Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How the Campbells and Weems got to America...

Hi Bill,
Thanks for the pages! I knew they'd been arrested in Boston, but not why. :-) It seems he had a thing about the King. He wrote a stern letter to the King after having no supply ships on the Jersey shore for over 17 weeks at Fort Pemaquid. Most of his men deserted because they weren't paid, which is why the Indians attacked. He had to have been a very interesting and principled man.
So let me tell you a story...
Sir Neil Campbell (2nd son of Archibald, 9th Earl) came to America as the governor of the Jersey shore for 2 years as part of the Darien Scheme; Scottish highlanders wanting to settle the America and recoup their trading routes from the English. He was also fleeing Scotland because his brother had been arrested for treason and was to be hung, as his grandfather had been years before. Long story, but very well documented. The Campbells were kinda off and on with the King but have married into every royal line (Douglas, Stewart, Weems, etc) all the way back to about 95AD.
Sir Neil sailed for the America with some of his family (at least his wfie, 2 sons and a daughter) and other immigrants, servants and soldiers, and settled in around Boston. This is most likely where Anne Campbell, his daughter, met and married James (Captain) Weems who happened to be from their home area back in Scotland. He was also known as Captain James Menzies of Weems in some of the Campbell histories. However, whereever I look, Anne Campbell married Captain James....
After about 2 years, the King relented on his brother, and Governor Neil Campbell returned to Scotland with some of his family. Didn't really want to be governor, so he resigned and went home to secure his estate. Two sons stayed behind and settled in the nearby area.
At the same time, David (of Balfarge) Weymss decided to take over the baronetcy in the Americas that had been given to his cousin as part of the settlement scheme. He was a bad manager and losing his estate, so he needed to bolster it somehow. His son John went to the Americas (he settled in Pennsylvania) and his daughter-in-law and three children ended up in Maryland. I'm searching for documentation on the baronecy right now.
The thing is that Elizabeth Loch (ancestor of the Maryland group) was never officially married by the church to James Weymss. His first wife didn't died until after 1720 so he could not have married her in 1700. There is record of a "handfast" marriage to "David Weymss", but nothing else. In other words, that line can never be entered into the College of Arms (which is probably part of the reason why they left). David is a cousin, but all the lines in are false.
However, they were still the cousins of John Weems of Pa, the son of a Lord and royal by blood, but not by marriage.
I'm still trying to determine if Captain James Weems is the same as Captain James Menzies of Weems, but the only way to prove that is going to be finding his military record and I'll have to order it from London. In the meantime, I'll be going through all the parishes in Maryland and New York tyring to find his children, probates and land records.
In the meantime, I'm demolishing everything that's been done for the Weems line for the past 200 years. But it's always been known that the line had problems with documentation, so it shouldn't be a big surprise to anyone. I'm going to visit the local library in Davenport tomorrow. It has a very large genealogical section and should have several volumes on the Darien scheme and the British soldiers in the Americas. It might even have some vital records as a lot of books have been donated by families over the years.
The Campbell/Weems story is a great story! It will read like a book when it's finally done. However, the Campbell line is a slam dunk, already approved by the College of Arms. Just need to hook in the American side of it and document the other lines.
More later!

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