Franklin Co PA

Thought I would post a page to help out anyone looking for (Campbell family) Franklin Co wills. Plus it will help me when away from the computer. I have grouped these according to whom I think belongs to a certain family or Township – your opinions may differ and if they do, please email me or leave a note in the comment section so I can make corrections.

I started with a list posted at Rootsweb. You can find that here. I changed up a few notations because it worked better for me. BIG thanks to that poster who saved me (and others) a TON of time! The date the will was proven is first, the book and page number refers to the particular will book and the image number is where you find it on the microfilmed roll.

Or make it easy on yourself and follow the links provided.

Keep in mind; the helpful parts of this post are the links. I have verified very little info and nothing here should be construed as a complete or accurate abstract.

Fannett Campbells

1783 – William Campbell (1697-1783) married Francis UNK (verify)

1789 – Andrew Campbell (1728-1789) married Esther Jane Gettys Estate: 116, Book A, Page 141, Image: 87

1796 – David Campbell – Wife: Elizabeth Children: David, John, Agnus

1804 – William Campbell (1725-1804) wife Hannah Young Estate: 831, Book B, Page 287, Image: 346

1826 – Hannah Campbell (Hannah Young): Estate: 2330, Book C, Pg 809, Img 427

1813 – Mark Campbell Husband of Elizabeth Wilson Estate: 1221, Book C, Page 119, Img 73

1835 – John Campbell Wife Isabelle; children mentioned Estate: 3053, Book D, Page 317, Img 171

1836 – David Campbell (c1760-1846) wife Mary Alexander Estate: 4860, Book E, Page 130, Img: 362

1846 – William Campbell (1769-1846) wife Hanna Spence, Sons: Spence and Mark, Dau: Catherine Woods, Margaret Campbell – Estate: 4826, Book  E, Page 113, Img 354

1786 – William Gemal (Camel?) of Fannett, Franklin CO  Book A, Page 77, Image 53

1797 – Samuel Gammel of Fannet Twnshp, Franklin Co, PA Estate# 400 (??), Book B, Page 29, Image 215

1832 – Samuel Gamble LOA, 13 Aug 1832 Estate: 2828, Book D, Page 233

Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hayes

1795 – Patrick Campbell (1732-1794) married Eleanor Hayes

1798 – John Campbell Son of Patrick and Eleanor Hayes, Estate: 461, Book B, Page 65, Img 233

1823 – Frances Campbell LOA: Caleb B. Campbell (both sons of Pat Campbell Jr and Frances Stockton) Estate: 1992, Book C, Page 668, Img 357

1842 – Samuel Campbell (1775-1842) – PROBABLE?? son of Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hayes Estate: 4517, Book D, Page 551, Image 290

1824 – Robert Campbell LOA to William Campbell, Issiah McKinnie and (Caleb) Kaleb B Campbell Securities. – Probably s/o or grandchild of Pat and Eleanor (Caleb B Campbell securities) Estate: 2142, Book C, Page 720, Img 382

Captain Charles Campbell

1813 –  James Campbell (1747-1813) wife Sara McFarland Estate: 1468, Book C, Page 325, Image 178

1817 -James Campbell (1730-1817) wife Phaneal Reynolds) Estate: 1250, Book C, Page 155, Image 91

1814 –  Thomas Campbell (1750-1814) wife Mary McDowell – BIL: James McDowell, John McLean, Lazerz Brown Dau: Rebecca B. Campbell, Jean McKeen – Of Peters – Codicil: Grandson Thomas Cambell McLeen, Thomas Campbell McDowell – Town of St Thomas Estate: 1413, Book C, Page, 282, Image 156

1821 Mary Campbell Ltr of Ad to James McDowell Estate: 1762, Book C, Page 548, Img 296

Letterkenny Campbells

1796 – Robert Campbell Letterkenney Twp.; wife Margaret; sons James, Thomas, Andrew, Alexander, John dated 7/22/1796; proved 11/18/1796

1825 – Dr. Robert Campbell of Letterkenny Twp, cousin John Patterson of Guilford Twp, cousin Robert Brotherton of Letterkenny Twp., cousin William Brotherton of of Letterkenny Twp; uncle John Patterson (dec) late of Adams County, PA; uncle James Patterson; uncle Hugh Jackson; uncle Samuel Brotherton, uncle Alexander Campbell; uncle Armstrong Campbell; half sister Mrs. Ann Coulter; dated Feb. 19, 1825 proved March 8, 1825. – Estate: 2201, Book C, Page 736, Img 390

NOTE: There is a will of Hugh Campbell Straban Twnshp, York Co, PA that is probably connected to these Campbells. See: York Co, PA Wills, Book K, Page 25, Image 549

  • Hugh Campbell: wife Rebecca, sons: Alexander and Armstrong, dau Mary Campbell, son Robert Campbell, dau Margaret Campbell, My first wife’s children (not named), other names mentioned Isaac and John Armstrong. Written: 14 Dec 1798. Proven: 2 Jan 1799. Witness: Isaac Tate, John Brinkerhoff

