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Clan Campbell – Some Interesting Facts – Surname Meanings

One of the largest, most powerful and successful of the Scottish Highland clans. This is of course the Clan Campbell. They emerged as one of the most powerful families in Scotland. It is a familiar Scottish surname. Here are a few things you may not have known about the clan history of the Campbell’s…

  • The Campbell surname derives from the Gaelic words ‘cam’ and ‘beul’, meaning ‘crooked’ and ‘mouth’.Hence it means a ‘person with a crooked mouth or smile’.
  • The first record of the Clan Campbell in Scotland was found in Argyllshire where they held a family seat from early times.
  •  In the course of research we discover different spellings of the surname . These include Cambell, Cambel, Camble, Cammell, and Caimbeul (Gaelic), and these spellings could change frequently, even between father and son.
  • It is of the belief that the family surname Campbell descended originally from the Strathclyde Britons. This ancient founding race of the north were a mixture of Gaelic/Celts. The original territories range from Lancashire in the south, northward to the south bank of the River Clyde in Scotland.
  • Traditionally royalist, the Campbells fought at Culloden for the King and provided the Campbells’ 21st Regiment, later known as the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
  • The Campbell motto is “Ne obliviscaris” (‘Do not forget’).

Feel free to add any facts you know about the Campbells!

Find out if we have the coat of arms and surname history for your surname.  Also see our Scottish Clan histories.

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