opinion about the Origin of the Campbell Name.

extract from the Montgomery Manuscripts (Rev. Geo Hill
1869). p443

” Some have
been surnamed from a remarkable part of their face which
has stuck to ye Posterity of ye Eminent Person who was
first designed soe, as ye Campbells from one who had a wry
mouth (for Campbell signifys soe much in ye high- Land
Scottish speech) but of late Ages since ye ffamily of
Argile grew great eminent and civillized; they have
rejected ye surname of McAllen Moore and spell themselves
Campbells as de campo belli; being more Honble than the
former Asterick given them, but perhaps some of them may
clear ye point to which I am a stranger.”


Campbells were anciently known as “Maccallums”, being
descended from a great grandson of Diarmuid O`Duibhne, an
Irish chieftain , who married the daughter of a Dalridiac
king, in Scotland, about the year 512. The chief or head
of this clan was invariably known as ‘Maccallum More. The
clan name Campbell is popularly believed to have had its
origin as the author states in the text; but modern
senachies and genealogists of the Argyle family come
forward with a more acceptable, if not a more correct,

Buchanan of
Auchmar has the following account of this surname, which
our author,no doubt, had heard in some shape or other,but
to which he evidently attached little or no importance: –
” Malcom O”Duin (a grandson of Diarmuid O`Duibhne) after
his first lady`s death, went to France, and married the
heiress of the Beauchamps, or as in Latin, Campus bello,
being neice to the Duke of Normandy. By her he had two
sons, Dionysius and Archibald,who, from the inheritance
got with their mother, changed their surname from Oduin to
Campbell. Dionysius, the eldest,continued in France, and
was ancestor of a family, designed Campbell, in that
Kingdom, of which family was Count Tallard, a mareschal of
France, carried prisoner to England inb the reign of Queen
Anne, and divers others of quality. The second brother
came to Scotland, as some say, an officer in William duke
of Normandy`s army, at his conquest of England, anno 1066.
And coming to Argyleshire, married his cousin, Eva Oduin,
daughter of Sir Paul Oduibhne (surnamed ansporran, `of the
purse“ Knight of Lochow). She being heiress of Lochow,
and he having retaines this surname of Campbell, as did
his successors, the whole clan of O`Duibhne, in a small
tract of time, in compliance with their chief,assumed that
surname, as did many others in this kingdom upon the like
occasion.” [ Ancient Scottish Surnames pp31,32

The clan
Campbell came to include many other smaller clans, who
eventually assumed the leading name, although for a time
retaining their own tribe names. ” Many families and small
tribes of Breadalbane in the sixteenth century renounced
their natural heads, and took Glenurchy (Campbell) for
their chief. Many more, in Argyle and the Isles,must have
suffered a change from awe of Maccallummore.” [Cosmo Innes
on Scotch Surnames, p24]

This writer
{ Rev.Geo Hill } in his,Sketches of Early Scottish
History, p 374, has referred to this fact as follows: – ”
We find famillies and small tribes choose Glenurchy for
their chief, sometimes renouncing their natural head, yet
retaining their own patronymical designations. These new
subjects bound themselves not only to pay the allegiance
of clansmen, but to give the `caulp of kenkynie` the
Celtic equivalent for the Heriot of feudal customs; to
visit the chief`s house with sufficient presents twice in
the year;to serve in`hosting and hunting` ; and to be
ready at all times `to ride and go` in their lordships
affairs. The `kenkynie` was the kincogish of the Irish. so
called from `Cin` – crime, debt, liability and `comhfogus`
kindred or relations. By the ancient Irish or Brehon law,
the tribe was collectively responsible for the crimes of
any of its members. By statute llth Edward IV,c 4, this
Irish custom of Kincogish was made law, the statute
binding every head of every clan, and every representative
of every family, to bring forward for punishment any
member of that sept,or of that family, convicted of crime.
This statute, which seems to have lain dormant from the
time of its enactment, was put into force against the
`Tories [in Ireland] after the Restoration. The ancient
and distinguished family of Argyle has for many centuries
exercised a great influence over the West Highlands and
Isles of Scotland. Like so many other of the Scoto – Irish
lords, this family owed much of its elevation to the
gratitude of King Robert Bruce for faithful services
rendered to him in his perilous career. Hence his
extensive grants to Sir Neill Campbell of Lochawe,or
Lochowe, from the lands forfeited by the MacDougalls of
Lorn, the Comyns, and other leading supporters of the
Balliol party. The marriage of Sir Neill with lady Mary
sister of Robert Bruce, attached the Campbells still more
closely to the dynasty established by the latter.

Early in
the fifteenth century Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochawe was
one of the wealthiest barons in Scotland. His grandson,
Colin, created first Earl of Argyle, was chancellor of
Scotland and acquired the entire lordship of Lorn. At the
close of the previous century , the family of Argyle had
commenced to supplant – sometimes by force, and not
unfrequently by fraud – the great MacDonnell chiefs, and
assisted by the forfeitures of James IV, the Maccallum
Mores soon acquired an influence almost as great as ever
had been enjoyed by the Lords of the Isles. [ Gregory,
Highlands and Isles of Scotland, p84 ]

The first
to assume the name Campbell was the 13th Century clan
chief,Gillespic or Archibald O`Duibhe for whom there is
record of Gillespic Cambel in 1263.

The chiefly
house, the Campbells of Argyll, despite leading the
Covenanters against Charles I; despite their support for
Cromwell (which cost the 8th Earl, later lst Marquis, of
Argyll his head at the Restoration) and despite coming out
for the Monmouth rebellion , they grew in power throughout
the 17th Century at the expense of the MacDonalds, Lords
of the Isles.

The 9th
Earl, also Archibald, was for a time a royalist supporter
and member of the Scottish Privy Council responsible for
enforcing the law against the Presbyterian dissenters –
the Covenanters. In 1685 he made an unsuccessful attempt
at rebellion against the succession of the Catholic James
II. He failed to gather popular support, was captured and
followed his illustrious father to the `Maiden` – the
Scottish guillotine, and was beheaded in Edinburgh on 30
June 1685.

The 10th
Earl was created the lst Duke in 1701 and his titles give
the best illustration of the extent of clan territory at
the time ” Duke of Argyll, Marquis of Kintyre and Lorn,
Earl Campbell and Cowal, Viscount Lochow and Glenlya, Lord
Inverary, Mull, Morvern and Tiree.”

From 1701
they were avid supporters of the English Crown and led the
government forces against the Jacobites in the 1715 and
1745 rebellions. It was under government order that Robert
Campbell of Glenlyon in Perthshire, carried out the
massacre of the the Clan Iain Abrach Macdonalds of Glencoe
in Argyllshire which gave rise to the famous feud.

There is no
doubt that most of the Ulster Campbells are of this
connection or descend from a branch of the clan, the
Galloway MacCampbells, some of whom settled in Co. Down.

The Rev.
Alexander Campbell, 1786 – 1866, was born near Ballymena,
Co. Antrim and emigrated to the USA in 1809. He formed his
own religious sect, the Disciples of Christ, who were more
often known as the ” Campbellites”, and by the time of his
death, numbered close upon half a million members.