Unknown Campbells: Please let me know if you have any info on the following Campbells

1785 – William Campbell Ltr of Ad to William Thompson

1798 – Henry Campbell Ltr of Ad to Samuel Wilson –

1803 – William Campbell (1728-1803) married Janet Coulter (Married First Prysb Church of Phildelphia, 6 Sept 1745). See Letterkenny Campbells for an additional Coulter marriage Estate: 602, Book B, Page 156, Img 279

1805 – Hugh Campbell No wife or children; lists 4 sisters, Mary Hosack (Tosack or Kosack?), Margaret Robison, Sarah Cook Jun, Elizabeth McBrayer Exec: John Thompson and William Hosack (Tosack or Kosack?) Witt: James Walker and Thomas Kirby Estate: 747, Book B, Page 244, Img 323

1807 – John Campbell Ltr of Ad to Thomas Wilson and Mary Campbell – Book B, Page 333, Image 369

1818 – Patrick Campbell, Esq Ltr of Ad to Arthur Chambers and Josias McKinney
–MAYBE PAT JR OF PAT AND ELEANOR HAYS?? Estate: 1539, Book C, Page 387, Img 209

1819 – Andrew P Campbell Wife Mary Gurgan Twnshp – Estate: 1637, Book C, Page 467, Img 254

1822 – John A. Campbell Ltr of Ad to Thomas Campbell – Estate: 2034, Book C, Page 680, Img 363

1824 – John Campbell Ltr of Ad to Elizabeth Campbell with John Cox and Francis Herron securities Estate: 2096, Book C, Page 706, Img 375

1839 – Thomas Campbell Wife Rebecca Harris; Metal Twp. daughter Reukammor, Charles, John Harris

  • Estate: 4008, Book D, Page 463, Img 246
  • Forum Query: Thomas M. Campbell (c2 Jul 1850-12 Dec 1860) was the son of John Harris Campbell and his wife Ann, grandson of Thomas Campbell and Rebecca Harris. Thomas M. was born in Metal Twp, Franklin Co, and is buried in Knobsville Methodist Cemetery, Fulton Co. His parents are in the Metal Twp census in 1850 and 1860. Did the family move to Fulton County and then back to Franklin? Matilda, daughter of John and Ann died 1864 and is buried in Lower Path Valley Cemetery. Can anyone help clear this up?

Allen Killough of Montgomery Twnshp, Cumberland Co: Grandson John Campbell – Original Will and administration


A word of caution before I begin: This page is mostly for me. A year from now when I come across these Campbells, I need to remember how I put them together and the theories on which I was working. All of my work is documented unless otherwise stated. In order to find my sources, I ask that you visit the original page which I will link. I’m not documenting sources here. Additionally, on the linked pages, you will far more detail. Nothing here should be construed as transcription of any estate document, Will or complete outline of an individual family.

The purpose of this page is to tie everyone together so the future me can remember why I was researching them in the first place and the family to whom they belonged.


My study of Lancaster Co, PA is centered on Patrick Campbell of Donegal, Lancaster, PA who died in 1772.  In his will, Patrick identified 2 brothers Robert and David. In addition he named a John Campbell but did not specify a relationship.  He also names 2 sisters, Elizabeth Montgomery and Margaret Hutchison. He names several nieces and nephews, including those of his brother David, namely Patrick, David, Jane and Mary. The guardian of David’s children was John Byers, brother to David’s wife/widow, Martha Byers.

  • Note: There are several others named in the will of Patrick Campbell, please go to that sketch to learn more.

John Byers moved to Cumberland Co and the children of Martha and David lived with him until about 1770(ish) when at least some of them are said to have removed to VA. I am unsure which ones went to VA.

Patrick Campbell who m. Eleanor Hayes was living in Peters Township, then Cumberland County. His family carried the same names as the family of Patrick Campbell of Donegal. It is through these circumstances that I researched Patrick and Eleanor Campbell, which led me back to James Campbell of Derry and subsequently the family of John Campbell and Grace Hays.

Read more about: Patrick Campbell of Lancaster Co, PA

John Campbell who married Grace or Grissell Hays

In order to discuss the Campbell family of Derry (later Londonderry), Lancaster Co, PA, one has to start with this family.  John and Grissel are said to have come to Lancaster, Co circa 1726, only to remain a few years, and then remove to Beverly Manor, VA with their sons, Robert, David and Patrick.  These 3 brother’s presence in Beverly Manor is undisputed, especially David and Patrick. There is some difference in the details of Robert’s life in VA.

Their presence in Lancaster would be inconsequential if it weren’t for James Campbell who Dr. William Egle said stayed in Derry, Lancaster, PA, and is buried in the Derry Presbyterian Churchyard.

