SW Virginia (All Counties)

From the will of Patrick Campbell of Donegal, Lancaster Co (1772), we learned that Patrick had a brother David who had died and left a widow Martha, and four children; Patrick, David, Mary and Jane. The Widow was Martha Byers which is determined from a court case involving the children of David Campbell and the sale of his land in Derry, Lancaster Co, PA.

October Assizes 1796, At York

To the best of my understanding, the children of David were claiming that the land of their late father David Campbell was wrongly sold and were hoping to re-claim it from Andrew Rheim and Casper Lear, the owners in 1796.  The Campbells lost the case but it provided valuable information. I have copied some (not all) of the case at the bottom and linked the original law book so you can verify my notes.  The items of interest to me are:

  • Name of the Case: Lessee of Patrick Campbell, David Campbell, Henry Wales and Mary his wife, and Jane Campbell against Andrew Rheim and Casper Lear.
  • David Campbell on the 28th May 1748 took out a warrant for 200 acres of land more or less in Derry township adjoining James Russel
  • Interest to commence thereon from 1st March 1739
  • He (David) died intestate on the lands in 1758 leaving Susannah his widow and issue the lessors of the plaintiff who were all young at the time but their ages were not ascertained.
  • They contended that this usage ceased in 1753 or 1754. The tract was sold at public vendue for 140£ 10s in 1758…  *
  • He (David Campbell Sr) had a brother named Patrick who lived about six miles from the land and two brothers in law, John Byers who lived about the same distance from him, and Thomas Smith whose house was thirty five miles distant.
  • The widow after her husband’s death removed with her children to her brother Byers’s;
  • The interest of the intestate in the lands was sold by John Byers and Martha Campbell, (the widow,) at public vendue for 140£ 10s and they executed a bill of sale thereof to Robert Taylor, Josiah Candow, and John Vanlear,
  • After some time, Patrick the eldest son and Mary went to the house of their Uncle Smith where they continued two or three years
  • The two other children (My Note: David and Jane) remained with their uncle Byers eleven or twelve years until they removed to Virginia.
  • Byers and his sister were dead

* I have taken these 2 lines out of context in the original case so verify my thought process for yourself. I believe –although a bit confusing- it is referring to the fact that the Campbells had left the property by 1753 or 1754. One could infer that this was due to the death of David Campbell Sr.  The land was sold in 1758 but not necessarily the year David died. That said, the line proceeding seems to contradict my thought process.  This source is not a genealogy book, it is a law book describing a case of interest regarding the sale of land. In the end, I’m keeping an open mind as to when David died but for sure we know it was prior to or in 1758.

Life of David Campbell

David Campbell Lancaster LandI know very little about David Campbell and most is from the secondary sources cited below.  Thanks to the great people who run the PA State Archives web site we can see the location of David’s Land in Derry. You see a small snippet of the map here but for full context, you can check out the map here: Derry Twp. See my “All Sources” page above for links of many more Town maps.

The rest of the information I will list since I don’t have much to add:

  • 1737-9 David Campbell was a warrantee for four hundred acres in Derry Township. Source: The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 28, pub 1903, p. 65 footnote.  Link to the Google Book.

Note: I referenced the exact page (above) but be sure to read the entire chapter on Francis Campbell for some early information on the Campbell’s of the area. On the same page and above my reference to David, there is a reference to a Robert (1724). I suspect this Robert may be the brother to David and Patrick however that has yet to be determined. Here, the author is linking Robert to the Augusta Co VA Campbells (John Campbell who m. Grace Hay).  What is interesting is he seems to be inferring more twists to the Augusta Co Campbell’s than what is routinely seen in popular versions of this family’s genealogy.

  • 1742: (David) witnessed the Will of John Catherwood with Patrick Campbell at Patrick’s House where Catherwood lived. Patrick owned and operated a Tavern as previously discussed in this sketch. Source: Notes and queries: Chiefly relating to Interior Pennsylvania, Volume 1, Pub 1887, Edited by William Henry Egle: p. 281 Link to Google Book
  • David Camble is listed on the 1751 tax list for the West End of Derry where he was assessed 2s 0d. Source: Same book above (Egle N&Q) p. 326:
  • From a GenForum query: Seeking information on a David Campbell. In 1737 he was granted a Warrant for land on Spring Creek, Derry township, Lancaster Co, PA. Now in Dauphine co. His wife or Daughter was named Martha. I tried the email but it was no longer valid.  The author of the query did post a transcription of the sale of the property here:,116339  This was the sale of the property by Martha (the Widow) and eventually subject of the above court case.

