- Published: 03 September 2009 03 September 2009
Campbells from Scotland to Queensland
Despite sharing the same surname, it's not known whether David and Mary were closely related.
Whatever the case, on 10 August 1874 according to the forms of the Established Church of Scotland, 23-year-old coal miner David Campbell married 19-year-old servant Mary Campbell.
He was the son of David Campbell and Catherine Paton and she the daughter of Alexander Campbell and Helen Rutherford. Helen was the only surviving parent.
Alexander and Helen were married at nearby Falkirk in January 1854 but nothing further is known of them.
In December 1875, David and Mary's first child, Helen Rutherford Campbell was born in the same district. They had at least two other children - David and Alex - before coming to Australia in 1883 arriving in Moreton Bay on the Southesk.
On September 30, 1883, during the voyage, Mary gave birth to another son, John Littlejohn Campbell, seemingly named for the ship's captain, John Littlejohn.
Mary had complications from the birth and died on 18 October. Baby John died two days later.
Within 12 months, David remarried to a Christina Abel who'd been aboard the same ship from Scotland.
She seems to have been looking after at least one of the children as Alex Campbell recalled years later an incident at a well in Brisbane where the City Hall now stands. Christina Abel lived nearby in Hutton Lane, so the connection seems irrestible.
David and Christina had five children but only one, Jane, survived to adulthood.
In 1895, Helen Campbell married Arthur Nunn.
About 1905, David and Alex Campbell moved to Central Queensland and worked for the Adelaide-based Mammoth Anthracite Coal Company in a mine at Jellinbah near Bluff about 180km west of Rockhampton.
The Rockhampton Historical Society has a document based on Alex Campbell's recollections which indicates that the Mammoth Mine was near the Blackwater Creek and its junction with the Mackenzie River north-west of Bluff.
Alex also gives details of leaving Scotland, the rough passage on the ship, first living in Brisbane and then in Ipswich.