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Descendants of Alexander Campbell

Generation No. 2

      2. Alexander2 Campbell (Alexander1)
Children of Alexander Campbell are:
  11 i.   James3 Campbell.
  12 ii.   Alexander Campbell.
  13 iii.   William Campbell.
  14 iv.   Thomas Campbell.
  15 v.   Molly Campbell.
  16 vi.   Ann Campbell.
  17 vii.   Sally Campbell.
  18 viii.   Jane Campbell.
  19 ix.   Florence Campbell.

      5. Mary2 Campbell (Alexander1) was born in Londonderry County, Ulster Province, Ireland. She married Major John Steele.
Child of Mary Campbell and Major Steele is:
  20 i.   Colonel John3 Steele.

      7. Robert2 Campbell (Alexander1) was born Abt. 1718 in Londonderry County, Ulster Province, Ireland, and died Bef. November 1797 in Washington County NC. He married (1) Ann (Nancy) _____ Abt. 1755 in Augusta County VA. She died Abt. 1764 in Augusta County VA. He married (2) Margaret Killpatrick Abt. 1765 in Augusta County VA. She died Aft. 1774.
Children of Robert Campbell and Ann _____ are:
+ 21 i.   James (Big Jimmie)3 Campbell, born 15 February 1759 in Augusta County VA; died 08 April 1844 in Knox County TN.
+ 22 ii.   Alexander (Captain Alexander) Campbell, born Abt. 1760 in Augusta County VA; died 07 September 1816 in Knox County TN.
+ 23 iii.   David (Elder David) Campbell, born August 1762 in Augusta County VA; died 1813 in Knox County TN.
Children of Robert Campbell and Margaret Killpatrick are:
+ 24 i.   John R.3 Campbell, born Abt. 1772 in Augusta County VA; died 07 October 1847 in Mount Sterling KY.
+ 25 ii.   Margaret Campbell, born 28 November 1774; died 04 October 1853 in Calloway County MO.
+ 26 iii.   William (Major William) Campbell, born 17 October 1776 in Montgomery County VA; died 11 January 1842 in Madison County TN.

      8. David (Black David)2 Campbell (Alexander1) was born Abt. 1710 in Londonderry County, Ulster Province, Ireland, and died November 1753 in Augusta County VA. He married Jane Conyngham Abt. 1747 in Augusta County VA, daughter of Walter Conyngham and Martha Conyngham. She was born Abt. 1728 in Pennsylvania Colony, and died August 1759 in Augusta County VA.

Notes for David (Black David) Campbell:

David Campbell (1710-1753), better known as "Black David," is a familiar name to those people researching the Campbells of Southwest Virginia. Many notable pioneers and military/political figures are descendants of Black David. For example, both of his sons, Captain William (1748-1800) and Colonel David (1753-1832) were Revolutionary War veterans. Colonel David was the founder of Campbell's Station, near Knoxville TN. A daughter of Black David, Martha Campbell (1750-1825), married Major John Morrison and was the first white woman to permanently reside at what is now the city of Lexington KY. William Bowen Campbell (1807-1867), the last Whig governor of TN was a great-grandson of Black David. Also, Alexander W. Campbell (1828-1893), a great- great-grandson of Black David, was a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army serving under General Nathan Bedford Forrest during the last months of the Civil War.

As a direct descendant of both Black David and his brother Robert Campbell, I have often wondered if the unsubstantiated information provided by Margaret Campbell Pilcher at pages 130-134 of her book "Historical Sketches of the Campbell, Pilcher and Kindred Families" (published 1911), concerning Black David, was supported by the official records of Augusta County, Virginia. Several years ago I commenced a study of these records and those of early Orange County (parent county of Augusta). The following paragraphs summarize some of the results of my research.