Martha Byers, Widow of David Campbell

Martha Byers was the daughter of David Byers. Her home before she was married was was located SE of Patrick Campbell’s Tavern. See the full map here and a snippet of the map below. The property is named on the map as that of John Wilson. The Heirs of David Byers sold this property to him sometime prior to 1762.  How do I know this?

The Byers home still stands today and is known as the Byers-Muma house.  There is a National Registrar of Historic Places form (Linked), that gives some information about this house and it’s history. Of interest is:

Taken from the Byers-Muma House Wiki Page:

Taken from the Byers-Muma House Wiki Page:

The history of this property begins with the Scotch Irish Byers family when David Byers purchased 332 acres of land in the Donegal Township, Lancaster County in circa 1720. Donegal had been mainly settled by Scotch Irish Presbyterians in the early 18th century and was named for a place in northern Ireland. Buyers land was surveyed on April 8, 1736 he never received a patent for the tract; however, he was issued a warrant for it on October 24, 1739. Township tax records seem to indicate that Byers passed away around 1759. He died intestate, leaving the property to his two sons, David and John Byers, and his two daughters, Jane Smith (married to Thomas Smith) and Martha Campbell (a widow). Byers’ wife must’ve also been deceased by that time; her name is unknown. Sometime between 1759 and 1762, the Byers children sold the property to John Wilson. The land was resurvey at the time and found to contain 342 acres. Wilson obtained a warrant and a patent for the property in September 1762 and then sold it to Margaret and George Clingen the following month. The deed of sale list Wilson’s wife’s name as Martha; possibly he married the widow Martha Byers Campbell (My Note: Not Verified). The year 1762 corresponds with the date when the entire Byers family permanently moved away from Donegal Township as part of the Scots Irish migration from Pennsylvania into Ohio. (My Note: I can’t speak for all the family but John Byers did not go to Ohio).

Location of Property in Donegal.

Location of Property in Donegal. See this Map:

There are a few Byers genealogies available if you search. One is in the second volume of Egle N&Q, pub 1896 p. 429. Link provided. A short biography of John Byers is on page 416.

I found one that was 26 pages here. Search for the name Campbell. I will mention that author states that Martha m. Patrick Campbell but this in error as shown by the court case.  I still need to read much of this genealogy myself so I haven’t verified anything outside of the fact that the author seems to care a great deal about genealogy in that he took the time and effort to write a 26 page history of his family – not to mention visiting gravesites.

While the above 2 genealogies state that John Byers was a Col, you may also want to search for Capt. John Byers.  In the above 26 page genealogy, the author states:

  • Patrick Campbell was issued letters of Administration for David Byers (probably the source of confusion on the marriage to Martha) and;
  • John Byers moved to Carlisle, Cumberland Co, PA.

There is evidence that John did move there and presumably, Martha went with him. I say presumably because I don’t know for sure but it was inferred in the above court case. For sure, David and Jane Campbell (children of David and Martha) were living with their Uncle Byers for 11-12 years before moving to VA.

While I have yet to search extensively for John Byers (or Martha) in Carlisle but there is one bit of internet posting that intrigues me. It is a post entitled James Mc Farland (1695) Family Of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. In it we find:

  • Cumberland County Will Abstracts: James McFarlane of West Pennsborough, 20 Jun 1770, probated 27 Nov 1770; Wife Margaret, Children: William (had Ann), Andrew, James, Patrick, Jane CAMPBELL, Ann DUNNING, Robert, and John.  Executors Robert and Andrew; Overseer & Guardian John Byers;  Witnesses John Denny, James Byers, Mary Byers, Elizabeth Byers

James, Mary and Elizabeth Byers are the children of John Byers. The mention of Jane Campbell is interesting to say the least and I need to investigate that further. There are other Campbell’s mentioned in the post as well but I don’t recognize them as yet.

