Show ContentsCamden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Camden comes from when the family resided in Gloucestershire, where they held a family seat at Chipping Campden. The name is derived from the Old English "camp," meaning "a battle or war." [1]

"This place, which is of very great antiquity, is supposed to have derived its name from an encampment formed prior to a battle between the Mercians and the West Saxons. In 689, a congress of the Saxon chiefs, confederated for the conquest of Britain, was held here." [2]

Alternatively the name could have originated in Camden-Town, a chapelry, in the parish of St. Pancras, Holborn division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county of Middlesex. "This place takes its name from the Marquess Camden, lessee of the prebendal manor of Cantelows, in which it is situated." [2]

Early Origins of the Camden family

The surname Camden was first found in Gloucestershire at Chipping Campden. [3] Here the first record of the family was found in 1273. At that time, the Hundredorum, Rolls listed Hugh de Campeden as holding lands there at that time. The same rolls also listed John de Campeden in Northamptonshire. [4]

While there is no doubt that this is the home to the family, earlier records show Ebrard de Campeden recordced in the Pipe Rolls for Cambridgeshire in 1190 and John de Campeden in the Assize Rolls for Cheshire in 1260. [3]

Early History of the Camden family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Camden research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1551 and 1623 are included under the topic Early Camden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Camden Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Camden include Camden, Campden and others.

Early Notables of the Camden family

Notables of the family at this time include

  • William Camden (1551-1623), English antiquarian, historian, topographer, and herald, best known as author of Britannia, the first chorographical survey of the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, and...
  • Born in the Old Bailey, London, his father Sampson Camden, a native of Lichfleld, who in early life, came up to London to follow the profession of a painter, and was a member of the Guild of Painter-S...

Camden Ranking

In the United States, the name Camden is the 10,382nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

United States Camden migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Camden Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Camden who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1850
  • Joseph Camden, who landed in Arkansas in 1860 [6]
  • Willis Camden, who arrived in Arkansas in 1860 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Camden (post 1700) +

  • Joan Camden (1929-2000), born Joan Louise Creears, an American actress from Los Angeles, California, known for Four Star Playhouse (1952), TV Reader's Digest (1955) and The Outer Limits (1963)
  • Danone Camden (b. 1978), American actress, known for her roles in Dallas, Matt Houston (1982) and Texas Lightning (1981)
  • Peter G Camden (1801-1873), American politician, Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri
  • Johnson N Camden, American politician
  • Joy Camden (1923-2008), born Joy Muriel Camden-Pratt, an English actress from Lambeth, London, known for The Red Shoes (1948)
  • William Camden (1730-1796), English merchant who was a partner in the sugar-refining business of Camden, Calvert and King
  • Charles Pratt Camden (1713-1794), English jurist
  • Archie Camden, British bassoonist
  • John Camden Hotten (1832-1873), English bibliophile and publisher, originally named John William Hotten, born at 45 St. John's Square, Clerkenwell, London, on 12 Sept. 1832; his father, William Hotten of Probus, Cornwall, removed to London and became a master carpenter and undertaker in Clerkenwell [7]
  • John Camden Neild (1780-1852), English miser

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Raymond Edward Camden, American Seaman Second Class from Oklahoma, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [8]

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 7 August 2020
  8. Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from on Facebook