part of the above-described tract of 150 acres of land, the whole in five equal parts to be divided together with the three full and equal fifth parts and all the singular houses, outhouses, barns, stables, edifices and buildings, (etc.)

That said Patrick Campbell …. hereby granted and released unto the said James Campbell his heirs and assigns. 8 April 1779. Witnessed: Thomas Edwards, Jacob Cook signed by Pat Campbell and Eleanor with her mark, recorded 3 May 1779.

6) Campbell to Grubb: (Book R, Page 657, Image 659)

By this deed, it appears Patrick is selling of the Campbelltown “project” (my word) and the Mansion House to Peter Grubb. John Campbell obtained the land from Patrick Hay and William Sayors on 21 June 1758. This deed is recorded in the City of Philadelphia, Patent Pook A, Vol 20, pg 412. Contained 352 acres, in Derry, by lands of William Slowan, John Campbell’s other land, thence by William Sawyer’s land, thence by John McCord’s land.

The said John Campbell did afterwards lay out part of the first above described Patented tract for a town or village and divided the said part into lots and granted and confirmed the same lots of ground unto sundry persons subject to the payment of a yearly ground rent… And whereas, the said John Campbell soon after died intestate and without issue.

Sold for £7,000…. 28 Apr 1779. Witnessed by Jacob Cook and Jas. Sullivan. Signed by Patrick Campbell and Elinor Campbell (her mark).

7) Patrick Campbell to Jacob Ricker: (Book U, Page 723, Image 729)

8 Apr 1779, Patrick Campbell, brother and heir of John Campbell, to Jacob Rickard* of Derry (*NOTE: Rickard is not a typo on my part. Jacob’s name is spelled 3 ways in this transcribed document: Jacob Ricker, Jacob Rickard, and Jacob Rickatt).

Indenture gives a genealogy of two separate pieces of land. The first being:

  1. Thomas and Richard Penn (Proprietors) to James Galbraith: 14 Oct 1760, 212 Acres, recorded City of Philadelphia, Patent Book AA, Vol 2, Page 64
  2. James Galbraith and Elizabeth his wife, 1 Mar 1761, granted to John Gerber, 212 Acres
  3. John Gerber and Elizabeth his wife, 12 Mar 1764, grant to Henry Tietzel
  4. Henry Tietzel and Cathrin, his wife, 17 Mar 1774, grant and convey to John Campbell described as land by John Gerber and Henry Tietzel, it being PART of the aforementioned 212 acres, containing 9 acres and 50 perches.

The second land being:

  1. John Gerber by another indenture did grant and convey to Adam Hamaker, 26 Jun 1762, 106 acres plus allowance
  2. Adam Hamaker and his wife Ann, 26 May 1762, sold the 106 acres to John McClure (Note the dates…  but this is how the document reads)
  3. John McClure and his wife Lilly sold to Henry Tietzel, 20 Nov 1766, described as beginning at a stone on FURNACE ROAD and extending by John Gerber’s land, then (by) other land of John McClure’s, (more descriptors then by) Max Spindle’s land at Furnace Road, containing 11 Acres 32 Perches and the usual allowance. It being part of the 106 Acres.
  4. Henry Tietzel and Cathrine, his wife, 17 Mar 1774, conveyed to John Campbell the 11 Acres 32 Perches

This deed is for both parcels of land as mentioned in #4 and #4 above. Patrick Campbell, brother and heir of John Campbell, sold the land containing together 20 acres and 82 perches, to Jacob Rickatt for £390.

Thomas Edwards and Jacob Cook witnessed, Patrick Campbell and Elinor Campbell (her mark) signed.


There isn’t much else to say but if you have questions, or if I forgot to name any of my sources let me know. Also, if you know the ownership of the Mystery Land (as I call it) I would love to hear from you!

1 comment
  1. Maria said:

    Mystery Land: Hanover is now East/West Hanover Twps in Lebanon/Dauphin Counties. Londonderry is North/South Londonderry Twps in Lebanon Co separated by Palmyra. The Swatara Creek runs north/south through this area. Hershey (Derry Twp) is immediately west of Lebanon Co into Dauphin Co. Derry Church is still active.

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