Published Family Traditions:

Margaret Campbell Pilcher (1843-1921) was a great-great granddaughter of both White David and Black David. Indeed, she is the person most responsible for the use of the terms "White David" and "Black David" in describing these two men who married half-sisters. In her book on Campbell family history, she tells us the following regarding the ancestors of "Black David" Campbell:

"Alexander Campbell lived at Inveraray, Argyleshire, Scotland. His son, William Campbell, married Mary Byers. They emigrated from Scotland to the north of Ireland, near Londonderry. In Donegal Township, Ulster District. There they lived for some years, then moved, with their seven children, to America, the exact date of removal cannot be obtained. The father was an upright, honorable gentleman in every respect; the mother a woman of remarkable intelligence and possessed many womanly virtues. Their children were: David, Elizabeth, Martha, Alexander, Robert, William, Jane and Mary Campbell - eight in all."

William Campbell (1793-1885) was a great-grandson of Black David, whose mother (Margaret Campbell) was a daughter of Robert Campbell (a brother of Black David) and Margaret Kirkpatrick. In a letter written in 1874, he tells us the following regarding the origins of his family:

"I give this history of the Campbell family from the information of father and mother to my first recollection. I will begin at mother's side, as she was one generation older than father's.

"Mother's grandfather came to America in 1704 from Scotland. I think there were three of them. I know but little of any of them. Only a few of them have I heard spoken of. John B. Campbell, from one branch of the family, formerly lived in Hopkinsville, Kentucky was a colonel and was killed in the War of 1812. He had two brothers who were in Kentucky a while, David and Charles."

Based on the above statements, one could conclude that the first Campbell immigrants were William Campbell (son of Alexander) and Mary Byers, who arrived in America in the year 1704. Their children would have included Black David and his brothers Alexander and Robert. However, as will hopefully be shown in the following paragraphs, the official records strongly imply that the above accounts contain several errors.

The Official Record:

Based upon my review of the court and land records of Orange County and Augusta County, Virginia, I have concluded that the father of Black David Campbell was Alexander Campbell not William Campbell. This Alexander Campbell settled within the confines of the Beverley Manor Grant (near the modern-day city of Staunton) in about the year 1744. I have not yet been able to determine the name of Alexander's wife; however, she and her husband had at least seven children including four sons (Black David, Alexander, Robert and William) and three daughters (Florence, Mary and Jane). This conclusion directly contradicts Mrs. Pilcher's claim that Black David's parents were William Campbell and Mary Byers, and that Alexander Campbell was Black David's grandfather.


By patent, dated 06 September 1736, Lt. Governor William Gooch of Virginia issued a grant of 118,491 acres of land which lay "beyond the Great Mountains on the River Sherando [Shenandoah] called the Manor of Beverley" to William Beverley (1696-1756) of Essex County, Virginia and his partners in the venture: John Randolph, Richard Randolph and John Robinson. On the day after the grant was made, the partners conveyed their interest to Beverley who, in turn, began to sell to settlers. Most of these settlers were Scotch-Irish immigrants who had come down the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to what was then Orange County, Virginia but soon would become part of the newly formed county of Augusta. The families of both White David and Black David Campbell were among the early settlers in the Manor.


In his well researched book The Tinkling Spring, Headwater of Freedom, Howard McKnight Wilson, Th.D. includes a magnificent map of all the early land plats of Beverley Manor. The early Campbell land purchases are all clearly delineated and are concentrated at the southwestern end of the manor. The map also depicts many nearby land plats belonging to families known to have been allied by marriage to both the White David and Black David Campbells, such as the Cunninghams, Allisons, Lockharts, Kirkpatricks and Hamiltons.


Family Traditions:

Margaret Campbell Pilcher has this to say about "Black David" Campbell:

"David Campbell (called 'Black David,' because of his dark hair, eyes and complexion, and to, distinguish him from his cousin, 'White David" Campbell, who was very fair, with yellow hair and blue eyes) was born about 1710. He married Jane Conyngham, a half-sister of Mary Hamilton ('White David' Campbell's wife). David Campbell and his wife, Jane Conyngham, came from Ireland with their parents. They settled in the Colony of Virginia, it is thought, first in Culpepper County. Later, they removed to Augusta County, Virginia, which was at that time a frontier settlement. To this section of Virginia had emigrated a large number of Scotch-Irish, a brave, independent, liberty-loving race of people, who were faithful friends and the best of citizens. They gave to our country many of her greatest men.

"David Campbell, born in 1710, died in November, 1753, and Jane Conyngham, his wife, died in August, 1759. They had four children, namely: William, Mary, Martha and David Campbell."

