This week in history: January 23-January 29

Today we post something from our more recent past – a letter from Robert Campbell’s Northern Ireland descendants.  On January 29, 1927, Charlotte MacCulloch, who lived at Ballyarton, wrote to her cousin Albert Alexander Campbell in Belfast.  She talks about their shared search for family history and explains why Aughalane house were not just ordinary farmers: “There is no doubt in my mind that …….. rightly or wrongly our “great” considered himself and must have been of some importance. Aughalane house is not built in the ordinary comfortable farmhouse style but more like a house for ‘gentry’.”  Charlotte MacCulloch is the great-aunt of The Campbell Quest author Patrick Campbell MacCulloch!  The letter was transcribed by Frank Collins of the Ulster American Folk Park – the Folk Park gave Campbell House Museum transcriptions at the European release of The Campbell Quest in August, 2009. We hope you enjoy the conversation of some newer Campbell family members!

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January 29th 1927.

My Dear Albert.

I have almost decided on our ancestor!  Of the two papers which Margaret Johnson sent, and of which I got copies typed you remember, one was evidently a written up one giving no information except for a peerage.  The other was an old and faded writing evidently done by one of the family many years ago. It was headed “9th Earl” but of course gave no connection with our branch. However a letter from the Belfast New letter dated May 30th (no year Given) from some one in Brighton asking for information about the Tyrone Campbell family said that a Duncan Campbell family of Inverary came to Londonderry at the time of the Plantation of Ulster by James 1st.

In your book a second son of the 9th Earl married twice and if his second family2 sons Niel and Alexander are unaccounted for. I think we take your namesake Alexander for our grand sire! The ninth Earl had a son Charles which is only mentioned as living in 1718. He also might be our little hope. Ellen says that some authority in the family told her that at our time there was only one or two lives between our ancestors and the headship of the clan. Might not this Alexander son of a second son fit in with that?

There is no doubt in my mind that …….. rightly or wrongly our “great” considered himself and must have been of some importance. Aughalane house is not built in the ordinary comfortable farmhouse style but more like a house for “gentry”. Also that will of his making his property (but he didn’t succeed) not be sold by any of his sons except to each other was not like the ordinary farmers wil.  Also he brought Glencappagh two years after he built that house which shows there must have been some money.

I am sending a …. family “tree” but would like to connect up with “Alexander’s”

Please let me know- and you won’t offend me by so doing- if I am keeping your books too long. I’d like to compare the plate with it and also show it to Dean King, but nether thing is important if I’ve trespassing on your good nature in lending me the book.

We got two copies of Mr Logan’s book, one for Albert…….. at Christmas, and one for Ellen’s birthday in January. She says it is very interesting, I mean the “School Howlers”. We  shall get it later I hadn’t time to read it before it went away.

Love from all here

Yours ever Affectly

Charlotte.

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