Campbell Graves in Derry

Find a Grave Memorial # 19229930 From Left to Right, James (1771) – Large Stone, flat to ground, Gravestone of John Campbell (1734) and Memorial to James (1751), next, James (1781) s/o Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hayes. Note the placard and flag. Prob denoting Rev War Service.

THEORY: Probably buried in the same plot is  James’ father John Campbell (according to Egle). On the same stone is a memorial to James Campbell, who d. 1751 (?) at the age of 33. My theory is James (1751) is probably the son of James (1771).

Next to the stone of John (1734) and James (1751), is the grave of James (1781) who died in the Revolutionary War. This James was the son of Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hayes and the grandson of James (1771) – This theory developed from viewing pictures of this plot and comparing them to other known pictures of individual stones.

For more information on the many early theories and contradictions surrounding this family, please read: Comparative Study of Family Traditions of John Campbell and Grace Hay in Lancaster Co, PA

James Campbell (1771) of Derry

James Campbell owned a large plantation in Derry ( later Londonderry), Lancaster, PA and is said to have died at age 80 from the transcriptions of his stone.  He died testate in 1771 so he was b. about 1681. According to Dr. William Henry Egle, James was the son of John Campbell who traditionally is referred to as the John Campbell who m. Grace (Grissell) Hay. However, Egle provides an additional generation in his work as opposed to the more commonly referenced work of Margaret Pilcher.

From his Last Will and Testament, we know James (1771) had 2 sons; John and Patrick.  We know that Patrick had at least 1 son named James, to whom James Sr (1771) left his plantation.  John had no issue at the time James wrote his will.

Read more about: James Campbell Sr (d. 1771) of Derry, Lancaster, PA

John Campbell (1776) of Londonderry and Campbelltown

John Campbell was the son of James Campbell (1771) and the founder of Campbelltown in now Lebanon Co, PA. He died intestate abt. 1776.  He was married to Margaret, surname unknown. Margaret sold her interest in the estate to John’s brother Patrick and it is in the estate documents that we find proof that Patrick Campbell of Peters Township, Cumberland (later Franklin) Co, PA, whose wife’s name was Elinor (Eleanor), was the brother of John Campbell, and subsequently the son of James Campbell (1771). We also find proof that Patrick Campbell had a son James.

Patrick’s son James married a Margaret (surname unk) and their daughter Eleanor married Rev. Joshua Williams. James died in the Rev War and is probably buried in the same plot as his grandfather James (1771) and perhaps his great grandfather John (1734).

Also in the estate documents of John Campbell (1776) we find that he and his wife Margaret, had no (living) children.

Read more about: John Campbell of Derry and Londonderry, PA

Patrick Campbell (1795) of Peters Township

Patrick Campbell married Eleanor Hays in 1755 and had several children.  My initial interest in Patrick was to differentiate his children from the others living in Peters Township and Cumberland Co in general.

My “new” interest is to find a proven descendant of this family who is participating in the Campbell DNA Project. Participation would help to resolve many of the conflicting traditions surrounding John Campbell and Grace Hay.  If descendants were shown to match this family, more weight could be given to the history of this family as detailed by Dr. William Henry Egle. As a personal note, it would also eliminate any connection to this family and my own.

If no relationship to the family of John Campbell and Grace Hay were shown, well, it could mean a lot of things but probably best not to speculate until it’s known to be true.

Read more about Patrick Campbell of Peters Township, Franklin Co, PA

Family Tree

So far, my research has done more to validate Dr. Egle’s theories although no documentary evidence had been found connecting James (1771) to the John and Grissell Hay family. So, it is tentatively, and THEORETICALLY, that I say John Campbell who married Grace Hay died in 1734 and buried in the Derry Presbyterian Church Graveyard. Their son was:

James Campbell who was born prob about 1691 and d. 1771. His sons were:

  1. THEORY: James Campbell, d. 1781 (or 1757?) from gravestone. He was 33 when he died. IF he was the son of this James, he presumably died with no issue as they most likely would have been named in the will of James Sr (1771). The basis of that assumption is that James Sr. provided for unborn children of his son John so he would have done the same had his son James had living children. I presume him to be related to this family b/c his memorial is on the same stone of John (1734) whom Egle presumes to be the father of James Sr (1771)
  2. John Campbell d. abt 1776, married Margaret (unk surname). He founded Campbellstown, PA and died with no issue
  3. Patrick Campbell of Peter Township, Cumberland Co, PA. Patrick Married Eleanor Hays in 1755 and was the executor of his brother, John’s, estate. Eleanor was the dau of Patrick Hayes and Jane or Jean McKnight.

Children of Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hays

  1. James Campbell who was b. abt 1756 and d. 1781. James left a will in Lancaster Co, PA. He married Margaret (surname unknown). He had 1 daughter named Eleanor who m. Rev Joshua Williams. James died before his father and therefore not mentioned in Patrick’s will however the estate documents of his Uncle John Campbell of Campbelltown, PA make the relationship clear.

