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J.K. Rowling's ancestors on ScotlandsPeople


Author of Harry Potter series featured on Who Do You Think You Are?

Following the recent episode featuring J.K. Rowling, staff at the ScotlandsPeople centre were delighted to find record of her Scottish ancestry. Her putative great-great grandfather, Dr Dugald Campbell was born in Lamlash on the Isle of Arran in 1858.

According to family historian Anthony Adolph, Dugald Campbell is reported to have lived and worked as a doctor in South London, where he met a bookkeeper named Mary Smith and illegitimately fathered her child. Mary mysteriously disappeared after the birth, and the child, Louisa Caroline Watts Smith (J.K. Rowling’s maternal grandmother) was adopted.

Dr Campbell returned to Scotland and died in Kilbride, Bute, in 1940.

Records of his birth and death can be found at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.

Dugald Campbell Birth

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Dugald Campbell Death

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This discovery prompted us to look back further in the Campbell family line. Dugald’s father, Reverend Colin Fisher Campbell, was a Presbyterian Minister born in Kilchattan, north of Arran. He died in 1882 and left an estate worth £1466.

We wonder whether Dugald ever mentioned to his father that he had a grandson living in England?

Dugald Campbell WIll

Remember the index entry of his Will can be viewed for free at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.

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