How did we get here from there?
If you got here from the Prentice Page you may well be wondering, "How do Campbell's, Starr's, and Prentice's all get in amongst each other?" It was an accident of marriage. Not mine, my cousin Susan's. On October, 30, 1965, Susan Elaine Adamson married LeVon Allen Prentice in Santa Monica, California. They begot a bunch of other Prentice's and, well, here we all are.
The Campbell/Starr/Prentice connection still not clear? Well, here's how it goes.
Andrew Martin Starr (b. March 15, 1861 in Munster, Ontario, Canada) married Ann Elizabeth "Birdie" Dean (b. April 23, 1869 in Kasson, Leelonau Cnty., Michigan) on November 23, 1898, in Pasadena, California. How they got from Canada and Michigan to California, I don't know, but it was a precursor to all that would follow. They moved constantly. Just watch:
See what I mean? Six kids, six towns. Why they moved so often may or may not be an interesting story (does anyone know?). But move they did.
Now, the Campbell connection came from my mother, Eleanor, marrying Clarence Clarke Campbell (b. March 15, 1911 in Redlands, CA) on July 7, 1943, in Long Beach, CA., and begetting me Many Many years later. Eleanor's sister Francis married Wilfred Adamson (b. December 2, 1903, Oldham, England) on November 23, 1933, in Long Beach, CA, and begot Susan and David.
So, to recap: Two Starr girls married an Adamson and a Campbell, one each. Of the resulting cousins, Susan Adamson married a Prentice, Lorene Campbell married someone else for a while but tenaciously clung to the name Campbell, and that's how a Campbell's related to a Prentice.
We could run down a bit of the Campbell family tree now, but let's jump into the really interesting bits about the Starr's first, wherein life does a slow reveal and your family goes from warm nurturing bosom to soap opera.
The Real Story
When one first pops out as a twig on the family tree the world is food, drink, sleep, and keeping the diaper concession going. Gradually it's a time of wonders-never-cease as you realize that trees are green, birds fly, clouds spit, and flowers grow. Then you go to school and meet competition, politics, war, the mathematics professor. The shine begins to fade.
During this period of time your family will have been amusing themselves by livening up Thanksgiving dinners with small anecdotes about the escapades of Cousin Hazel and adventures of Great Grandfather Anthony and images begin to form. One day connections are made, light bulbs come on, and you realize that your family doesn't so much resemble the honorable ancestor portrait as the third act of Falstaff (or Elektra, depending on how really interesting your particular family may be).
Take Grandfather Andrew (the one who kept moving about). His particular talent was spotting incredible California real estate, building a home on it, then leaving it behind just before it became profitable. Just look at the birthplaces of the children and feel the money slip through my (sorry, his) fingers.
Andrew Martin Starr was, by profession, a nurse and rancher, becoming a sort of oil man because his house accidentally sat on the type of oil that had commercial implications. He partnered with Richfield Oil (later known as Atlantic Richfield). The Starr kids never got hit by The Great Depression and quarterly dividends continued into the sixties. I can't remember it ever being a great deal of money (coming from a smallish ranch with only a few wells, and the proceeds being divided between the six children) but it was interesting to talk about (vis, My Mother, the Oil Heiress).
Eventually, Signal Hill became more valuable as real estate than an oil field, someone figured out how to fill in all those drilling shafts that Swiss-cheesed the hill, and condos sprouted like Spring weeds. Grandfather would be surprised.
Chapter Two: Ann Elizabeth Dean and how she got the nickname "Birdie"