Sunday, October 14, 2007

Finding an ancient Campbell (1)

One of the the loveliest things about letting out your cottage is the friends you can make. I've never met her, the lady who goes by the delightful nickname of PokeySue, but she and her husband live in the Usa and are coming back to Scotland next Spring for a visit.

She is a genuine romantic, loves the old Highland stories. Married to a Campbell, she is the kind of person who had to find out about his ancestors.

She is going to post the story in bits at a time and I am going to put them on this blog. I asked her how she started.

As a young girl, I read a book called "Highland Rebel" by a prolific author, Sally Watson, who wrote adventure books for girls. The heroine of the book was Lauren Cameron, a 12 year old arch enemy of the wicked Campbells and a staunch supporter of Bonnie Prince Charlie. Some years later I found myself married to a Campbell with two Campbell daughters …, I was intrigued to find out how our American Campbells landed in the USA, and I wondered why they were "wicked".

First, I asked a member of our family, who supposedly had the Campbell family tree. He sent me a list of all the Campbells, going back to Noah and the Ark. This was very discouraging and I gave up quickly after realizing finding our John Campbell among thousands was too difficult. I gave up.

Later the history of Scotland drew me back into it. With my memories of Scotland from the childhood yarn still clear in my mind, Kent and I finally traveled to Scotland for the first time. I made Kent drive down all the backroads in Lochaber to find a place called Highbridge, the site of one of the first battles (a skirmish really) between the Highlanders and the Redcoats, described in the book. When we finally did find it after many trials and travails, it was breathtaking. A ruin, marked by a cairn, deserted and ignored by tourists. History was reality. I knew then, that if we kept looking, we would find our Campbells somehow.

It was the sense of history that made us want to know more. Of course I did not know at the time that our Campbells had left Scotland, long before the '45, and that our research would bring us to pre-revolutionary New Jersey.

To be continued...High Bridge is off the A82 between Spean Bridge and Fort William, the little road is sigtnposted "Brackletter"

The photo above shows Bidean Nam Bian, the highest mountain in Glencoe, and the Ballachulish bridge.


Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
Short Breaks Glencoe
Scotland's top self catering, individual cottages and chalets with last minute offers

No comments:

Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
  • Short Breaks Glencoe
  • Stories about Appin villages blog