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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Campbell

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1257-1258 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

Like the great Napoleon, Mr. Campbell is his "own ancestor," so far as the American branch of his family is concerned, his parents never having left the "old sod." The Campbells are an ancient family of Scotland, who when persecution drove them to seek refuge in other lands, crossed over and settled in northern Ireland. They were a powerful clan and figure prominently in Scotch and English history. The first of the family of record in this branch is John Campbell, son of an Irish farmer. John Campbell was born in county Longford, Ireland, 1792, died 1839. He was born on the farm that was his home all his days and where he died. He married Ellen Quinn, born 1794, died 1832. They lived the life usual in a farming community, and reared their children to habits of thrift and industry. Their eldest son, Bernard, succeeded to the farm which he cultivated and never left. He married and left seven children, among whom were: Patrick and Michael, came to the United States and both died in Brooklyn, New York, Patrick leaving six children.

  1. John, settled in Albany, New York, where he died.
  2. James J., (see forward).
  3. Bridget, only daughter, is wife of Thomas Farley, of Albany, New York.

(I) James J., son of John and Ellen (Quinn) Campbell, was born in county Longford, Ireland, May 16, 1832. He grew up on the farm, where he received his early training and attended the parish school until he reached the age of sixteen, when he determined to emigrate to America, where his brothers had preceded him. In 1848 he took passage on the ship, "Richard Cobden," and after a passage of nearly ten weeks reached New York. He did not long remain there, but proceeded northward until he reached Albany, New York. There he apprenticed himself to a harness maker and for four years worked steadily with him, learning thoroughly the trade that was to be the source of his future prosperity. He became an expert workman, familiar with every detail of the manufacture of harness and leather goods. It was a favorite saying of his that he "allowed no man to do more or better work." This was the keynote to his whole career, industry and integrity. He settled in Troy after his years of preparation were ended. He worked as a journeyman for Thomas Jobe for two years, and for William Crowley for seven years. He then received the appointment of "Inspector of leather goods at the United States Arsenal," where he remained three years. In 1863 he started business on his own account on Congress street, Troy, where he had his manufactory and store. He made and sold harness, saddles and leather goods, pertaining to the horse, and carried trunks, bags, etc. He remained at that location for sixteen years, in fact, all his business life was spent on Congress street in two or three different locations, but never off that street. He prospered and secured a competency that enables him to live, retired from all business cares. Mr. Campbell allied himself with the Democratic party, to which he still gives the support of his maturer years. He is a communicant of the Roman Catholic church. He married, 1855, Catherine McDevitt, born in the north of Ireland, 1833, died in Troy, New York, 1866. He married (second) 1871, Mrs. Mary E. (Smith) Hendry, widow of James H. Hendry, who bore him a daughter, Elizabeth, who died aged five years, two months and five days. Children of first wife:

  1. James E., born October 23, 1856, died January 23, 1863.
  2. Mary Catherine, died 1858, in infancy.
  3. John J., March 1, 1859, died July 27, 1860.
  4. Anthony, drowned August 12, 1872, aged eleven years, two months and five days.
  5. Ellen, born February 24, 1863, died March 20, 1864.
  6. Edward, August 24, 1864, died May 5, 1865.
  7. Catherine E., died January 31, 1866, in infancy.

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