Also, in the court case Martha is referred to as both Susannah (initially) and Martha (later). I’m not ignoring this. I suppose Martha could be a nickname (?) but in the little bit of information I have found, she is always referred to as Martha. That said, be aware of both names just in case.

My final note about Martha is that I still don’t have a good feel for her age or even that of her children. Egles N&Q (linked above, page 416) says John Byers was b. about 1715. I suppose Martha could be 5 years + or – from that.  Patrick Campbell, brother to David Campbell, was showing up on tax lists as early as 1721 in Donegal. Come to your own conclusions but my thought is that David may have been 10, 15, even 20 years older than Martha but as I said, I don’t have a good feel for it yet.

Uncle Thomas Smith who married Jane Byers

We know from the court case that David and Jane went to live with their uncle John Byers. Patrick and Mary went to live with their Uncle Thomas Smith.

Let me start by saying (as way of an excuse) there are no shortages of Smiths in Lancaster – many of them named Samuel but a few named Thomas.  I can not find anything obvious about a Thomas Smith who married Jane Byers (the only sister of Martha).  There are indications that the family thinks Jane may have married a Lytle so that may be why.

Alternatively, Patrick Campbell married Mary Smith (widow of James Smith). Perhaps they were referring to “Uncle Thomas Smith” in the loosest of terms? I don’t know but that feels a bit like a zebra in a forest of Smiths…. Especially since it said in the court case that David had “two brothers in law” when referring to the Uncles.

I could write more about my suspicions (and I have a few) but probably better to wait until I have more information.  Or if you’re curious, just ask and I’ll share. That said, Patrick and Mary only stayed with Thomas but a few years and from there… I am at a loss.

We know from the title of case (as listed in the book), that Mary Campbell married Henry Wales. I can find nothing about Henry Wales which is a bit unusual – not even a hint.  If you know anything, let me know.


Hopefully, I have dropped enough names that someone searching for these families can link and possibly provide more information. In the meantime, I have enough to continue searching for the children of David. I am very interested in knowing where they went in VA since the Botetourt area is where my Campbells are known to have been.

If you know anything, please leave a comment!

Below is some of the text of the above court case. Again, I encourage you to read it in total. I attached the link.

Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, By The Hon. Jasper Yeates, V. II, p. 123 Link to free Google eBook here.

At Nisi Prius, At York, October Assizes 1796

Lessee of Patrick Campbell, David Campbell, Henry Wales and Mary his wife, and Jane Campbell against Andrew Rheim and Casper Lear.

Where lands held under an equitable title have been formerly (as in 1758) sold bona fide by administrators to pay debts or maintain children without an order of Orphans Court such sales will be established.

Ejectment for lands in Derry township.

It appeared in evidence that David Campbell on the 28th May 1748 took out a warrant for 200 acres of land more or less in Derry township adjoining James Russel including his improvement. Interest to commence thereon from 1st March 1739. On that day, he also paid 10£ into the receiver general’s office. He had brought the original improvement from William Hall and had on the tract a tolerable cabin stables and above ten acres of cleared land. He died intestate on the lands in 1758 leaving Susannah his widow and issue the lessors of the plaintiff who were all young at the time but their ages were not ascertained. The intestate was possessed of a stock of creatures which was sold shortly after his death. He had a brother named Patrick who lived about six miles from the land and two brothers in law, John Byers who lived about the same distance from him, and Thomas Smith whose house was thirty five miles distant. The widow after her husband’s death removed with her children to her brother Byers’s; after some time, Patrick the eldest son and Mary went to the house of their Uncle Smith where they continued two or three years and the two other children remained with their uncle Byers eleven or twelve years until they removed to Virginia.

The interest of the intestate in the lands was sold by John Byers and Martha Campbell, (the widow,) at public vendue for 140£ 10s and they executed a bill of sale thereof to Robert Taylor, Josiah Candow, and John Vanlear, and also an assignment of the original receipt for 10£ paid to the receiver general both bearing date on the 11th of May 1758. The premises being afterwards vested in Taylor were conveyed by his administrators in pursuance of a sale directed by the Orphans Court to John Sterling in consideration of 145£ 10s on the 1st January 1761, who on the 14th April 1769, conveyed to Jacob Lime in consideration of 502£ and the defendants entitled themselves thereto by divers mesne conveyances.

