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Campbell records on Ancestry

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Historical References

"CAMPBELL. Gaelic Caimbeul, 'wry (or crooked) mouth,' a name probably applied to some early chief of the clan. Compare the name Gifford, i.e. 'fat cheeks,' and especially Cameron, Gaelic Cams/iron, 'wry nose.' There is also a parallel in the nickname of Earl Einar, Thorfinn's son, a great Norse earl of the Orkneys, who was known as 'wry-mouth,' in Old Norse Rangmudr (Ork. Saga, c. xiv). Henderson suggests the epithet may have been applied by neighboring clans on account of moral if not physical traits (ZCP., rv, p. 270); and a poem by Iain Lom's son speaks of "luchd nam beul fiar" (Sinclair, Gaelic bards, m). No explanation, however, is given why the second element lacks the normal aspiration. The name may simply mean "with arched lips." In a charter of 1447 in The manuscript history of Craignish, by Alex Campbell (printed in Scottish History Society, Publications, at, Miscellany, rv) the name Campbell seems then to have been recognized as no more than a nickname. In this charter by the first Lord Campbell he is styled 'Duncan le Cambell," where le is the lie so commonly used in Scottish charters to denote that what follows is in the vernacular, and may be translated "as we say," or "so called," or "known as," so this Duncan was Duncan "known as Cambell." The popular but erroneous opinion is that the name is of Norman French origin, from de Campobello, 'of the beautiful plain,' but unfortunately for this derivation the earliest forms show no de, and the name is always in early records spelled Cambel or Cambell. If the name were of Norman French origin the idiom of that language would require the form de Bella Campo. This form does occur in early English records and is the origin of the present day surnames Beauchamp and Beecham. Clan tradition represents the Campbells as being originally known as Clann Duibhne or O'Duine from a certain Diarmid O'Duine of Lochow. As the O'Duines, and therefore the Campbells also, were traditionally said to be of the Siol Diarmid, the Fingalian hero who slew the wild boar, it is to be noted that the father of Diarmid was named Fergus Cerr-beoil, ' 'wrymouth.' This traditional descent is in part corroborated by a charter granted 15 March 1368 by David n confirming to Archibald 0 Campbell of Lochow, son of Colin, all donations, renditions, and impignorations of the lands of Craignish, Melford, Straquhir, and others, with all the liberties of the same as freely as Duncan MTJuine, progenitor of the same Archibald, did enjoy in the barony of Lochow or any other lands belonging to him (Argyll charters, p. 477). That O'Duine or Mac Duine was the true Gaelic name of the clan is also shown by Bishop Carswell's dedication of his Gaelic Prayer-Book (1567) to the earl of Argyll: Do Ghiollaeasbtiig Vanduibhne larrleEarragaoidheal . . ., where Vanduibhne is Ua Duine. Skene says (CS., m, p. 338) that Duncan M'Duine lived in the reign of Alexander n, but there is no historical proof that he did live then. To this day there is no equivalent in Gaelic for "Clan Campbell," the term being always Chlann O'Duibhne. On the door-lintel of Camassarie Castle near Kilmartin is an inscription in Gaelic which reads: Dia leinn O'Duibhne, "God with O'Duibhne," i.e. Campbells (Macgibbon and Ross, Castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland, rv, p. 321). "The period assigned for their appearance in Argyll [404 A. D.] by genealogical manufacturers merely excite a smile." The "astounding antiquity of the race of Campbell is vouched for by the bards and senachies," authorities "which may be of value in the West Highlands, but nowhere else . . . The "beautiful' Eva, heiress of O'Dwin existed only in the imagination of some Highland senachie' (Maidment, PasquUs, p. 114). A manuscript pedigree of the Campbells of Argyll in the National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh traces them to King Arthur, and a MS. of 1550 goes one better by tracing them to Enos" mic Set mic Adaim mic De." The earliest individual of the name Campbell in record is Gillespic Cambel, who held from the Crown the lands of Menstrie and Sauchie in 1263 (ER., I, p. 24), and who is also witness to a charter by Alexander in erecting Newburgh in Fife into a burgh in favor