One of the blogs I follow noted the availability of new records for New York state. Whenever I see something like that, I always check to see if there’s anything related to my Cambbell family. This time I got lucky!
On my Frasier side of the family, Duncan Cambell was my 4x-great-grandfather. He was born in Crieff, Scotland and came to America in 1831. The family supposedly lived in New York for possibly 10 to 20 years before relocating to Wisconsin. Until recently, I had very little evidence of the time the family spent in New York – just an 1840 census record.
The 1840 census record was collected in Manlius Township in Onondaga County, New York. Manlius is just a few miles east of Syracuse in upstate New York.
Even though the 1840 census only lists the head of the household by name, we can infer that this is the correct family by checking the gender and ages of the other persons listed. Here’s the reality-check for the 1840 census record for Duncan Campbell1:
|Name||1840 Census Description||Comments|
|Duncan Campbell||Male age 40-49||correct – age 43|
|Elizabeth||Female age 40-49||correct – age 43|
|dau. Elizabeth||Female age 15-19||correct – age 17|
|dau. Jeannette||Female age 10-14||close – age 15|
|son John||Male age 10-14||correct – age 13|
|dau. Ann||Female age 10-14||correct – age 11|
|son James||Male age 5-9||correct – age ~9|
|dau. Margaret||Female age 5-9||correct – age ~7|
|son Josiah||Male under 5||correct – age ~1|
Only one of the ages is off and only slightly, everything else lines up perfectly.
The 1840 census also collected some statistics about employment. In this household, one person was engaged in agriculture and 5 persons were employed in “manufacture and trade” – this raises the specter of child labor. Manlius did have a paper mill during the 1840s2.
So this week a second piece of evidence came to light – the membership records of the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Manlius from 1815 to 18503.
This membership record shows that the Campbell family apparently arrived in Manlius from Oswego, NY on October 4, 1839 but then returned again to Oswego on October 10, 1841. I presume that only the oldest daughter was listed because perhaps she was the only one of the children old enough to be received into church membership.
Oswego is about 50 miles north of Manlius and is on the south shore of Lake Ontario.
My guess is that Duncan may have been able to rent a small farm for a couple of years, it didn’t work out, and they returned to Oswego where maybe there were better-paying jobs.
I found a third piece of evidence just today – Duncan’s naturalization record4. He apparently declared his intent to become a citizen while living in Manlius. He had renounce allegiance to Queen Victoria:
I believe this to be his actual signature – kind of cool!
All three of these records are concentrated in the period of time between 1839 and 1841. I’m still unsure where all the family may have lived between 1831 and 1839; I don’t know if they were in Oswego that whole time or not. I’m also not sure how long after this until they moved to Wisconsin. They were definitely in Wisconsin by the time of the 1850 census. There are some Duncan Campbell land records in Wisconsin as early as 1842 but I haven’t confirmed yet that they’re for “our” Duncan.
Dale and I are still working from home and still super-busy. It frustrates me to no end to sit in my office surrounded by my genealogy hobby and unable to dabble in it as much as I’d like to.
Here are some projects that I try to give attention to every once in a while:
- Trying to determine the identity of the parents of Peter Dill (d. 1839). Lots of theories but not proof.
- Building out more detail on Augusta Mathilda (Gustafsdotter) Rudeen’s ancestry. Turns out she has an aristocratic ancestry (and of course her famous 4th cousin, Greta Garbo!).
- Writing up the whole history of the Hultman family and pulling together known documentation.
- Writing up a Rademacher History 1870s – 1930s, would be nice to get this done in early fall and maybe offer copies for sale in time for Christmas.
- Identifying slave owners in my family tree and then correctly documenting enslaved persons as part of the Beyond Kin project. This is a neat thing that genealogists can do to support African-American genealogy.
- And I STILL have not properly catalogued all the research and documents I collected during my 2016 trip to Scotland! Yikes!
Never enough hours in the day…
1U.S. Federal Census, Year: 1840; Census Place: Manlius, Onondaga, New York; Roll: 317; Page: 160; Family History Library Film: 0017200
2History of Onondaga County, New York : Clayton, W. W. (W. Woodford), 1878, archive.org, p. 370
3Trinity Presbyterian Church records : Manlius, Onondaga County, N.Y., 1815-1850, Onondaga County Public Library, digital copy available at familysearch.org
Thank you Karen! It is all so interesting! You and your family stay well!
bruce frasier says
Oh my, you are amazing, Thanks for the update. We had a diner at our house with Nina Campbell, famous decorator from England. Since the Frasers (sic) and Campbells were rivals, I told her that at least one couple managed to forget the feud
Big Covid air hugs, in Omaha til Thursday then back to Palm Springs for two weeks etc
Stay safe and healthy and keep researching
PS, I have been a Presbyterian off and on over the years, now am Anglican, sure the Scotts would be appalled LOL
bruce frasier says
wasn’t Ann married to Andrew?