Byers and his sister were dead. No letters of administration to them were shown in evidence but their bill of sale stiled them administrators; nor were any inventory or administration account shown to the court, or search made for them.

…. But they contended that this usage ceased in 1753 or 1754 and consequently that the sale made by the administrators in 1758 was not protected thereby

Byers took the children who are now claiming the land to his own house and kept two of them many years.


Let me start by saying… As a word of caution, I am writing this post with far less information than I normally like to have and I’m sure there will be follow-ups and many corrections to come. I am hoping someone can step in and help with information but don’t take anything I say as gospel. In the meantime…

 If you know anyone discussed in this sketch…  Even if you’re not sure but it might be a possibility….  Leave a comment or email me (addy below)

There is a Patrick Campbell who lived and died in Lancaster Co, PA.

I knew of a Patrick in Lancaster, PA but, for many years I had assumed he was the Patrick related to the family of John Campbell and Grace Hay who moved to Augusta Co, VA. I was mistaken. This is not the same Patrick.

Recently, digitized several probate records including those of Lancaster Co, PA.  You can choose the county you would like to search here. In Wills 1730-1773 Vol A-B, on page 656 (Image # 469) you will find the Will of Patrick Campbell.  I am going to summarize here but please go read it yourself (and let me know if you have any corrections).  I will also post at the bottom of the page.

Will of Patrick Campbell, Donegal, Lancaster Co, PA. 

Written, 17 June 1772 – Proven 27 Jul 1772.
Wife: Mary Campbell – 168A he now lives on.
Campbell Smith “son of my son in law William Smith of Baltimore Town”
Martha Campbell “widow and relict of my brother David” was given (£10):

  1. Son of David: Patrick Campbell (£120)
  2. Son of David: David Campbell (£60)
  3. Dau of David: Mary Campbell (£10)
  4. Dau of David: Jean Campbell (£20)

Mentions a debt David said Patrick owed him. Patrick denies and qualifies the legacies

Robert Campbell, deceased, brother to Patrick:

  1. Son of Robert: Samuel (£30)

John Campbell, deceased, Relationship not stated:

  1. Son of John: Robert (£20)
  2. Son of John: William (£10)
  3. Son of John: John (£10)

Samuel (Prob the son of Robert above?)

  1. Son of Samuel: Robert (£10)
  2. Dau of Samuel: Mary (£5) (£10 divided equally amongst Mary & Agnus)
  3. Dau of Samuel: Agnus (£5)

Elizabeth Montgomery, widow of Patrick Montgomery (£20): Relationship not stated
Margaret Hutchison, widow of John Hutchison of Paxton Twnshp (£10): Relationship not stated
Rev Mr. Tate, pastor of the Donegal Meeting House, 30 shillings/year, if continue to be pastor and if (widow) has use of pew formally John Sates and adjoining the West door be appropriated for her use.
Mulotto Slave George Christie free at wife’s death (provided he be at age of 25)
Witt: Robert Spear, James Cook (? Abr) , Randal McLure.
Referred to him in death as Patrick Campbell, yeoman.
Exec: Wife Mary and William Smith (Son in Law)

Life of Patrick Campbell

I have listed my sources below since I am combining many references into one narrative. I could probably write a lot but it would be mostly plagiarizing. Best if you read the stories I referenced yourself. I apologize if it reads short and choppy but I am trying to stick to the what has already been written instead of injecting my own thoughts unnecessarily. I just don’t know enough about Patrick yet.

The first record I have found which probably belongs to this Patrick Campbell is a 1720 Tax List (See source #1 below, pg 759), the next is a 1721 Tax list for Conestoga where he was charged at £10. The following year (1722) he was again on the Conestoga Tax List being charged £16. Next he can be found on the 1724, 1725, and 1726 Tax Lists for Donegal Township.

Donegal was formed in 1722 and most likely the town formed around where he was already living.