The remainder of the children are named in the will of Patrick:

  1. Son: William
  2. Dau: Jenny Stockton, wife of Caleb Stockton
  3. Son: John: £500 paid in installments. John died testate in 1798 with no issue. He left his estate to his sister Jenny and brother William. Will on-line at
  4. Son: Patrick
  5. Son: Robert: was named executor and was to share the Upper Peters Townshp 400 acres or thereabouts with his brother Patrick
  6. Son: David
  7. Son: Samuel: was to share the other plantation in Peters Township being 300 acres or thereabouts with his brother David.


Again, understand this is just a brief write up to remind myself who this family was, how they linked together, and how I came to research them. MANY more details, documents and sources can be found in the individual sketches linked above. No information found here should be construed as a transcription of LW&T, estate administration or complete genealogy.

This sketch is on the family of Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hays/Hayes. If you are a descendant, please keep in mind that my research goal was not to accumulate everything there is to be known about Patrick and Eleanor. My goal was to differentiate him and his family from other Campbells who were in the area. I mention this so that you can take my work and expand on it yourself. There is more to be learned by following up on the various land records I cite here and some that I am not referencing at all.

If you are unfamiliar with the records available, you can start here: Searching PA Land Records. Many Campbells are listed in Franklin Co but not all belong to this family.

Also, I know some people have dedicated much time (years?) to this family. If you see errors in my work, PLEASE point them out. Last thing I want is to be passing on bad information!

And a final 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. I transcribed as written. James Campbell’s (1771) land is found on the Derry map. Londonderry was split from Derry in 1767.

Unanswered Questions

I have 2 questions about the children of Patrick Campbell that remain unanswered and would appreciate any input:

  1. Is any member of this family a participant in the Campbell DNA project?
  2. Did any of the children (or grandchildren) of Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hayes settle in Fannett Township, Cumberland, then Franklin co. Fannett is located about 30 miles north of Peters Township.

You can either leave a note in the comments section or email me directly. You can find my email information over there in the Contact Me box: ————->

Family of Patrick Campbell

Patrick’s father was James Campbell of Londonderry, PA and his brother was John Campbell of Londonderry, PA. I wrote about both James and John in the above linked sketches. It is through the settlement of John’s estate and the Last Will & Testament (LW&T) of James Campbell, that we find the evidence of the family relationship.

Patrick Campbell m. Eleanor Hayes on 6 Feb 1755 (See records of Paxtang Presbyterian Church, History of the Sesqui-Centennial of Paxtang Church, by Mathias W.  McAlarney, p.  269.) Hays family researchers say that Eleanor is the daughter of Patrick Hays (Hayes) and Jane or Jean McKnight.

Patrick and Eleanor raised their family in Peters Township, Cumberland Co (later Franklin), PA. Peters is about 80 miles West of Patrick’s father’s plantation in Londonderry, Lancaster (now Dauphin), PA. The estate documents of his brother John make the relationship clear – repeatedly.

Peters Township, Franklin Co, PA

I can’t say why Patrick moved to Peters Township but I suspect he moved with his wife’s family as a William Hays had land next to Patrick’s. Later William Hays land was transferred to Patrick and Samuel Hays.  See Survey C37-23 for more details.

Patrick Campbell had land in Peters Township as early as 1767, probably earlier. In the Pennsylvania Archives, V. II, Edited By William Egle m.d., Pub 1894, pgs 384-385, 395 (Google book linked)  we find 3 caveats filed where Patrick was claiming various surveys were interfering with his land. Two were filed in the Land Office on 2 Feb 1767 against Alexander McConnel and another bearing the same date against Robert Wilson. On the 26 May 1767, he filed another claim against Samuel Robb. Samuel Robb is mentioned in the above linked survey.

Another interesting survey is C31-122. It lists the land of Patrick Hays and mentions a Robert Campbell who was granted 250 acres of land 4 Sept 1767. I don’t know who this Robert is. He is not the son of Patrick and Eleanor who (at most) would be 11 or 12 in 1767.  There were other Campbell families in the area so I am keeping this land doc in my “still to be figured out” pile. The only reason I reference it here is because of the name Patrick Hays.

There is a book State  and Supply Transcripts Of The County Of Cumberland, Edited by William Henry Egle M.D., Vol XX, Published 1897. Several pages have information on Campbell’s – not all this family. It is a searchable and is a good resource for this area.

  • 1780: Patrick Campbell is listed as owning 718 acres, 6 horses, 7 cattle and 1 negro (Pg 347)
  • 1781: Patrick Campbell is listed as owning 678 acres, 5 horses, 8 cattle and 1 negro (Pg 475)

When Patrick died in 1795, we know he owned at least 2 tracts of land which he bequeathed to 4 of his sons. Two other sons he gave cash to be paid in installments.

