Show ContentsMcCambridge History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the McCambridge name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived beside a bridge over the river Cam. This surname originated as a local name for natives who came from the town of Cambridge. Cambridge was in both Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire.

Early Origins of the McCambridge family

The surname McCambridge was first found in Cambridge, a university, borough, and markettown in Cambridgeshire.

"This ancient town was the Grantan-brycge, Grantabricge, or Grante-brige, of the Saxon Chronicle, signifying "the Bridge over the Granta," the ancient name of the river Cam: by the substitution of cognate letters, the Saxon compound was altered after the Norman Conquest to Cantebrige, since contracted into Cambridge. The earliest authenticated fact in its history is its conflagration, in 871, by the Danes, who established on its desolated site one of their principal stations, which they occasionally occupied until the year 901. " [1]

John de Cambridge or Cantebrig (d. 1335), was an early English "judge, was of a Cambridge family, whence he took his name, and is said to have been son to Thomas Cantebrig, a judge of the exchequer under Edward II. He was M.P. for Cambridgeshire in 1321 and subsequent years, and earlier was in several judicial commissions for the county. In the last years of Edward II and early years of Edward III he is named as counsel in the year books. " [2]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Johannes de Cambrege as holding lands there at that time. [3]

Early History of the McCambridge family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCambridge research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McCambridge History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McCambridge Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name McCambridge were recorded, including Cambridge, Cambrigge, Cambrigg, McCambridge and others.

Early Notables of the McCambridge family

More information is included under the topic Early McCambridge Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the McCambridge family to Ireland

Some of the McCambridge family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States McCambridge migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the McCambridge family emigrate to North America:

McCambridge Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jane McCambridge, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [4]
McCambridge Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • P McCambridge, who landed in New York, NY in 1817 [4]
  • James McCambridge, who landed in Ohio in 1854 [4]

New Zealand McCambridge migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McCambridge Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Eneas McCambridge, aged 18, a ploughman, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Caroline" in 1876 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name McCambridge (post 1700) +

  • Carlotta Mercedes McCambridge (1916-2004), Academy Award-winning and Golden Globe-winning American actress
  • James "Jimmy" McCambridge (1905-1988), Northern Irish professional footballer

The McCambridge 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: Esse quam videri
Motto Translation: To be, rather than to seem.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. 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)
  5. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 5th November 2010). Retrieved from on Facebook