Cam History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Cam belongs to the early history of Britain, it's origins lie with the Anglo-Saxons. It is a product of their having lived on the bank of a river or stream named the of Cam. The surname Cam is topographic in nature, the type of surname that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a river or stream. The surname also refers to the camb, which is the crest of a hill or a dike.

Early Origins of the Cam family

The surname Cam was first found in Gloucestershire, where the name is associated with the village of Cam, a parish, in the union of Dursley, Upper division of the hundred of Berkeley.

"This place is distinguished as the scene of a battle fought between the Saxons and the Danes, in the reign of Edward the Elder. The parish takes its name from a rivulet that divides it into Upper and Lower, and falls into the Severn at Frampton." [1]

In the Domesday Book survey of 1086 Cam was recorded as King's land. [2] Early in the history of the family name it branched to Lincolnshire, where Ralph de Caham was registered in 1162, to Norfolk, where Osbert de Cam was living during the reign of King Henry II, and to Hampshire, where Fabian de Cam was recorded in 1184 and William Cam in 1205. By the 13th century the name was established in Somerset, where William de Camme was living in 1214. Hugh de Camme was a resident of Gloucestershire in 1221. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 lists the following: Henry del Cam, Suffolk; and Robert de Cam, Oxfordshire. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Willelmus Cambe, conttabularius; Johannes Cambe; and Nicholaus Cambe as all holding lands there at that time. [4]

Early History of the Cam family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cam research. Another 258 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1275, 1275, 1326, 1500, 1633, 1716, 1733, 1771, 1326, 1415, 1399, 1627, 1705, 1627, 1604, 1656, 1641, 1707 and 1641 are included under the topic Early Cam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cam Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Cam include Cam, Camm, Camme, Caham, Cahm, Cahme and others.

Early Notables of the Cam family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: John de Cam, the Rector of Kirkby-Cane in Norfolk in 1326. David Gam (d. 1415), was a Welsh warrior, "more properly styled Davydd ab Llewelyn. 'Gam' is a nickname meaning 'squinting,' which, like other Welsh nicknames, became equivalent to a surname. David's father was Llewelyn, the son of Hywel, the son of Eineon Sais. Llewelyn possessed fair estates in the parishes of Garthbrengy and Llanddew,which lay within the honour or lordship of Brecon, a dependency of the earldom of Hereford, and after 1399 lapsed to the crown by the accession of Henry IV...
Another 140 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cam Ranking

In France, the name Cam is the 4,735th most popular surname with an estimated 1,500 - 2,000 people with that name. [5]


United States Cam migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Cam were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Cam Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Cam who arrived in Maine in 1605
  • Mr. Cam, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [6]
  • Godfree Cam, who landed in Maryland in 1661 [6]
  • Thomas Cam, who arrived in Maryland in 1661 [6]
Cam Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Christopher Cam, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [6]

Australia Cam migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Cam Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Martin Cam, British Convict who was convicted in York, Yorkshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Commodore Hayes" in April 1823, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Mr. Benjamin Cam, (Camm), (b. 1815), aged 17, English farm labourer who was convicted in Hereford, Herefordshire, England for life for house breaking, transported aboard the "England"on 31st March 1832, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1895 [8]
  • Peter Cam, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harry Lorrequer" in 1849 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Cam (post 1700) +

  • John Cam Hobhouse (1786-1869), 1st Baron Broughton, English statesman, born at Redland, near Bristol, on 27 June 1786, eldest son of Sir Benjamin Hobhouse, bart. [q. v.]
  • Cam Nancarrow (b. 1945), Australian former squash player from Sydney, one of the game's leading world players in the 1960s and 1970s
  • Cam Salay, Canadian musician, former member of The Paperboys, a Canadian folk music band from Vancouver formed in 1991
  • Cam Paddock (b. 1983), Canadian professional ice hockey centre from North Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Cam Deas, English born musician
  • Cam Severson (b. 1978), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey centre
  • Cam Jeffrey Emig (b. 1970), American motocross racer
  • Cam Neely (b. 1965), Canadian NHL professional ice hockey right winger


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 4th March 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/commodore-hayes)
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th April 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/england
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HARRY LORREQUER 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849HarryLorrequer.htm


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