of the monks of Lindores (LAC., 8). Nicholas Cambell witnessed a charter by James the Steward, 1294 (RMP., p. 96). Several Campbells rendered homage for their lands, 1296: Duncan Cambel del Illes, Sir Dovenal Cambel of the county of Dunbretan, Dougal Cambel, Arthur Cambel, and Duncan Cambel of the county of Perth (Bain, n, p. 200, 204, 211). Thomas Cambel was one of the Scottish prisoners taken at the capture of Dunbar in the same year (ibid., 742). About 1390 Duncan Campbell dominus de Gaunan witnessed a charter by Duncan, earl of Levenax (Levenax, p. 77), and in the same document John Cambel appears as tenant of the same earl in the lands of Drumfad and Kyrkmychel. This Duncan Campbell may have been the individual who first put the p in the name under the influence of the Norman theory, but in 1282 we have Nigellus filius Colini Campbell (Cambus., 70) who eight years later is designed Sir Nicholas de Chambelle (Sc. Peer., i, p. 322). Duncan Cambell, son and heir of Colin Cambell, dominus de Ergadie, attested the marches of Kyrknes and Louchor in 1395 (RPSA., p. 5). Sir Duncan Cambell or Cambelle of Lochow, one of the hostages for the ransom of James i in 1423 (Bain, rv, 981, 983), created Lord Campbell in 1445, was the first of the family who took the designation of Argyll in addition to, and sometimes in place of Lochow. He was ancestor of the ducal house of Argyll. From his younger son, Sir Colin Campbell, first of the House of Glenurchay (c. 1400 078), are descended the earls and marquesses of Breadalbane (creations 1677 and 1831 11885); and from the third son of Archibald, second earl of Argyll, who fell at Flodden in 1513, the earls of Cawdor (created 1827). Campbell has been carelessly used as one of the Anglicized forms of the name Cath-mhaoil, and this has led some people to imagine that Cathmhaoil is the old Gaelic form of the name. In the same way Cameron has been used as an Anglicizing of Irish O'Cumarain or O' 'Cumrain. Cambal 1545, Cambale 1375, Cambele 1432, Cambelle 1424, Gamble 1513, Camille 1451, Cammell 1473, Campbele 1481, Campbill 1617, Campble 1672 (and as late as 1785), Kambail and Kambayl 1448, Kambaile 1394. The Clan Campbell was divided into three septs each bearing a separate name: the Clan Dubhgal Craignish, Clan Maclver of Asknish, and Macarthur of Strachur. Probably they were septs that had separated from the main stem at an early period (Lord Archibald Campbell, Records of Argyll, p. 15). Campbell of Barcaldin and Baileveolan, Sliochd Phara bhig. Campbell of Cawdor, Caimbeulaich bhoga Chaladair. In the northeast for some mysterious reason a pig was sometimes called Sandy Caumal. The name has become Kunipel in Holland. "(The surnames of Scotland. George Fraser Black, 1866-1948)


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Birth, Death and Marriage Records for the Campbell Family History

Birth, Death and Marriage records are often the best method of making the links to the Campbell Genealogy that will form part of your family tree. Although records vary from country to country, they are normally the most formal record of a person's relations. From the sources below you will be able to find a birth record and, from that, a birth certificate can be ordered which lists the names of the mother and father, taking you back another generation in your tree. A marriage certificate may also list the names of the respective fathers of the bride and groom which may then help you to find them earlier in life on a census record enabling you to fill out more detail in the Campbell family tree.

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ukDid you know that there are currently 76950 people with the Campbell surname in the UK? Campbell is now ranked number 47 for popularity in the UK.

Campbell Family History Databases

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ukDid you know that there are currently 452699 people with the Campbell surname in the USA? Campbell is ranked number 40 for popularity in the USA.

Miscellaneous Campbell Databases

Look at the Ellis Island Database for information on the Campbell family. This database contains over 25 million immigration records detailing passengers arriving in the United States of America.

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Some people with the surname Campbell

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