Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chapter 13-NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK

Note to readers- As I have stated before, in the interest of privacy, all surnames pertaining to the "paternal" relatives in this blog have been altered

The response from Lynn came back quickly.
"No. We met after I was already pregnant".
I had remembered her telling me that before- but just had to be sure.

I ordered another DNA test from Ancestry and sent it off to Lynn, knowing that the best first step was to eliminate any possible relatives that she also matched.
In the meantime I set about scouring public trees on Ancestry.com in search of members of the Campbell family whom had emigrated to Australia from Ireland.  Any tree that I found with the Campbell name (or some form of it) that had Irish roots was fair game.  I composed a brief but, hopefully, explanatory note for the owners of said trees.

Hi xxxxxxx. I am a descendant of the Campbel(l) family. As I am adopted I have little information- except that my father and grandparents lived in Melbourne in the 40's, 50's and 60's. My grandfather was named Lionel William A Campbell and I believe he retired in Queensland in the 70's. Grandmother was Arlene Mabel/Marie and my father was/is Malcolm. My DNA results show that I am 44% Irish- and I noticed that your Campbel ancestors come from Ireland. I'm quite sure the Irish is on my fathers side as the next majority is German (my mothers side). Wondering if, in your research, you may have come across these people as distant relatives?? Anything would be helpful- I have been searching for 25 years but just did the DNA thing- so I'm hoping I may be on the right track...
Thanks in advance- I truly appreciate any help

This is an almost exact copy of the e-mail that I sent to a woman on May 25, 2014.  Her name was Heather Campbel and her tree was quite detailed with lots of family members from that side originating in Ireland.  As always, I knew it was a long shot- but I had to try.  The "squeaky wheel" and all....

Twelve hours later, this response came in

Lionel Campbell & Arline Brant married 1942 Victoria Australia rego #33XX
Lionel’s mothers name is Fraser father not listed in death rego Queensland
Lionel's occupation was an electrical engineer
Lionel was in the Eventide Nursing home in 1977 at Sandgate in Queensland
My aunties Ruth & Beryl Campbel died at the Eventide home – they may have known him??
I can’t find much on Lionel at this stage
Arlene or Arline, Mable or Marie Campbell nee Brant is not found after 1968, either she died or divorced Lionel?
Her parents Gertrude Marie Rait or Raise died 17 Jun 1965 at the age of 73, Victoria – photo of her plaque avail
Married John Isaac or Isaac Joseph Brant in 1915 Victoria Australia.
Isaac Brant has an Australian War record – all though he seems to be continually sick by a varied of conditions. John Brant died 1929 Victoria Australia
John Isaac Brant’s mother was Clara Neetham Brant 1874-1956 mother only listed she married after his birth & had other children, her parents are John Brant 1838-1898 & Sarah Neetham 1832-1916
Arlene has 3 brothers that I can find all have war records – all listed there mother Gertrude as NOK
Stanley Bernard Sydney Brant DOB 11 Feb 1921 Colac Victoria
Herbert Jean Austin Brant aka Herbert John Dob 29 Sep 1918 WA died 1988 Victoria
Haymass George William Brant DOB 11 Sep 1919 Colac Victoria died 1988 victoria
Of course I don’t know if this is of any use to you as you probably have this info already
Heather 
 I stared at my computer screen with my mouth agape. Had somebody just found my paternal Grandmother's maiden name?  I had search the Australian BDM indexes many times- but had never found anything.  I quickly logged in and typed in the names exactly as Heather had spelled them and- BINGO- there it was.  Evidence that these people EXISTED.  My heart was racing.  Where do I start?  I had several more conversations with Heather and she was incredibly helpful about sending me to various web-sites for military records and newspaper and publication archives.  I was able to follow the trail and find the same records that she had.  This was promising.  This was huge.  I knew that things were about to change.