Joe and Lizzie's Family

Tracing Lizzie’s Family: Margaret Lindner’s “Campbell of Hastings County”

Probably the best source for tracing Lizzie Leslie‘s family, both her ancestors and her descendants, is a book by Margaret Leslie Lindner called Campbell of Hastings County, Ontario.

Actually, the book’s full name is William and Isabella Masson Campbell of Hastings County Ontario: Their Ancestors and Descendants.

Title page of book Campbell of Hastings County

William and Isabella were Lizzie’s maternal grandparents. Their daughter, Flora McDonnell Campbell (1829–1905), who married William Leslie (1822–1904), was Lizzie’s mother.

William Leslie and Flora Campbell
Lizzie’s Father and Mother
source: Lindner, Campbells of Hastings County, p. 67

The author, Margaret Lindner (1923–1995), who was born Margaret Duncan Leslie, was Lizzie’s first cousin twice removed. She was the granddaughter of Lizzie’s much older brother, William Edward Leslie (1846–1921).

I remember in the early 1980s, how excited my mother and my Aunt Betty were about the forthcoming book, and how they diligently collected and shared with Margaret whatever information they had about our branch of Lizzie’s descendants. It was all done by letter in those days. Since Margaret lived in Michigan and most of our branch lived in Toronto, it was a slow process. Although I wasn’t aware at the time, some other fairly close relatives were also involved in providing information, including my Uncle Harley, my father’s aunts, Frances and Hazel, and his first cousin, Isabel Moore.

Margaret Lindner’s research provides us with most of what we know about Lizzie’s ancestors on her mother’s side. The family tree below shows us what Margaret found, supplemented a little by some of my own internet-based research.

Chart of Ancestors of Lizzie Leslie
Click to enlarge

When my copy of the book finally arrived in the mail in 1983, it was accompanied by this letter:

Letter from Margaret Leslie Lindner

Looking back from thirty-seven years later, her words seem even more poignant:

It is hoped that this book will enable each one of you to gain a greater appreciation of those who went before you, which in turn will lend understanding and a strength-giving sense of perspective to your own life. Perhaps, as the years pass and we become the remote ancestors of the past, this book will be especially cherished by our descendants as they strive to discover their roots!

Margaret (Leslie) Lindner

As I write this, there are two copies of the book available on Amazon.ca and one (much more expensive) copy on Amazon.com. If you’re in the Toronto area, you can also consult it, at no cost, at the Toronto Reference Library at Yonge and Bloor.

Easiest and cheapest of all, if you want to know something that might be in Margaret’s book, reach out to me by leaving a comment (below) or by using this website’s contact page. I would be happy to look up whatever you like.

2 Comments

  1. Karl

    Thanks for posting this.
    My grandmother (Joy) who passed in 2018 indicated that her maternal grandmother was Mary Ellen (aka Maymee) Campbell (of Ontario born ~1878) who married and had four children with Cyrus (Nathan) Davis.
    I have reason to believe that this Mary Ellen Campbell was the granddaughter or great-granddaughter of William Campbell and Isabel Masson. Can you check this?

    • Paul Warner

      Hi Karl,

      Sorry for the delay in responding.

      I checked the index to Campbell of Hastings County and didn’t find any listing for a Mary Ellen Campbell or a Cyrus Davis.

      According to the book, William and Isabella had five daughters but only two sons, William (born 1831) and John (born 1833). If Mary Ellen Campbell were a granddaughter of William and Isabel, she would have to be a daughter of one of those two. William married Lucy Elliott in 1858 and they had had one daughter, Susannah (born 1863). John married Jane Murray in 1856 and they had had two daughters, Margaret (born 1858) and Isabella (born 1865). So, unless Margaret Linder’s research was wrong, Mary Ellen wouldn’t be a granddaughter of William and Isabel.

      So was she a great granddaughter? If she were, she would have to have been the daughter of one of William or John’s sons. William had two sons, William Francis (born 1859) and John Elliott (born 1861). John had four sons, John (born 1860), David (born 1862), William Argyle (born 1870), and Donald (born 1872, died 1873). The book doesn’t list a Mary Ellen among their children and, in any case, they all seem to be too young to have been her father.

      I hope this helps and I’ll be happy to send you copies of the pages that cover this, if you like.

      All the best and good luck with your research,

      Paul

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