We’ve learned that John Campbell, grandson of William Campbell of Virginia, moved to Kentucky. From there, records are not complete enough to convince us that the military service shown below is for John Campbell, the son of John who moved to Kentucky. But we follow what records we have found to lead us to John and Nancy Spencer Campbell, assumed parents of our William Campbell.
RECORDS OF JOHN CAMPBELL (1795-1850)
1812 War of 1812 Service Records, 1812-1815
John Campbell, Brown’s Reg’t, East Tennessee Vols. Rank: Private on induction and discharge. [Roll Box 33, Microfilm Publication M 602. Direct Data Capture, comp. U.S., War of 1812 Service Records, 1812-1815 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999. Original data: National Archives and Records Administration. Index to the Compiled Military Service Records for the Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the War of 1812. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M602, 234 rolls.]
Research from Clark Family Tree by kimberlyjolson [Ancestry.com] found John Campbell military records:
Military 28 Apr 1814, enlisted in 17th infantry for 5 yrs by Lieut Monday. Described as 5’7” w/ blue eyes and fair hair, light complexion, 21 yrs old, laborer from Hawkins Co TN.
1814 Marriage Record:
Nancy Spencer marriage to John W. Campbell Jr. Dec 6, 1814, in Christian Co KY. They were both 19 that year.
Ancestry.com. Kentucky, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1783-1965 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016. Original data: Marriage Records. Kentucky Marriages. Madison County Courthouse, Richmond, Kentucky
1820 U. S. Census Reconstructed Records, 1660-1820
Jno Campbell, male, Arkansas Territory: List, 27 Aug 1823, of suits in the territorial Supreme Court, When instituted: May 1823; No.: 9; Against whom instituted: Jno Campbell; In what capacity delinquent acted: Trespass on public land; Amou…” Document: Territorial Papers of the US; Volume Number: Vol 19; Page Number: 539; Family Number: 9
1821 Homestead and Cash Entry Patent
John Campbell, Arkansas Land Office, Document #23062. 160 acres 1 SE 5TH PM No 2S 2E 13, issued Dec 4, 1821 under Act May 6, 1812, Script Warrant Act of 1812.
1830 census at Walnut, Phillips Co., AR Territory
1 m 30-39, 2 f <5, 2 f 5-9, 1 f 10-14, 1 f 15-19, 1 f 30-39 Year: 1830; Census Place: Walnut, Phillips, Arkansas Territory; Series: M19; Roll: 5; Page: 124; Family History Library Film: 0002473
1821 – Dec 4: James Monroe, President of the United States of America, To all whom these presents shall come, Greeting: Know ye, that in, in pursuance of the Acts of Congress appropriating and granting land to the late Army of the United States, passed on and since the 6th day of May 1812, John Campbell having deposited in the General Land-Office a Warrant in his favor number 23,062, there is granted unto the said John Campbell, late a private in Baker’s Comp J of the 3rd Reg’mt of Infantry, a certain Tract of Land containing one hundred and sixty acres being in the South East quarter of Section 13 of Two 2 S in Range 2 east in the Tract appropriated (by the Acts aforesaid) for Military Bounties, in the Territory of Arkansas, To Have and To Hold the said quarter section of land with the appurtenances thereof, unto the said John Campbell and his heirs and assigns forever. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records; Washington D.C., USA; Federal Land Patents, State Volumes
1837- Aug 15, Deed at Phillips Co., AR, for NW ¼ of Section 11, Twp 2S, R 3 E., 160 acres. Helena Land Office. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records; Washington D.C., USA; Federal Land Patents, State Volumes
1837 – Aug 15, Deed at Lee Co., AR for W ½ SW ¼, Section 15, Twp 2N, R 4 E, 80 acres. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records; Washington D.C., USA; Federal Land Patents, State Volumes
1840 census at Richland Twp, Phillips Co, AR
1 m <5, 1 m 10-14, 1 m 40-49, 1 f <5, 1 f 10-14, 3 f 15-19, 1 f 40-49 Year: 1840; Census Place: Richland, Phillips, Arkansas; Roll: 19; Page: 57; Family History Library Film: 0002474
1850 census at Greenbrier Twp, Independence Co., AR – Taken Nov 1850 after John died, Nancy is head of household
1850 death record
John died April 12, 1850 of pneumonia at Independence Co., AR Records show date and place of birth: Tennessee 1795. Arkansas Historical Commission; Little Rock, Arkansas; U.S. Census Mortality Schedules, Arkansas, 1850-1880; Archive Roll Number: 1; Census Year: 1849; Census Place: Independence, Arkansas; Page: 365
Nancy Campbell executor for John’s estate. Arkansas Historical Commission; Little Rock, Arkansas; U.S. Census Mortality Schedules, Arkansas, 1850-1880; Archive Roll Number: 1; Census Year: 1849; Census Place: Independence, Arkansas; Page: 365
A letter of administration names Nancy, Wm Hightower, and Joseph P. James as bond for $800 on estate of John Campbell. Probate date 24 Jan 1851, Independence Co., AR. Letters of Administration, 1821-1845; Administrators and Guardians Bonds, 1847-1854.
