Author Topic: Catherine Campbell Williamson (b 1753?) "Niece/Adopted Daughter Duke of Argyll"  (Read 241 times)

Offline Leanne283

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Working on my ancestry, I have come across my sixth great grandmother, Catherine (Catharine, Katherine) Campbell Williamson (born 1753 or 1760).  Her headstone reads "Niece and Adopted Daughter of the Duke of Argyle".  I have found many references about Catherine and her husband, a college professor named William Williamson (b. 1749).  I can find nothing about him or her other than in the sources I have come across in Google Books.  Apparently, she was the adopted daughter of the Duke of Argyle though which duke I do not know.  She is said to have lost her inheritance when she left the family to marry William, a lowly college professor :). In one of my sources, the writer named the Duke as "Red Major Campbell" but anything I could find did not match the dates.  Catherine and William married and moved to South Carolina and had two daughters, Elizabeth (b 1774) and Isabella.  I am unsure of the year, but allegedly, William was arrested for having some sort of discussion with a minister and put on a ship to head back to Scotland.  I have read two stories regarding his demise: 1. he was sent as a slave to Jamaica.  2. the ship sank before reaching Scotland.  If anyone has any information on Catherine or William, I would absolutely love to know whatever it is you have. 

Online DonM

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Your sources are a bit skewed although I do like Catherine’s stone.

The easy one is Duke of Argyll - at this moment in time it was the 4th Duke (General John Campbell) who succeeded as the 4th Duke in 1761 when the 3rd died. 

Red Major Campbell was Donald Campbell from Islay, he was not of the Duke’s line other than he was a Campbell.  He and many others from Islay emigrated to the Carolinas.  A Loyalist, he joined the Brit’s was captured and released and moved to Nova Scotia.  Joined again for the war of 1812.  He wore a very red military coat became as major and his bright red coat is on display at the Niagara Historical Society and Museum.

But since you are talking about the Colonies you need to look at Captain Lord William Campbell (the 4th Duke’s son), who was the Governor of SC born 1730 and died 1778.  He fled the Colonies in 1775.

I think Catherine is a Niece of Lord William. His wife was born in SC her name was Sarah Izard perhaps Catherine is a daughter of his wife's sister or brothers.  Adoption didn't exist as such in Scotland until 1930 so she would have been simply shown as a Niece. 

"On Sunday last the Right Hon. Lord William Campbell, fourth son to his present Grace the Duke of Argyle, and commander of his majesty's ship the Nightingale, was married to Miss Sarah Izard, daughter of the late Ralph Izard, Esq., a young lady esteemed one of the most considerable fortunes in the province. (Saturday, April 23, 1763.) - South Carolina Gazette."

Professor William Williamson – Google is great and I see where you got his information.

“William Williamson, a former slaveholder born in North Carolina ... in Salisbury, North Carolina, was a chemistry professor at the University ... August 1, 1749”

However this being a clip from an Article “In its Midst” which covers the 100 hundred southern-born anti slave activists.  You need to acquire the entire article to see what it says.

And if this is indeed her husband I can understand why they would want to send him to Jamaica.  There were nearly 400,000 slaves in North Carolina then.

There is no marriage and no birth/baptisms of the children recorded. Williamson’s activities might be the reason why and I suggest the North Carolina Genealogical Society be your next stop.  They will have the actual records if they survived.

Don

Offline Leanne283

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Don,
Thank you so much for responding - especially so quickly.  I am a teacher, so I am a bit crazy here at the end of the school year.

I do believe you are correct about the Fourth Duke; I think he would have been the one who "raised her" during her formidable years.  I have researched his siblings and his children and no one seemed to have had a daughter named Catherine.  It is so weird!  Apparently, the story goes that she and William were both born in Scotland and only moved to the states after they married. 

The following is an excerpt from History of North Carolina Volume VI:
William Williamson, the father of Isabella, had an interesting and adventurous career.  He was a man of fine education, his home being in Glasgow, Scotland.  Before leaving his native country, he engaged in teaching English, Latin, and Mathematics, first in private families and later in colleges, but when he had won the love of Catherine Campbell, the niece and adopted daughter of the Duke of Argyle, to the extent that she was willing to go with him to the ends of the earth and the proposed match proving unsatisfactory to the Duke on the ground that Williamson was only a teacher and not the owner of an estate, the married couple sailed for America and landed on the Island of Jamaica, where they remained for two years and afterwards, landing at Wilmington, came up the Cape Fear River to Campbellton, afterwards Fayetteville where they located.  Here William Williamson engaged in teaching while he was permitted to remain in America, but when the subject of independence began to be agitated, the British soldiers after investigation, were heard to remark that man’s head might overturn a government, and so Williamson and Rev. John McLeod, a Presbyterian minister, were taken under guard, carried to Wilmington, and placed on a vessel to be deported to Scotland.  Nothing more was ever known about the vessel after sailing and it was supposed to be lost at sea. 
Catherine (Campbell) Williamson and her two daughters were visiting friends near the McLauchlin home twenty miles west from Fayetteville when the husband and father were taken to be seen by them no more. William Williamson left many interesting and valuable papers and documents which would now be of considerable historical value, but all were lost in the confusion of the times, except portions of a diary which he kept before leaving Scotland.

             
If anyone can help me make sense of this - the who in the world was Catherine and who in the world was William part - that would be excellent. 

 


Online DonM

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Leanne

Here is a contradiction of sorts.

https://www.carolana.com/SC/Governors/wcampbell.html

This is something I find frequently depending on how old the history was written, was it based on oral or factual history.  Oral history is seldom factual; the tools simply weren't around.  And its not just in the U.S. its everywhere. 

This is your search its on your turf which is why I suggested contacting the NCGS.

Since the events take place in the U.S. you might receive more responses if the Moderator moved this to the U.S. Board.

Don