Patrick was said to be an Indian Trader and owned a Tavern until his death. While I can’t be sure, he was probably the Constable of Donegal or Overseer of the Poor (in Donegal) in 1729 – not the Patrick who was the son of John Campbell and Grace Hay as is widely reported. This Patrick had been long established in the area and known to most.

He married Mary Smith, the widow of James Smith (maiden name unknown to me). James’ will was proven in June 1739. I do not know if it was Patrick’s first marriage nor do I know if he had any children. My theory is that he did not since he left large legacies to nephews and nieces.  I will point out, he did not mention his relationship to John Campbell (deceased), Elizabeth Montgomery, and Margaret Hutchison.  However, the size of the legacies would not indicate a father-child relationship in my opinion. That said, more information is needed.

One note on the marriage of Mary to James Smith. You may see her first husband referenced as (Capt.) Samuel Smith. My step mom (and partner in genealogy) found a reference to James and tracked down his will. Sure enough…  It appears James was the husband of Mary and the father to William Smith referenced in Patrick’s will.

In James’ will he requested that his land be placed in the name of his son William Smith who is said to have married a daughter of William Spear. I have yet to verify (I haven’t tried) however, at the PA State Archives there are Warrant Maps for many of the Townships of PA (so awesome!). We find Patrick’s Land on the Conoy 1 map of Lancaster Co.

He originally purchased his land from Samuel Smith. A bit further across, we see William Smith as well as a William Spear.  I have cut out at bit of the map (left) but be sure to see the map in it’s entirety here. There is also a cut out on the lower left Showing Patrick Campbell.

Mary Smith and Campbell Smith

Mary Smith and her grandson Campbell Smith. This painting is owned by the Smithsonian. More information (including a family history) can be found here:

Patrick Campbell first located upon land south of John Galbraith.  On the 1st day of May 1743, he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land from Capt Samuel Smith Indian trader which was bounded on the west by Conoy Creek and upon the south by land of John Galbraith. The old Peters road ran through this land and crossed the creek at Erb’s mill and continued to James Logan’s ferry at Bainbridge. Capt Smith built a tavern on this road and as such it was continued by Mr. Campbell until his death. Like all of the early tavernkeepers he was a prominent and important personage. (Note: Paragraph was copied from Franklin Ellis And Samuel Evans book, #1, pg 751, referenced below)

On page 752 of the above referenced book, we find the heirs of Patrick Campbell selling his land to John Engle about 1773 or 1774. The Engle’s remained there for many years. Patrick’s Widow, Mary Smith, moved to Baltimore to live with her son by her first marriage, William Smith.  Campbell Smith (mentioned in Patrick’s will) is presumably the son of William. Campbell was a soldier in the Revolutionary War but I don’t know much about his family.

Not the family of John Campbell who married Grace Hay

For those who are familiar with the family of John Campbell who m. Grace Hay, it is apparent that this is a different Patrick. The names look the same, but the details are very different:

  • This Patrick was in America by 1720, the other did not come to America until 1726 per a descendant Gov. David Campbell (1779-1859).
  • This Patrick m. Mary Smith, the other married either Delilah Thompson or Elizabeth Taylor.
  • This Patrick Died in 1772 in Lancaster Co, PA, the other died in 1767, Augusta Co, VA

And probably the most compelling evidence:

  • Both Patrick’s had brothers named David, however the David who moved to Augusta Co, is well documented and known to have died in Washington Co, VA in 1790.  This is the “White David” often reference for this family. The Will Patrick in Lancaster Co’s lists a brother named David but he had died by 1772 (probably c. 1753).

If you need more information on the family of John Campbell who married Grace Hay, I will point you to sources below.

Siblings of Patrick

I have only begun researching the family members Patrick mentioned in his will.  Any help will be greatly appreciated.  I know a bit about David Campbell who died prior to Patrick.  He married Martha Byers. Martha was the daughter of David and Mary Byers of Donegal. Her father is said to have d. 20 May 1743. Her brother was John Byers.

I will write more of David in my next sketch.


I don’t have much more to say about Patrick and am hoping others have more information. I am THRILLED to have found him and so very thankful to the folks at LDS for doing the work they do.