An additional probate record from March 1851 states further proves that the John Campbell of Philips County is the same as the John Campbell of Independence County.
Received of Nancy Campbell as Administrator of the Estate of John Campbell deceased the sum of Eighteen dollars and Eighty cents (illegible) for my expenses on the River trip from Philips County and my Services in bringing honey from Philips County to Independence belonging to the Estate of John Campbell (illegible) this 20th May AD 1851 … Signed by Thomas (illegible, possibly ‘G’) Perry.
1850 census for Nancy Campbell
Taken at Greenbriar Twp, Indep Co in November 1850 shows her age 55 b KY with Sarah 20 b 1830, Rebecca 17, John H. 11, and two unrelated. Nancy’s kids all marked as born AR meaning they were in the state at least by 1830.
Ancestry family trees and other online resources name the oldest child of John and Nancy as Sarah born in 1830 while a few name Fanny b. 1828 as the oldest. However, the couple married in 1814 and surely did not wait until 1828 or 1830 to start a family. This gives plenty of room for William to be born in 1818-19.
Nancy died in 1852 without a will and her affairs were handled by next door neighbor Calvin Lacefield age 29, b KY, as shown in the 1850 census.
Administrators and Guardians Bonds and Letters, 1821-1902; Author: Arkansas. Probate Court (Independence County); Probate Place: Independence, Arkansas
Discussion of Problems
According to land records, John Campbell’s household in Phillips County 1830 census shows John Campbell household with NO SONS and six daughters. Our William was 10-12 years old in 1830. Other Campbell households in Phillips Co. show Samuel C. with two adults in their 20s, which is too young for William. The only other Campbell household in Phillips Co. is William Campbell’s, again too young for William.
Our William’s parents had to have been at least 20-25 when he was born, making their birth dates in the mid -1790s, or, more to the point, they would be in their 30s at the 1830 census. This fits well with John and Nancy both born 1795.
Rationale for strongly favoring these persons as William’s parents:
The 1850 census shows all these people in Greenbrier Township, Independence County, AR
A total of ten Campbells are listed in that county census for 1850, 6 in Greenbrier Twp:
Nancy Campbell household in Greenbrier, Township: Nancy 55 b KY, Sarah 20 b AR 1830, Rebecca 17 b AR 1833, John H. 11 b AR 1839. Nancy cannot read or write. Two lodgers include Joseph H Lane, farmer age 17, and Milla Lane age 8, both b. AR Year: 1850; Census Place: Greenbrier, Independence, Arkansas; Roll: 26; Page: 356b – Household #623
William Campbell household in Greenbrier Twp: William 32 b TN. Year: 1850; Census Place: Greenbrier, Independence, Arkansas; Roll: 26; Page: 357b—Household #637
Maud Campbell, age 25, place of birth not known, lives in household of Joab H. Peel age 36 b. KY, and his family including wife Martha A. age 27 b TN, and four Peel children ages 2 to 9 all b AR; as well as Martin Crisman age 31 b TN, occupied as ‘ferryman’. Year: 1850; Census Place: Greenbrier, Independence, Arkansas; Roll: 26; Page: 355b—Household #608
About ten miles away, in Ruddell Twp were the following Campbells:
John Campbell, age 50 b GA, in household of John E. Womack and family, working as ‘farmer.’ This John Campbell died in 1853 and Womack was executor. Womack’s wife Nancy was 41, too old to have been the daughter of our John and Nancy.
George W. Campbell, age 30, b TN, farmer. Living with wife Elizabeth 19 and son Robert A., infant.
I’m convinced that the Greenbrier Campbells are of the same family. It is obvious Nancy and John were a couple since she was appointed his executor upon his death. It’s also obvious that with a marriage in 1814, they didn’t wait until 1830 to start having children, which is what all the Ancestry records show, few if any of which were developed by an experienced genealogist.
I believe that Maud Campbell age 25 and Joab Peel’s wife Martha age 27 were John and Nancy’s daughters, and that William 32 was also their child, possibly the first. It’s also likely that George W. age 30 in Ruddell Twp. was a child of John and Nancy. There may have been another older sister who married a Lane whose children lived with Nancy in 1850.
It seems very likely that if George W. Campbell was the son of John Campbell of Georgia, as shown in the 1850 census for Ruddell Twp, he would be living in one of the Campbell households instead of the Womack household. I’m aware this does not constitute proof.
Considering the theoretical ancestry for John, it’s not surprising that he would have sons named William, George, and John.
Note: Ancestry family trees which show this John Campbell as married to Ellender Neel do not take into account that Nancy was the executor.
In this ensuing series, I lay out what I have found about the Campbells. Since I married one, I thought it would be good to investigate and share my findings with my children. As it turns out, this is pretty much an impossible task.
I’ve come up against ‘impossible’ before so I forged ahead. I’m presenting my discoveries in a series, made available here for anyone interested.
The following material from Chapter 1 through Chapter 3 has been lifted wholesale from other sources including Wikipedia and sites listed in footnotes. The purpose is to learn about the origins of Scotland and Clan Campbell as background to subsequent chapters which focus on generations closer to our own.