Will of Patrick Campbell

Patrick left a will in Franklin Co, PA. A copy of the will, inventories and administrations can be found at the web site (link provided below). Details include:

  • Patrick Campbell of Peters Township, Franklin Co, Yeoman,  dtd: 15 June 1795
  • Beloved Wife Eleanor
  • Son: William: £300 paid in installments
  • Dau: Jenny Stockton, wife of Caleb Stockton, £100 paid in installments
  • Son: John: £500 paid in installments
  • Sons: Patrick and Robert: Upper Peters Township 400 acres or thereabouts
  • Sons: David and Samuel: Other plantation in Peters Township being 300 acres or thereabouts. Samuel also received £100 paid in installments
  • Mentions former contract with John Wray or John McRay
  • Exec: Wife Eleanor, son Robert, friend John Scott Esq of Chambersburg
  • Wit: Robert McFarland, James Erwin, John Riddle
  • Prvn: 14 Sept 1795

One interesting note about the inventory of Patrick; It included an eight-day clock which had its own separate appraisal attached. I note this because in the LW&T of Patrick’s father James who d. in 1771, he also mentioned a clock. Not sure if it was the same one.

Children of Patrick

I don’t want to get too detailed about the children of Patrick as I haven’t spent enough time researching them. There are a few on-line genealogies out there that can be easily found by searching for “Patrick Campbell married Eleanor Hayes”. That said, I must make one observation.

Some of the birth dates of the children look a little off. Keep in mind, Patrick and Eleanor were married in 1755 and from my experience with his brother’s family, I would guess he was born btwn 1720-1730. His first child, James was b. abt 1756 – I have seen some dates that have the children being born quite late in life.

HOWEVER – nothing is easy (lol) – there is a reference to an approval by the orphan’s court 14 May 1804 in Patrick’s administrations docs. I feel it has more to do with an heir passing away but I could be wrong.

James Campbell who was b. abt 1756 was not mentioned in his father’s will because he died in 1781; reportedly in the Revolutionary War. He married Margaret (unknown surname) and had one daughter Eleanor who grew up to marry Rev Joshua Williams. I discuss James in detail and list sources in the sketches regarding James Campbell of Londonderry, PA and John Campbell of Londonderry, PA.  James of Londonderry is this James’ grandfather, John was his Uncle. I have seen Eleanor, dau of James being listed as a dau of Patrick but I think the evidence now available on-line clearly defines this relationship.

Here are a few sources that may help provide additional info on the children of Patrick; probably nothing new to those who have researched this family for years.

The next 4 links are from a Rootsweb poster who has transcribed some information on Mercersburg Campbells (not all are this family). The posts are from: Information held at Kittochtinny His. Soc. Chambersburg PA.:

And finally, if you want to look at the Campbell wills for Franklin Co, now available on-line thanks to the wonderful people of, I suggest you start here (link). Someone took the time to look up all the Campbells and find the Image numbers. This is a HUGE time saver (Thank You)!!  Here are a few hints when using this document:

  • First, go get the document and print it.
  • Go to the Franklin Co site (linked)
  • SCROLL to the bottom where you find Will books, Open the appropriate Will Book, then go to the Image Number

The links at the top, before you scroll, are by estate number and have all the estate docs available (Inventories, etc). I found a few Inventories before I figured out the Scrolling – I link them below as the inventories and administrations have addl info – plus might be the original wills? Not all estate docs are available:

If you have questions – please ask, I’m happy to help. Some of these are for the kids of Patrick and Eleanor but not all of the so proceed with caution.


I probably know more about this family than I’m writing here so if you have questions, let me know. I’ll write one more sketch summarizing this entire family. If you go to my Pennsylvania Page at the top of this blog, you will find it (in the next few days).  It might be a good place to start if you are looking for more information.

If you have researched Campbells in SW Virginia, you are probably familiar with the family of John Campbell and Grace (Grissell) Hay, their sons Robert, David, Patrick of Beverly Manor, Augusta, VA and perhaps James. This is the ancestral family of General William Campbell, the hero of Kings Mountain and the (1837) Governor of Virginia, David Campbell.

The American origins of this family are said to be in Lancaster Co, PA – on this, most researchers agree, however the extent of the family’s activities in Lancaster is unclear. There have been several conflicting stories published and as a result, I believe some families have been mistakenly misrepresented.

For my purposes, I wanted to look at the three most popular versions of this story in order to understand its origins.

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.

