Songo Blue Skies

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Two Seasons of a Barn and some family history


Here are a couple of pictures of the same barn taken just south of Haverhill, New Hampshire. I was on my way to Haverhill last February to do some genealogy research. I came upon this picturesque barn. It's just a beautiful barn, doesn't even look that old. The black and gray against the snow and blue skies just caught my eye sitting up on the little hill. Then I went back there this summer to continue some research and the barn looked just as nice sitting in a summer field. [Almost looks like a Wyeth painting]

The research I was doing was for my Campbell family line. I had had a hard time connecting this one to my tree. William Gregg Campbell had first married Nancy Riddle of Bedford, NH. She died in 1837 at the age of 33 leaving 5 children and her husband. William then married Betsey Webster in 1842. They had one son according to the 1850 census but then it had been hard to track them. I finally found them on the 1860 census in Haverhill , NH but not the 1870 census. I saw that a Daniel Campbell from Newbury VT had passed in 1870 census (death schedule) and he seemed the right age.

Somewhere in between I checked again some reference books. Many of the Campbells had come from Windham, NH. Lo and behold here he was the son of Abner not the son of James as I had thought. Once I knew they had gone to Haverhill, the book on Windham history helped because it said son of Abner removed to Haverhill VT and died in 1869. Thus the trip to Haverhill, NH to see what I could find.


I couldn't find any death record for William in 1869 in Haverhill. So I checked the land records and William Gregg Campbell and his second wife Betsey and son Daniel had moved to Haverhill in 1850. Interesting, it is Betsey who had bought the land, though both their names were on the deed when they sold it in 1866. Since I was pretty sure that the Daniel who died of Diabetes in 1870 across the River in Newbury VT was William and Betsey's son, my guess was that William and Betsey would be there also. But it was already late in the afternoon and I wanted to get across the Kangamangus highway while it was still light. So I didn't find the rest of my answer until the following June.

In June my daughter and I headed north the day school ended. We are both teachers. It was Sunday when we got to Newbury. Of course the town clerk's office was not opened, but I asked for directions to West Newbury where Daniel was recorded to have been in 1870 when he died. I asked if there was a cemetery out there and she told me how to find it. We actually found it and there Daniel and William Gregg were side by side.

Now I just had to check the death certificate to see if William's father was named. I was hoping to find Abner Campbell. So after taking some pictures we went to the clerk's office the next morning. We found William's death certificate and the father was named "Adner." I was a little disappointed but I figured someone had dyslexia or the accent just tripped them up. Seeing as the Windham book said he died in VT and the son and wife were the same as on the 1850 census, this just had to be the right family. 'Adner' and 'Abner' are close enough for me. So finally I could email a 2nd cousin who had been helping me and say this is the best that it gets, but I think we have the right one. So at this point I can say, with as best as it is gonna get, that William Gregg is the son of Abner Campbell, who descended from Deacon Samuel (2) , Henry (1) who arrived in Londonderry, NH from Ireland in 1833.

I felt bad for the wife Betsy. She lost her only child, a son, as well as her husband within a year of each other. When I located her on the 1880 census she was living with a sister and brother-in-law in Laconia, NH. She as listed as mentally incapacitated, no wonder.

So all that to say, how I came across this beautiful barn in two different seasons.

I love genealogy because you have to be a detective. I love the challenge. I had been working on this family for at least 5 years now. Always knew I missed my calling. I love to solve problems; finding the clues and putting them together to do so.

Enjoy the pictures of the barn and have a great day my friends.

1 comment:

Gary Heller said...

Cindy, it was a pleasure to meet you at the Red Show. I like your photos of this great looking barn in two seasons. Some interesting history to go along with and some good investigating on your part.
I'll be following your blog and drop in from time to time.