How did I break down the brick wall??
At first, I didn't know if Sarah was Nancy Campbell's mother or older
sister - or maybe just some kind soul who had taken in three orphans.
All I knew was that Nancy and her two brothers were living with William
and Sarah Brown in 1870. Nancy married James "Murphy" in Oct 1870, very
shortly after turning 16. Why had she wanted out of the house so badly
if Sarah was her mother?
The presence of Benjamin Brumin in the household was also confusing. He
was 22, only 14 years younger than Sarah, so I didn't think he could be
her child. I thought he might be related to William Brown - since
Brown/Brumin might be just an error in transcription. It turns out he
was the key to unravelling the whole mystery.
But in the meantime - I knew I needed to find whatever I could about
Sarah. I knew she'd married William Brown, so I looked for any Daviess
or Harrison county MO William Browns who had married Sarahs in the 1850s
or 60s. I also checked for Sarahs married to Campbells, in case Sarah
was indeed the mother rather than an older sister.
I found an Abraham Campbell who married a Sarah Ann Fisher in Dec1854 in
Daviess Co, but since she'd died in IA and was married to her 2nd
husband at the time, I had to rule her out. (Sometimes elminating
people as possible ancestors is as good a clue as any.) I also found a
Col. William S Brown who had married a Sarah Scott 15Apr1863, and a
Sarah M. mar Wm. Brown 19Feb1867 Daviess Co. Since I knew my Sarah was
Sarah A I leaned toward believing Sarah must be Sarah Scott, probably an
older sister left to care for the kids after the parents died.
And "Murphy's luck" played a part too - "Murphy" didn't
bad luck! Responding to my posting about Sarah Scott on the Daviess Co
MO list, another researcher of the Brown line suggested that my Sarah
might instead be Sarah Shrum. I was certainly open to any suggestions!
By now, I'd been searching for five years, leaving posted messages
anywhere I could find a place to leave one - Daviess Co MO, Harrison Co
MO, Campbell surname lists, Brown surname lists, Murphy surname lists.
The 1860 census at ancestry.com
isn't indexed, so I found the Shrum
family on the 1850 census (which is indexed). There was a Sarah A age
17 (the right age for my Sarah) and a Reuben Campbell married to her
sister Mary Jane living with the family. Sarah also had a sister Nancy
E, two of her brothers were named William and Dennis, and her mom was
named Nancy (remembering that in 1870 Nancy's two brothers were named
Dennis and William). A few houses down, I found Henry Campbell, age 15,
son of Jeremiah and Milly. He was a bit young, but still a possibility
for Nancy's dad.
Although I found the marriage date online for Reuben and Mary Jane, I
still couldn't find any marriage records for Sarah Shrum to any
Campbell. It seemed logical that he would be a brother or cousin of
Reuben, but that didn't tell me a whole lot. Reuben was 24 and Henry
was 15 - there could have been several brothers (or visiting cousins)
born in between.
Oh - and did I mention that Benjamin Brinnon was age 3 and living in the
same household in 1850? The census order was: parents Benjamin and
Nancy Shrum, then Sarah, her brothers and sisters, then Reuben and Mary
Jane and their daughter, then Benjamin Brinnon. Mary Jane was 19 and
Sarah was only 17; and since Benjamin was living with Sarah and her
husband in 1870, we guessed he must be either Mary Jane's son by a
previous marriage, or perhaps the son of a deceased sister, shuffled
between family members for care.
But I couldn't find any of them anywhere in Daviess or Harrison counties
in 1860. And of course that census is not yet indexed, so checking
through that census was a chore. 1860, however, was a critical key
because that was when Sarah and her Campbell husband should be still
married and all the children, Nancy (b1855), William (b1857), and Dennis
(b1859) should be shown with them.
Now that I strongly suspected Sarah Shrum was indeed my missing person,
I left a message on another site (rival to this one and thus unnamed),
and soon had a response from yet another researcher. Turned out that
Reuben and Henry were brothers, and that Jeremiah and Milly Campbell had
moved to Johnson Co TX, and had died there about 1859. Reuben and Henry
(and possibly more family members) had moved to Texas to help settle the
family's affairs. The brother's families had been shown as indigent on
a tax record, and had apparently returned to Missouri about 1863.
Whether Reuben and Henry joined the CSA or were victim to bushwackers on
their way home, or whatever, no one knows (yet), but they didn't make it
back to Missouri with their familes.
Oh - and did I mention that Benjamin F Brinnon was living with Henry and
Sarah Campbell in 1860?
However, I still couldn't actually confirm that Sarah Shrum was my Sarah
Brown. I only knew that Henry Campbell was Nancy's father and her
mother had been named Sarah. It was possible she might just be a cousin
of the Sarah Shrum I'd found - or no relation at all.
Then a kind soul, who was unrelated but had been following the story on
various postings, sent me a note saying they had found a marriage date
for Henry Campbell and Sarah Ann Strum Brennon in Feb1854. At last I
had my confirmation that Sarah Shrum was indeed Nancy's mother, making
Henry Campbell her father, and the mysterious Benjamin Brinnon/Brumin
her older half brother.
It seems Sarah, at age 14 in 1847, had married John Brennon and had a
son. Don't know what happened to John, but she was back home three
years later in 1850. (Guess one day when I'm bored I'll go looking for
him in Daviess Co.) At age 20, in 1854, she'd married Henry Campbell,
then married William Brown when she was about 34. Since I haven't found
either William or Sarah in the Daviess Co Cemetery Register, I don't
know if she married again after William or not. Oh - and reportedly the
family Bible has her name as Sarah Adaline rather than Sarah Ann.
So see - these postings and messages really do sometimes pay off. Some
of those messages from other researchers dated back to 2001. Thank
goodness they hadn't changed their email addresses!
(P.S. I'm new to this Campbell mail list - so I hope this type of
message meets with the admin's approval. If not - I'll apologize now.)
From: Jim Campbell [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 9:58 AM
Subject: Re: Jeremiah Campbell 1801-1859 TN>KY>MO>TX
Can you share with us how you managed to breach your brick wall? Many
of us also have Campbell brick walls and perhaps this information would
My brick wall is John D. Campbell(1812-1890) of Lincoln/Catawba County
Sharon Worthey wrote:
Hi all -
I finally had a brick wall come crashing down! I found my Nancy E
Campbell's father! He was Henry Campbell s/o Jeremiah and Milly.
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