Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August 5 Discovered kids are related to Rita MacNeil from Big Pond, Cape Bretton, NS

Shawn's Scottish ancestors, named Campbell, came to Canada in 1806 from Barra in the outer Hebrides, having previously lived on the Isle of Skye. We knew that his G, G, G, Grandparents, Donald P Campbell and his wife Annie, were buried here in the community of Johnstown, near Big Pond and we set out to find the graves.

A chance meeting with a local, connected us by phone to Bob & Fran Campbell, who invited us to come over to his house, as his brother Louis was home from Texas and he had studied local geneology and they were both knowlegable in local history. Turned out that we are related to them and that their home still sits on the original land where Hector Campbell had first arrived in 1806.
Donald is son of Peter who is son of Hector. In all we managed to complete a picture of 10 generations from Hector arriving in North America to Rhianna and James. The Campbells are the Shawn's grandmothers family tree. Having just visited the Rita MacNeil Tea House, only minutes before finding the cemetary, we were surprised to learn that the graves we were tending were also Rita MacNeils Great Grandparents and that in her autobiography she talks affectionately about her Great Grannie Campbell, who was Shawn's Grandma's Grandma.

Also surprisingly, six years ago Bob & Fran Campbell had arranged a home exchange on Pender Island and remember visiting the winery. They were also in Ottawa the day before Canada Day, watching the same RCMP Musical ride that we attended. Their son, Bob.....everyone is James or RCMP and rides in the ride. A strange series of coincidences and events. Thank you for your time and hospitality, it really made our Cape Bretton visit.

So we left Cape Bretton, with knowledge of some new cousins and many happy memories.

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