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JK'S SECRET SCOTS FAMILY; Writer in hunt for lost relatives.


HARRY POTTER author JK Rowling has secretly traced her Scottish roots.

Adopted Scot Joanne, 40, believes she is the great-granddaughter of a pioneering doctor from Arran.

Dugald Campbell, who died aged 82 in 1940, moved from his Scots home to Hawaii, where he helped to create a national health service in the 1890s.

After discovering her family's history, the best-selling author, who has lived in Edinburgh for more than a decade and is married to Scots doctor Neil Murray, made an emotional pilgrimage to the Campbell family plot in a graveyard in Lamlash.

Mum-of-three Rowling has also chased clues to her Scottish bloodline across the Atlantic.

Rowling, Scotland's richest woman, began her search after family tree expert Anthony Adolph began investigating her roots.

He contacted her family and Rowling's aunt, Marian Fox, helped him find the clues that led to Dugald Campbell.

The writer, who was born near Bristol, has even emailed historians in Hawaii in a bid to find out more.

Dr Campbell was married when he had an affair with young book-keeper Mary Smith in England and fathered Rowling's grandmother, Freda.

Freda had two daughters Anne - Rowling's late mother - and Marian.

Last night, Marian, 65, revealed the findings have excited her niece so much she has already travelled to visit her grandfather's family grave on the isle of Arran.

She said: 'We think it's a strong possibility Dugald was my grandfather - Jo's great-grandfather.

'Jo was keen to trace him and has done a bit of research as well.

'She has been to Dugald Campbell's family grave on Arran and now we hope to go up there together and look at the local records to find out more about him.'

Although Dugald is not buried on Arran, the grave of his father, the Rev Colin Fisher Campbell, is in the cemetery. And the plot is a resting place for many of Dugald's brothers and sisters.

It is thought Dugald was buried with his wife elsewhere in Britain.

Genealogist Anthony believes the Harry Potter writer inherited her intelligence from her great-grandfather.

The flamboyant doctor travelled extensively and history books in Hawaii reveal he took up the post of government physician on the islands, where he set about raising cash for a hospital that would treat all islanders for free.

Anthony has traced Rowling's roots back to her ancestors in the early 19th century.

He said: 'None of them appear to have been anything out of the ordinary.

'There would not seem to be anything to suggest that their descendant would become such a fantastic, imaginative writer. Then I uncovered this incredible Scottish doctor.

'His extraordinary life perhaps hints at the career of his extraordinary great-granddaughter.'

Rowling's grandmother Louisa Caroline Watts Smith, renamed Freda by her adoptive parents, was born on May 16, 1916, at a private nursing home in London to Mary Smith, a book-keeper.

Mary disappeared soon after giving birth and was never heard of again.

She was raised by the Watts family, who owned the nursing home. But she was told her father - not named on her birth certificate - was a Dr Campbell.

Freda went on to marry Stanley Volant, an engineer, and gave birth to Anne - Rowling's mother - and Marian.

Anne died in 1990 at the age of 45after suffering multiple sclerosis for many years.

Marian, who lives in Watford, said: 'My mother was brought up until she was 18 by the Watts family, who ran a nursing home in north London.

'She didn't find out she was adopted until she overheard a conversation when she was 19.

'She'd had a pretty rotten childhood and worked as a skivvy.

'She didn't want to know anything about the family that dumped her on the Watts family. She was very bitter.

'I was trying to do my family tree, mainly on my father's French side, the Volant side.

'But when my mother died, I started to remember what she had told me about her youth. She was educated privately, so she was obviously paid for by some mysterious benefactor.

'And she recalled two gentlemen arrived once a year and she would be sent down to have tea with them.

'She used to say they had an accent which we now strongly suspect was Scottish.

'When she got married, my mother told my father that her dad was a Dr Campbell and her mum had been a receptionist or book-keeper for him.

'She'd got herself pregnant and was sent off to have the baby in secret. My mother Freda was then adopted by the Watts family, who were reimbursed for taking care of her.

'Considering Dugald Campbell was just a couple of miles from where we believe Mary Smith lived, it's a bit ofa coincidence. He arrived in London a year before my mother was born - and he retired to Scotland the year she turned 18, when the money for her upkeep and the visits stopped.'

Anthony is resident genealogist for the website GenesReunited and has his own site His inquiries led him to Glasgow University, where Dugald graduated.

They uncovered a picture of a Dr Campbell who graduated in the same year but they could not confirm his first name was Dugald.

The Mamiya Medical Heritage Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, holds records of Dr Campbell.

And a spokeswoman there confirmed that they had had contact with a relative in Scotland called Jo Murray - Rowling's married name.

Rowling's publicist said yesterday the author did not want to discuss her family tree
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 14, 2005
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