Thursday, September 17, 2009

Could We Be Related?

I just had to share my exciting news with you.

After 38 years of genealogical research tracing my family tree I finally received a call last week from someone researching a branch of my own family that I had finally given up on.

My maternal grandmother was a Violet Agnes Campbell who married Albert Douglas Thomas my grandfather, in Gulzarbagh, Patna. Her father, John Walker Campbell was a Laboratory Superintendent in the Opium Department first in Ghazipur and then in Gulzarbagh, Patna during the late 19th early 20th century.

My grandmother owned a photograph album that contained photos of her family, the Campbell's and Foster's. Sadly, hardly any of the photos contained writing on them so trying to identify people proved to be impossible... until last week.

A gentleman, called Steve Leake contacted me asking for help tracing his family tree. He emailed a photograph to me that I instantly recognised as being my gt. grandfather John Walker Campbell. I contacted him immediately. Neither of us knew of the connection we shared, but he informed me that he had photos of other Campbell's which he also kindly emailed to me. Many of the photos were identical to the unnamed ones we had in our photo album. To say I was over the moon would be an understatement.

Thanks to his kindness and generosity I have been able to fill in so many blanks and discovered new some new leads. In return, I have shared all of the information I have on the Campbell's and we are meeting up this coming Sunday. I can't wait!!

Steve explained that he was descended from John Walker Campbell's youngest sister, Caroline "Carrie" Campbell. She married an Albert Edward Van Ristell. This was a surname I had never come across in all of the years I have been carrying out genealogical research, but thanks to this gentleman I have discovered connections with other families named below.

If you have any of the following names in your family tree please contact me as I am trying to find information on the following families.

Campbell / Foster - lived in Ghazipur and Patna.
Van Ristell / Campbell - lived in Patna and Sutna.
Godfrey / Campbell - Lived in Ghazipur
Beglin / Van Ristell - Lived in Bengal.
D'Saran / Godfrey - Lived in Bengal.
Van Ristell / Leake - India

This is a long shot but if you recognise any of these surnames in your own family tree from these areas please contact me.

For Van Ristell connections please contact Steve Leake direct at: Alternatively, you can always contact me at

I hope that we can make some new connections.

Best wishes
Paul Rowland
The Indiaman Magazine Online

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