For those of you who were following my posts on Mathew Campbell “One Armed School Teacher” , you may want to poke around Donegal, Lancaster Co, PA as well.  The last lead I had on him was that the family of Josias Campbell (who I suspect is a brother to Mathew). That family is said to have come to America with the Mitchell’s. This information is found in the Journal of John C. Smith and I wrote about it here. I tracked the Mitchell name to a John Mitchell who is also on the tax lists sourced below. I am so excited about Patrick, I had to put the Mitchell’s on the back burner for now but I’m still on the look out.

If you know anything about ANYONE in this family leave a comment. If you are shy, you can email me directly at rmg8243 (@)  gmail DOT com.

I will leave it to you to format the address


Life of Patrick Campbell

  1. History of Lancaster Pennsylvania With Biographical Sketches of Many Of Its Pioneers And Prominent Men By Franklin Ellis And Samuel Evans. Pub 1883. Many pages reference the Campbells. The book is searchable.
  2. The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 28, Pub 1877, P.64 footnotes – and probably others. This is another book that needs to be studied more than I have.  Not all the footnotes I referenced belong to this family; however there are a few that deserve further investigation. I couldn’t find this in google books but the PDF version is searchable.
  3. Notes and queries: Chiefly relating to Interior Pennsylvania, Volume 1, Pub 1887, Edited by William Henry Egle: Page 270, 281
  4. The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 29, Pub 1905, Pages 249-250
  5. Historical Papers and Addresses of the Lancaster County Historical Society, V1, Pub 1896-7, Page 308 (Note: I mention this reference as I believe it is in error. It states that the 1st husband of Mary was Capt. Samuel Smith however the Will of James Smith is clear that his wife’s name was Mary and his son was William Smith)
  6. History of Lancaster County, By Israel Daniel Rupp, Pub 1844, pages: 250, 253
  7. A History of the Presbyterian Church in America. By Rev. Richard Webster, Pub 1857. NOTE: There is nothing specific to Patrick in this Book but other Campbell’s of the area are mentioned so if you’re researching this family, you’ll want to check it out.

Tax Lists

  1. Historical Papers and Addresses of the Lancaster County Historical Society, Vol. XX, Pub. 1916, Pages: 170, 176, 187
  2. Tax List of Donegal Township (1725): Chester County (now Lancaster Co.), PA
  3. Tax List of Donegal Township (1726): Chester County (now Lancaster Co.), PA
  4. Tax List of Donegal Township (1724): Chester County (now Lancaster Co.), PA

Family of John Campbell who married Grace Hay

  • White David Campbell Genealogy Report: By Philip Norfleet. This is my “go to” reference on this family.  While others have expanded on his work, I feel that he has made an great effort to research the early origens of this family in America.HOWEVER…. Norfleet states that the wife of Patrick Campbell, son of John and Grace, was Delilah Thompson.  Equally knowledgeable researchers have concluded his first wife was Elizabeth Taylor.

NOTE: Use Mrs Pilcher’s work on the Campbell’s Pre “White” David with great caution as many of her claims have been shown to be wrong – especially prior to this families arrival in America.  I have compared her work to an early historian, William Egle, in a sketch here.

Will of Patrick Campbell

Wills 1730-1773 Vol A-B, on page 656 (Image # 469) Note: I may be crazy or these Image numbers keep changing. Sorry if the above link is wrong but it should get you close.

Click on Image to enlarge

1772 Patrick Campbell1

1772 Patrick Campbell21772 Patrick Campbell3

Will of James Smith

Click on Image to enlarge


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.

Let me start by saying that I have taken several leaps of faith to get to this point in my study of Mathew Campbell.  In fact, just about everything I know of Mathew and his family is an assumption. Here is a summary:

  • James, John and Mary were Mathew’s siblings
  • Joseph was also his sibling.
  • Joseph is the same person as Josiah/Josiahs in the surrounding areas.
  • John was the name of Mathew’s father..
    • I assume his father was John because the name of the father of Matt’s assumed siblings (above) was John.
    • Wm Thompson (Matt’s guardian) had administration of the estate of a John Campbell in 1741.

So if you found this sketch from a web search, you might want to read my last two sketches to see how I arrived at these assumptions. Please make up your own mind, verify my interpretation of the sources and as always, let me know if you disagree with anything posted. I worry about having wrong information being repeated over and over.