Gov. David Campbell

Gov David Campbell was the great-grandson of John Campbell who married Grace Hay. In the 1840’s, Gov David carried on a several year correspondence (about 10 yrs?) with Lyman Draper who was detailing the events of Gov Davids second cousin, General William Campbell, the Hero of Kings Mountain. During this time Gov David was collecting memories of family, friends and colleagues in order to assemble his family history. The follow information was taken from the pages of Phillip Norfleet, whose work I have studied extensively and found to be meticulous, especially when it comes to the “White David” branch of this family*. In an 1840 letter to Lyman Draper, Gov David stated his family:

  • (S)ettled near Lancaster in Pennsylvania in the year 1726

While researching this family Norfleet discovered an additional note, written by Governor David Campbell, which stated his family:

  • (I)n 1726 settled in the“Sweet Ara” river where Lancaster now stands in Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately Norfleet did not reference the date of this note and indeed, it may not have been dated. It would be interesting to know when the reference to “Sweet Ara” (probably the Swatara) entered the narrative. A picky point but we will see how the smallest details are elaborated on. Was “Sweet Ara” from his own family history or did he obtain that bit of information from someone else? Either way there is a Swatra River and a Swatara Township.

In the above genealogical note, Gov David stated that (my notes in brackets and not italic):

  • Duncan Campbell moved from Inveray, Scotland to Ireland (Several other generations mentioned but not detailed)
  • (A descendant of the above Duncan) Duncan Campbell, had a son John (who m. Grace Hay)
  • He (John Campbell and Grace), had six sons, Patrick, John, William, James, Robert and David. Three – to wit – John, William and James were never married. John died in England having gone there with Lord Boyne and became (his) steward”

The last bullet point is probably the most important. According to Gov David, John never came to America and while we don’t know if William or James moved to VA with their brothers, he states they never married.

Also, I want to make clear, Gov David never named the wife of his Great Grandfather John Campbell. The name Grace (Grissell) Hay came later and to my knowledge, a record has never been found nor an original source named.

* ”White David” is a term coined by Mrs. Margaret Pilcher whose work will be discussed below. It is referring to David Campbell, one of the three brothers who removed to Augusta Co, VA in the 1730’s.

William Henry Egle, M.D.

Dr. Egle was a native of Harrisburg, PA, a Civil War Veteran, and the State Librarian from 1887-1899. During his tenure as State Librarian he oversaw the publishing of multiple books of genealogical significance; one of them being a series called Notes and Queries: Historical, Biographical and Genealogical relating chiefly to the interior of Pennsylvania, published annually (N&Q).

In the N&Q series, people would write asking for information, it would be published in a magazine and hopefully someone else with knowledge of the family would write back. The writers of these N&Q lived in the 19th century and many times had familial knowledge of their grandparents and great grandparents. While compiling and editing his books, Egle had access to (thousands?) of family histories/traditions.

In Pennsylvania Genealogies: Scotch-Irish and German, by William Henry Egle M.D., pub. 1886. (linked) On page 516 we find:

  • Duncan Campbell of the noble house of Breadalbane born in Scotland married there in 1612 Mary McCoy and removed with his wife in the same year to Ireland.
  • They had issue among other children whose names have not been preserved by the descendants in America, a son John Campbell b. in 1621 m. in 1655 Grace Hay daughter of Peter Hay and had issue:
    1. Dugald his descendants settled in Rockbridge county Va
    2. John b 1656 m and had issue
    3. Robert b 1665 m. in 1696 his descendants settled in Orange, now Augusta county Virginia in 1740
  •  (Number 2 above) John Campbell (John, Duncan)  b. 1656 in the north of Ireland d. February 20, 1734 in Derry township then Lancaster county Pa; buried in the grave yard of old Derry church; in 1726 came to Pennsylvania with his family his wife probably dying before emigrating. They had issue:
    1. Robert  removed to Virginia m and had issue five children four daughters and one son the last dying young the name of one daughter Rebecca has been transmitted.
    2. David in 1741 removed from Pennsylvania to Augusta county Va m Margaret Hamilton and left issue
    3. James b 1689 d May 31 1771 buried in Derry church grave yard was twice married; his second wife Agnes b. 1707 d. April 3 1757 and is buried by the side of her husband; they left issue
    4. Patrick b. 1690 a strong churchman removed from Pennsylvania to Virginia about 1740
    5. John b 1692 m and had issue

There is more about this family but for now, this is enough.

From Dr. Egle’s knowledge of (presumably) multiple family traditions, he has expanded on Gov. David’s knowledge of the family and added:

  • House of Breadalbane in Scotland (Gov David says Inveray), both agree they moved to Ireland
  • Marriage of Duncan Campbell and Mary McCoy (Gov David makes no mention of this marriage)
  • An additional generation of John Campbell Sr. who m. Grace Hay whose children are: Duncan, John Jr and Robert;
      1. John Jr. being the progenerator of the Gen William Campbell/Gov David Campbell family.
      2. John Jr is buried in the Derry Churchyard (Lancaster, PA)
      3. John Jr is the father of Robert, David, Patrick, etc
      4. Gov David states that the generations are Duncan to John who sons were Robert, David, Patrick, etc.
  • Knowledge of a marriage between John Sr and Grace Hay. (Gov David stated no such marriage)
  • James came to America and married. He died in Derry, Lancaster, PA and is buried in the Derry Churchyard. (Gov. David states that James never married)
  • John came to America, was married and had issue (Gov. David states that John never came to America)
  • Dr. Egle does not mention a William who Gov David states came to America and never married.

