Canadian digging deep into his past

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A Canadian, whose father was born in Stracathro, hopes to get in contact with his father’s siblings to help gather information about his Scottish heritage.

George Campbell learned that his father, Allan Campbell, was born at Old Huntly Hill, Stracathro on April 14, 1889 and was the twelfth child of George Stewart and Elizabeth Campbell.

George’s wife, Jessie who contacted the Brechiner explained: “Like many of us, my husband, an only child, didn’t become interested in his family history until long after his parents had died.

“From the information that his mother provided at the time of the registration of his father’s death we knew that his father, Allan Campbell, was born April 14, 1889 at Brechin, Angus.

“It was a surprise to learn that in all of Scotland on April 14, 1889 the only Allan that was born was an Allan Stewart - born at Old Huntly Hill, Stracathro the twelfth child of George Stewart and Elizabeth Campbell.

“It seems that at some point Allan took his mother’s surname. We wonder why he did this.”

In the 1901 census, when Allan Stewart was 11-years-old, it was stated the he was living in Forfar with his mother “Betsy” Stewart.

It is understood that Allan served in World War One as a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery. However, it seems that his military records have not survived, as is the case for about 70% of those who served in World War One.

Therefore, no record has been found of any medals or his regimental number that would assist in identifying his military records under the surname of Stewart or Campbell.

Following the Great War, Allan Stewart or Campbell emigrated to Canada where he worked on farms in the Canadian Prairie provinces and was in the Canadian province of British Columbia by 1934.

With common surnames like Campbell and Stewart it is very difficult to find Allan on passenger lists.

Jessie added: “To add to the mystery, it seems that he didn’t formalise his marriage to my husband’s mother as we cannot find any record of the marriage which might provide us with additional information.

“A friend and I have been able to trace Allan’s siblings hoping that their family, or their friends and neighbours, may be able to tell their Canadian cousin about his Scottish heritage or provide a clue towards that goal.”

Allan’s siblings were:- George Stewart (1867-1946) married Flora McIntosh and died in Laurencekirk, Kincardine January 26, 1946;

Alexander Stewart (1869-?) married Margaret Thornton. Alexander was a blacksmith living in Luthrie, Fife in 1901;

Jane Laird Stewart (1871-?) married William Donaldson who was a ploughman living in the parish of Craig, Angus in 1901;

Agnes Stewart (1872-1969) married John Milne and later James Mathers. She lived to be 96 years old, residing at 259 Montrose Street, Brechin.

Agnes’ grandson, Robert Grant, registered her death. Unfortunately his address was not noted in the record. This perhaps is their best chance of finding living relatives if anyone recognizes this family;

David Stewart (1876-?) married Mary Louisa Cope and was a carter living at Letham in Fife in 1901;

Eliza Stewart (1877-1941) married David Young. They emigrated to Canada. Efforts to find this family have been unsuccessful.

Mary Helen Stewart (1879-1958) married William Taylor. She lived at 23 Bridge Street, Brechin. Her daughter, Mary Stewart, was living at Glencadam Distillery Cottage, Brechin in 1958;

Jessie Ann Dorward Stewart (1879-1950) married James McIntosh.  She died at the Infirmary in Arbroath. Her son, David McIntosh, Ecclesgreig Road, St. Cyrus, was the person who registered her death in 1950.

Elizabeth Stewart (1882-?). Elizabeth was a linen weaver living at home in Forfar with her mother, sister and younger brother Allan at the time of the 1901 census.

William Stewart (1884-?) was an apprentice blacksmith in the village of Luthrie at the time of the 1901 census.

James Stewart (1886-?) was a farm servant near Forfar at the time of the 1901 census.

Allan Stewart/Campbell (1889-1963) who emigrated to Canada and whose family we are seeking a connection to.

If anyone recognizes any of these families their Canadian cousin is anxious to hear from them.

Please write to Jessie and George Campbell, #31, 1885 Tappen Notch Hill Road, Tappen, B.C. V0E 2X3.

The friend who has been helping George and Jessie with their search will be attending the Tayroots Genealogy Fair in Dundee in the area on Saturday, September 24 and would be pleased to meet with anyone who can help with the search to find their family.