The Official Record:

I have no fundamental disagreement with Mrs. Pilcher's statements, cited above, concerning either Black David or White David Campbell. Based on Orange County and Augusta County land records, Black David migrated, with his father, Alexander Campbell, his three brothers (William, Robert and Alexander) and at least three sisters (Florence, Mary and Jane) to Augusta County (Beverley Manor) in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, in about the year 1744.

Shortly after arriving in Beverley Manor, about the year 1747, Black David married Jane Conyngham (Cunningham), the daughter of Walter and Martha Conyngham. At the time of the marriage, Black David, if he was born in 1710, would have been about 37 years old, rather old for a first marriage. However, I have no hard evidence with which to deny Mrs. Pilcher's assertion that Black David was born in 1710. Black David Campbell and Jane Conyngham had four known children: William (b. 1748), David (b. August 1753), Mary (b. c. 1751) and Martha (b. 1750). Black David was short lived, dying intestate in Augusta County, Virginia in November 1753. Jane Campbell, Black David's wife, died in Augusta County, Virginia in August 1759.

Notes for Jane Conyngham:
[Campbell Family.FTW]


The wife of Black David was Jane Cunningham, the daughter of Walter and Martha Cunningham and the half sister of Mary Hamilton, the wife of White David. Margaret Campbell Pilcher has this to say regarding the Hamiltons and the Cunninghams (Conynghams):

"James Hamilton married Janet Campbell, at Inveraray, Scotland. They had two children: Arthur and James. Arthur Hamilton married Martha Conyngham, daughter of Patrick Conyngham and Euphemia Vesse, his wife. He died near Londonderry, Ireland, leaving his widow with two small children: Mary and Arthur. She married a cousin, Walter Conyngham, with whom she and her two children came to America. At this time, Mary Hamilton, her daughter, was ten years of age, in 1726. She had several children by her second husband, Walter Conyngham, but of these we have no record, except of Jane Conyngham, the eldest, who married another David Campbell, called "Black David," on account of his dark complexion, to distinguish him from his relative of the same name, "White" David Campbell, who married Mary Hamilton, the half-sister of Jane Conyngham. Thus it will be noted that the half-sisters, Mary Hamilton and Jane Conyngham, married each a David Campbell, distant cousins, who were of the same clan in Scotland.

" Patrick Conyngham was a Colonel commanding a regiment at the battle of Boyne, under King William of Orange. He married Euphemia Vesse. They had two children that we have on record: James and Martha Conyngham. Martha Conyngham married first Arthur Hamilton, and after his death she married a cousin, Walter Conyngham, with whom, and her two children, Mary and Arthur Hamilton, she emigrated to America in 1726."

I have found nothing in the official records that would contradict the above statements of Mrs. Pilcher.

Children of David Campbell and Jane Conyngham are:
+ 27 i.   William (Captain William)3 Campbell, born 1748 in Augusta County VA; died 1800 in Fayette County KY.
+ 28 ii.   Martha (Molly) Campbell, born 1750 in Augusta County VA; died 02 July 1825 in Fayette County KY.
  29 iii.   Mary Campbell, born Abt. 1751. She married William (Captain William) Allison.
  Notes for Mary Campbell:
[Campbell Family.FTW]


According to Margaret Campbell Pilcher, Mary Campbell married a certain Captain William Ellison (Allison?). I have found little mention in the Virginia/Kentucky records of anyone named William Ellison. However, the Scotch-Irish used the names "Ellison" and "Allison" almost interchangeably. Therefore, William may have been the son of John Allison, who was part of the Allison/Campbell migration group, of which Mary's brother, Captain William Campbell (1748-1800), was a member. Circa 1784, William and Mary Ellison (Allison) may have migrated to Kentucky with the Campbells. On 09 November 1792, Governor Shelby commissioned a certain William Allison as a Captain in the 9th Regiment of the Fayette County militia. William's brother-in-law, Major John Morrison, was also in the 9th Regiment.

+ 30 iv.   David (Colonel David) Campbell, born August 1753 in Augusta County VA; died 24 November 1832 in Wilson County TN.

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