Again, understand that Egle was relying on tradition and most likely combining several versions on the same family into one narrative. We know today that he was not 100% accurate, for instance, the marriage of Duncan Campbell and Mary McCoy has pretty much been disproven by Dr. Ruby Campbell, genealogist for the Clan Campbell Society. You can read more about that at the bottom of this post.

There have been other corrections I have read concerning a Francis Campbell but that is beyond the scope of this sketch.  The point being, while there is probably much truth to these traditions, we can not rely on them. Today, they should be viewed as a starting point for further research.

Margaret Pilcher

Margaret Hamilton Campbell Pilcher published a genealogy on the Augusta Co Campbells, in 1911, called: Historical Sketches of the Campbell, Pilcher, and Kindered Families. It’s probably the most referenced / mis-referenced / re-referenced / “I don’t even know I referenced” / copied genealogy on the internet with regards to the Augusta Co Campbells.

Mrs. Pilcher, for the most part, was only repeating what was now (1911), printed traditions regarding this family. What is confusing is that she adds many new details but does not explain why or cite sources. Of the family’s arrival in PA, she says (my notes in brackets):

  • John Campbell, son of Duncan and Mary McCoy Campbell, was born in November, 1674, on his father’s estate, “Drumboden,” seven miles from Londonderry, Ireland. 
  • In the year 1726, with their children … settled on the Sweet Ara, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Donegal Township. 
  • Three of their six sons did not marry–John, William, and James. 
  • (Son) John Campbell died in England, having gone there from Ireland with Lord Boyne.  While there he became Steward to Lady Buckingham. 
  • (Son) James Campbell died in Ireland,
  • (Son) William Campbell died in Pennsylvania. 
  • The other sons who emigrated with their parents to America, married and had families, namely: (Sons) Patrick, Robert, and David Campbell.  Their daughters were: Margaret, Catherine, and Mary Campbell.

Mrs Pilcher used Dr. Egle as a source, so it must be from him that she received the reference to Duncan Campbell and Mary McCoy. The reference to Drumboden is a mystery.

The next point, that the family emigrated in 1726 and settled on the “Sweet Ara”, most likely came from the notes of Gov David however she adds that they lived in the Donegal Township. The Swatara River (assuming she was referencing the River not the Township) does not run through Donegal. Keep in mind we live in a time where maps, books and databases are only seconds away from the comfort of our living room via the internet. Not so for Mrs. Pilcher.

The reference to Donegal probably originated from another book Mrs. Pilcher used as a source. History of Lancaster County, by Israel Daniel Rupp, pub Lancaster, Co, 1844. The earliest Campbell references in this book are to a Patrick Campbell who in 1729 was an overseer of the poor or perhaps constable (see page 253). My opinion is that from this source, Mrs. Pilcher concluded the origins of this family were in Donegal, not Derry and deviated from the work of Egle.

As to the sons of John Campbell, progenerator of the Gov. David’s line, John having gone to England to become a steward was probably sourced from Gov David’s account. How she came to the conclusion that James died in Ireland and William dying in PA is unknown to me.

Mrs. Pilcher also referenced daughters of John Campbell. Another known source of hers was: Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, by Joseph Addison Waddel, pub 1902 (Second Edition). Most of the Campbells mentioned in this book center around this particular family activities in Augusta Co Virginia. On page 147 however, Waddel referenced the family’s origins in Lancaster and added a note that the family contained several daughters.

How Waddell knew the family contained daughters, I do not know nor do I know where Mrs. Pilcher obtained the names of the daughters.

The Children of John Campbell (and Grace Hay)

Dr. Egle’s Campbells stand in stark contrast to Mrs. Pilcher’s. The differences (depending upon whom you believe) may have caused some confusion when determining later descendants. Today, we have access to far more records than what was possible for the average person in the late 1800’s. Where they were had to rely upon tradition (for the most part), we can verify with documents and photographs.

Grave JohnC 1734

Grave of John Campbell
Find A Grave Memorial# 19229926

Pilcher said John Campbell, father of “White” David, moved to Augusta Co, VA with his sons. Egle says John d. 1734 in Lancaster and is buried in the Derry churchyard.  There is a grave of John Campbell who d. in 1734 at the age of 78 (b. abt 1656). Also listed is a memorial to James Campbell who d. 1751 (?) at the age of 33.

Patrick, Robert and David

I think we can all agree, it has been proven that these three moved to Augusta Co, VA. I like Philip Norfleet’s work the best when it comes to a modern writing with regards to this family. That said, much has been written and theorized and I will defer to other’s work on these three brothers.

