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A Strathclyde-Briton family from the Scottish/English Borderlands was the first to use the surname McCampbell. It is a name for a person with a crooked mouth, or crooked smile. This nickname surname is derived from the Gaelic words cam and beul, meaning crooked and mouth. Nicknames could be derived from various sources. In general, they came from the physical characteristics, behavior, mannerisms and other attributes of the bearer.

Early Origins of the McCampbell family


The surname McCampbell was first found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute. Researchers suggest a joint progenitor of both the Campbells and the MacArthurs. The MacArthurs were the ancient senior sept of the Campbells. Arthur derives from the son of King Aedan MacGabhran, the 9th century Scots King of Argyll. The Clan Campbell was known as the Siol Diarmaid an Tuirc or, alternatively, the Clan Duibhne, and in a Crown charter Duncan MacDuibhne was ancestor of the Lords of Lochow in 1368.

Sir Colin Campbell, son of Sir Archibald, was succeeded by Sir Duncan in 1427. Sir Duncan's second son, Black Colin of Glenorchy founded the Campbells of Breadalbane. He built the castle of Caolchurn and married Margeret Stewart, heiress of the Lords of Lorn. After the Battle of Harlaw in 1411 in which the MacDonalds were badly defeated by the King, the Campbells, took advantage of the situation to acquire more territory from the MacDonalds.

In 1517 the Campbells and the MacLeans of Duart were called upon by the Crown to again suppress the Lord of the Isles, MacDonald of Lochalsh, who had seized two Royal Castles. Lochalsh went to the scaffold and the Campbells acquired more land. Their Chiefs were bestowed with knighthoods, baronies and Earldoms. The Earl of Argyll becoming Chancellor of Scotland to James IV, and through his influence achieved a measure of peace throughout the Highlands.


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Early History of the McCampbell family

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Early History of the McCampbell family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCampbell research.
Another 311 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1437, 1701, 1878, 1437, 1607, 1661, 1629, 1685, 1630, 1696, 1701, 1636, 1717, 1757, 1662, 1609, 1610, 1662, 1668, 1663, 1699 and are included under the topic Early McCampbell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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McCampbell Spelling Variations

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McCampbell Spelling Variations


Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rules existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. McCampbell has been spelled Campbell, Cambell, Cambel, Camble, Cammell and many more.

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Early Notables of the McCampbell family (pre 1700)

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Early Notables of the McCampbell family (pre 1700)


Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir Duncan Campbell, the first Earl in 1437; Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquis of Argyll, 8th Earl of Argyll, chief of Clan Campbell, (1607-1661); and his son, Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll (1629-1685), a Scottish peer; Robert Campbell, 5th Laird of Glenlyon (1630-1696)...
Another 141 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McCampbell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Migration of the McCampbell family to Ireland

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Migration of the McCampbell family to Ireland


Some of the McCampbell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 218 words (16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Migration of the McCampbell family to the New World and Oceana

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Migration of the McCampbell family to the New World and Oceana


For Scottish immigrants, the great expense of travel to North America did not seem such a problem in those unstable times. Acres of land awaited them and many got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. These Scots and their ancestors went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. Among them: Neil Campbel, who was a "Scotch prisoner" sent to New Jersey in 1685 by order of the English government in 1651; Agnes Campbell, who arrived at New York in 1774 with her two children.

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Contemporary Notables of the name McCampbell (post 1700)

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Contemporary Notables of the name McCampbell (post 1700)


  • Artis J. McCampbell (b. 1953), American politician, Member of the Alabama House of Representatives (2006-)
  • Commander David McCampbell (1910-1996), American naval aviator and all-time leading Navy flying ace with 34 aerial victories, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944, eponym of the USS McCampbell (DDG-85), an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
  • David McCampbell, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Navy, during World War II, credited with 34 aerial victories

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The McCampbell Motto

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The McCampbell 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: Ne obliviscaris
Motto Translation: Forget not.


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McCampbell Family Crest Products

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McCampbell Family Crest Products



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See Also

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