Cameran History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The rugged west coast of Scotland and the desolate Hebrides islands are the ancestral home of the Cameran family. Their name indicates that the original bearer lived in either Cameron near Edinburgh, Cameron in Lennox, or Cameron in Fife. Thus, the name Camerons of the Lowlands is of territorial origin, from one of the three places so called. The Highland Clan name Cameron may come from the Lowland name, but it is also derived from the Gaelic word cam-shron, which means wry or hook-nosed.

The Cameron Clan was described as 'Fiercer than fierceness itself' and it was reputed to be one of the most ancient clans of Scotland. The hereditary name of the chiefs of the Clan is MacDhomnuill Duibh, from their ancestor "Black Donald".

The first assured chief of the clan was not found until 1411, when Donald Du reigned in that year. Following this date, the clan split into three separate branches, one each at Letterfinlay, Strone and Glen Nevis, with the clan seat at Lochaber.

Early Origins of the Cameran family

The surname Cameran was first found in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), part of the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, formerly known as Forfar or Forfarshire, among the hills which surrounded Lochy, Arkaig, and Ely.

The Camerons are said to have traditionally descended from the Kings of Denmark and probably assisted in the restoration of King Fergus II in 404. The first written records of the Cameron Clan date back to the 13th century.

In 1214, Adam de Kamerun was witness to a charter to the monks of Cupar. In 1219, Hugh Cambrun was the sheriff of Forfar and in 1233, Johannes Cambron was a charter witness in Moray. In 1360, the Cameron Clan received the first official grant of the lands of Lochaber and they were later granted Locheil, and Locharkaig, by the Lord of the Isles.

In 1360 they received the first official grant of the lands of Lochaber. They were later granted Locheil, and Locharkaig, by the Lord of the Isles. The Camerons were continually at feud with the Clan Chattan, and notable amongst the battles was that of Charles Hill. Suffering defeat in 1370 they rose to prominence at the Battle of Harlaw, but again were forfeited. King James IV restored their lands in 1493.

Early History of the Cameran family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cameran research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1695, 1748, 1793, 1446, 1422, 1423, 1579, 1625, 1579, 1680, 1629, 1719, 1647, 1693, 1748, 1715 and are included under the topic Early Cameran History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cameran Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Cameran has been spelled Cameron, MacGuillonies, MacSorlies and many more.

Early Notables of the Cameran family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was John Cameron (d. 1446), Bishop of Glasgow and chancellor of Scotland, said to have belonged to a family of Edinburgh burghers, and to have drawn his name more remotely from the Camerons of Craigmillar, and not, as was formerly asserted, from the Camerons of Lochiel. In 1422 he was appointed official of Lothian by Archbishop Wardlaw of St. Andrews (Crawfurd). Two years later he was acting in the capacity of secretary to the Earl of Wigtown (December 1423), who gave him the rectory of Cambuslang in Lanarkshire. [1] John Cameron (1579?-1625), was a Scottish...
Another 143 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cameran Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Cameran family to Ireland

Some of the Cameran family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cameran family

The hardy Scots who made the crossing settled all along the east coast of North America and in the great west that was just then opening up. At the time of the American War of Independence, many United Empire Loyalists moved north from the American colonies to Canada. Scottish national heritage became better known in North America in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic events. An examination of immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Cameran arrived in North America very early: the group who arrived on the ships, the "Sarah" and the "Dove" in Upper Canada in 1801; their holds filled with 700 Camerons and Frasers from the Lochaber country. The Camerons also settled in the U.S.A. in Carolina, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, St. Christopher, Virginia, New York, Georgia, and California, in the 18th and 19th centuries. In Newfoundland, Alexander Cameron settled in St. John's in 1744.



The Cameran Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Aonaibh ri cheile
Motto Translation: Unite


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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