One note about Patrick however, I do not believe that the Patrick who moved to Augusta Co Va was the same Patrick who was the Constable/Overseer of the poor. I write more of Patrick Campbell of Donegal here: Patrick Campbell of Lancaster Co, PA

William Campbell

Egle does not mention a William but Pilcher does and say’s he died in Pensylvania. There was a William who died in 1748 in Lancaster Co, Township unknown.  You can find his will at Go to PA, then the probate records of Lancaster Co, Book J, Image #44.  William names his wife Margary and children: John, William, Mary, Jane, Margaret, and Ann. His Exec were Sml Reed, Sml Grahams, Richard Lonkey(?).

Not a lot of information that points us to William being the son of John Campbell, progenerator. We certainly can’t link based on the will alone nor do I believe that Pilcher would have. I’m just pointing out the existence of a William Campbell in the area.

John Campbell

Pilcher says: John Campbell died in England, having gone there from Ireland with Lord Boyne.

Egle states that: John Campbell (was) b. in 1692 in Ireland d. 1764 at York Pa a minister of the Episcopal church. He married and had issue

  1. James b 1731 in 1760 removed to Virginia*
  2. Eleanor b 1733 d 1735
  3. Francis b 1737 m Elizabeth Parker
  4. John b. 1740 d 1797 was one of the most eminent lawyers in Western Pennsylvania

* My Note: I can’t be sure but I wonder if this is the source of various genealogies stating that James Campbell, son of John Campbell and Grace Hay, moved to VA. Sometimes I see James listed as a brother to John. Here, Egle is saying James is a grandchild of John.

James Campbell

Pilcher says: James Campbell died in Ireland

Egle says: James b 1689 d May 31 1771 buried in Derry church grave yard was twice married; his second wife Agnes b. 1707 d. April 3 1757 and is buried by the side of her husband; they left issue.

I have researched the James who lived and died in Derry/Londonderry, Lancaster Co, PA.  He is buried next to whom Egle believes is his father John (1734). It is my theory that the memorial to James (1751), on John’s stone, was most likely the son of this James who left a will in 1771. You can read about James here: James Campbell Sr of Londonderry, Lancaster, PA.

Of course there is always the possibility that James came to America and moved to VA with his brothers and I have seen multiple internet genealogies making this claim. However, I haven’t seen any sources listed or arguments presented for why they believe this may be true so for the most part, I classify any mention of a brother James in VA as erroneous.


Mrs. Pilcher states the daughters of John (and Grace Hay) were Margaret, Catherine and Mary.

Dr Egle mention no daughters however, in the 1771 will of James (above), he mentions 2 sisters: Martha Cary and Elizabeth Long. They were to receive a legacy if they came to this country (from where is not stated).


I’m not the first to point out the differences in published genealogies with regards to the Augusta Co, VA Campbell’s. I haven’t read any others in detail as I wanted to come up with my own list and not be influenced. I have spent a lot of time with these Campbell’s in VA even though they are not mine (as shown by DNA). If you are researching in Augusta Co, VA it’s important to know who they were as there are so many random connections to this family, you can actually miss your own if not careful or be lured into making a false connection which I believed has happened time and again.

But, for now, my concern is in Lancaster Co, PA.

My recommendation to anyone researching Campbells in this area is obtain original documentation and draw your own conclusions vs relying on the traditions of the past. IMO, there is no 100% accurate narrative when it comes to this family’s early history in America (prior to Augusta, Co). There is a treasure trove of original documentation available on-line thanks to many folks mentioned in my All Source Page linked above.

As always, your opinions are very much appreciated.  Just leave a comment below or email me.

End Note:

Duncan Campbell m. Mary McCoy: In regard to the Augusta Co Campbell family (John Campbell who m. Grace Hay), there is no sourced information that says Duncan Campbell married Mary McCoy. A posting by Diaramid Campbell can be found here and is a far better source:

  • The family tree in the 18th century document found in recent years among the papers from an estate in Virginia, and outlined in the second of Dr. Ruby Campbell’s articles on the subject in the Clan Campbell Society (North America) quarterly Journals (Vol. 28 No.2 Spring 2001 pp. 46-48 & Vol. 28 No. 4 Autumn 2001 pp. 47-49), is the earliest known record of this family to date, and while a secondary source rather than primary, it does offer some possible clarification of relationships. It clarifies that there was a Duncan Campbell who married Mary Ramsay (said to be of the Dalhousie family – discussed in the article) followed by their son John Campbell, followed by his son John Campbell who appears to have married Mary McCoy. Their son John Campbell (3rd of the name) married Grizle Hay, daughter of Patrick Hay

Dr. Campbell’s research has been out there 12 + years… Time to update some genealogies if you can… I understand, not all information posted on the web can be updated – Heaven knows I’ve put out wrong info that I cant change –  but please, if possible…  go back and source Dr. Campbell’s work to avoid confusion for future researchers.