So… who were the parents of Mathew Campbell?

From Lancaster Co, PA

The best lead comes from the diary of a grandson of Josiah Campbell named John C Smith. You can read the entire entry in my sketch: Siblings of Mathew Campbell

  • I think my grandfathers Mitchell and Campbell we both Irish and came to America in Company together.

The area to which the Mitchell’s and Campbell’s came is Lancaster Co, PA. Unfortunately, Lancaster is also the home of the “White” David Campbell family. While I don’t want to offend any member of this distinguished family, it is well known that there is bad information surrounding the earliest members of this family. Almost nothing can be believed (unless sourced – which is rare).

In one of my “frustrated with these Campbells!!” moments, I wrote a sketch (it’s slightly grouchy): Augusta: John Campbell who m. Grissel Hay (Patrick). I linked the sketch but look at the top of the blog and you will the post. Because of DNA, I’m sure I do not connect to this family in any reasonable time frame (probably around Adam and Eve).

That said, there is more than one group of Campbell’s in the Lancaster area so it needs to be explored further. For now it will have to wait for a future sketch.

John Campbell died 1741 or 1744?

I think John probably died 1741 but something significant regarding guardianship may have happened c. 1744.

  • “William Thompson qualified as administrator of John Campbell in 1741, John Lewis security…” (Source: Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1726 to 1871 By Joseph Addison Waddell, p. 385)
  • My Note: For the record, Waddell assumed the John Campbell (above) is the John who belonged to the White David family. I disagree. You can see this sketch for the reason why.

Then, we have Daniel Stover who was the guardian to some of the children (John, James, and Mary) and in 1750, the records seem to clarify that he had been her guardian since 1744.

  • 27 Aug 1750: Orphan Mary Campbell bound to Daniel Stover (past 6 years). page 437 (Page 62)

What is interesting is that in 1752 (Chancery record) Mathew clarified that Thompson had been his guardian for 8 years. 1752 – 8 yrs gives us a date of 1744. From other records we know Thompson had guardianship of Joseph (prob AKA Josiah/Josias) and John in addition to Mathew.

Prior Guardian?

There is a chance that Matthew had a different guardian for a few years prior to prior to William Thompson in 1744. Look at the first line in the accounting:

MC Inventory- Widow Sample“So paid to the Widow Campbell for (your?) board before I was your Guardian”

But, even if we start with the latest possible date of death for John Campbell (1744) it’s not very helpful.

By 1743, Daniel had moved to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. Daniel was one of the leaders of the Mennonite community, and prior to moving he probably have lived in Warwick Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Sources: here and here ) . From what we know of Josiah Campbell (brother to Matt), we can theorize he came from the same general area as Stover. As to whether Stover knew John Campbell (father) in PA I can’t say, but Stover was in Augusta by 1743(ish) so it really doesn’t matter –

John Campbell’s family was there by 1741…

John Campbell married a Mennonite?

As for family names, Josiah has a definite Quaker (perhaps Mennonite) flair but undoubtedly John came from PA or possibly NJ which had large Quaker communities so perhaps his wife was a Quaker or Mennonite. I don’t know. Then there is the Daniel Stover connection along with the establishment of a large Mennonite community in Lancaster Co, PA. This settlement was very close to where I suspect John Campbell resided (Donegal).

Additional Court records

One ray of hope might lie in the Court records of Orange County. From the accounting we find that Wm Thompson made 2 trips to Orange to appear in court.

MC Inventory- Journey to Orange

I don’t have access to Orange Co records right now but if anyone comes across a Mathew Campbell and/or Wm Thompson, please let me know! I hope to look this up one day.


The fastest way to learn more about Mathew Campbell and his family would be searching original records of Orange and Augusta Co, VA – even those of Chalkley. Unfortunately, I don’t have an easy access at the moment so I will have to research what I can about Lancaster Co, PA and separate some Campbells.  I’ll post my work as I go however, unless a major breakthrough happens on this line, I probably won’t write any more posts dedicated to him.  I expect he will come up from time to time.  You can always find other Mathew mentions in this blog by clicking the hashtag: Mathew Campbell School Teacher below.