I am not, by birth, a Campbell. I married one and gained a rambunctious, intelligent and inscrutable family of in-laws who fulfilled some of my earlier affectionate regard for Scots that had grown from reading and education. I still find Scotland and Scots fascinating. The minute I hear the beginning drone and wail of the bagpipes, tears burn my eyes. The bold daring of Scotsmen in battle from the earliest times up to the present day earns my heartfelt admiration. And of course, there are men in kilts…
This project has been for our children and coming generations who are Campbells or especially descendants of this particular issue of William.
Watch this video of massed pipes and drums at Edinburgh Castle, starting with cannon fire. Note that the various clans are represented by their separate pipe and drum bands, as shown by the various tartans.
People lived in Scotland for at least 8,500 years before Britain’s recorded history. At times during the last interglacial period (130,000–70,000 BC), Europe had a climate warmer than today’s, and early humans may have made their way to Scotland, evidenced by the possible discovery of pre-Ice Age axes on Orkney and mainland Scotland. Glaciers then scoured their way across most of Britain, and only after the ice retreated did Scotland again become habitable, around 9600 BC. Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherer encampments formed the first known settlements, and archaeologists have dated an encampment near Biggar to around 12,000 BC. Numerous other sites found around Scotland build up a picture of highly mobile boat-using people making tools from bone, stone and antlers. The oldest house for which there is evidence in Britain is the oval structure of wooden posts found at South Queensferry near the Firth of Forth, dating from the Mesolithic period, about 8240 BC.The earliest stone structures are probably the three hearths found at Jura, dated to about 6000 BC.
Neolithic farming brought permanent settlements. Evidence of these includes the well-preserved stone house at Knap Howar on Papa Westray, dating from around 3500 BC and the village of similar houses at Skara Brae on West Mainland, Orkney from about 500 years later. The settlers introduced chambered cairn tombs from around 3500 BC, as at Maeshowe, and from about 3000 BC the many standing stones and circles such as those at Stenness on the mainland of Orkney, which date from about 3100 BC, of four stones, the tallest of which is 16 feet in height. These were part of a pattern that developed in many regions across Europe at about the same time.
The creation of cairns and Megalithic monuments continued into the Bronze Age, which began in Scotland about 2000 BC.As elsewhere in Europe, hill forts were first introduced in this period, including the occupation of Eildon Hill near Melrose in the Scottish Borders, from around 1000 BC, which accommodated several hundred houses on a fortified hilltop. From the Early and Middle Bronze Age there is evidence of cellular round houses of stone, as at Jarlshof and Sumburgh in Shetland. There is also evidence of the occupation of crannogs, roundhouses partially or entirely built on artificial islands, usually in lakes, rivers and estuarine waters.
In the early Iron Age, from the seventh century BC, cellular houses began to be replaced on the northern isles by simple Atlantic roundhouses, substantial circular buildings with a dry stone construction. From about 400 BC, more complex Atlantic roundhouses began to be built, as at Howe, Orkney and Crosskirk, Caithness.The most massive constructions that date from this era are the circular broch towers, probably dating from about 200 BC. This period also saw the first wheelhouses, a roundhouse with a characteristic outer wall, within which was a circle of stone piers (bearing a resemblance to the spokes of a wheel), but these would flourish most in the era of Roman occupation. There is evidence for about 1,000 Iron Age hill forts in Scotland, most located below the Clyde-Forth line, which have suggested to some archaeologists the emergence of a society of petty rulers and warrior elites recognizable from Roman accounts.
The Roman Invasion
The surviving pre-Roman accounts of Scotland originated with the Greek Pytheas of Massalia, who may have circumnavigated the British Isles of Albion (Britain) and Ierne (Ireland) sometime around 325 BC. The most northerly point of Britain was called Orcas (Orkney). By the time of Pliny the Elder, who died in AD 79, Roman knowledge of the geography of Scotland had extended to the Hebudes (The Hebrides), Dumna (probably the Outer Hebrides), the Caledonian Forest and the people of the Caledonii, from whom the Romans named the region north of their control Caledonia. Ptolemy, possibly drawing on earlier sources of information as well as more contemporary accounts from the Agricolan invasion, identified 18 tribes in Scotland in his Geography, but many of the names are obscure and the geography becomes less reliable in the north and west, suggesting early Roman knowledge of these areas was confined to observations from the sea.
The Roman invasion of Britain began in earnest in AD 43, leading to the establishment of the Roman province of Britannia in the south. By the year 71, the Roman governor Quintus Petillius Cerialis had launched an invasion of what is now Scotland. In the year 78, Gnaeus Julius Agricola arrived in Britain to take up his appointment as the new governor and began a series of major incursions. He is said to have pushed his armies to the estuary of the “River Taus” (usually assumed to be the River Tay) and established forts there, including a legionary fortress at Inchtuthil. After his victory over the northern tribes at Mons Graupius in 84, a series of forts and towers were established along the Gask Ridge, which marked the boundary between the Lowland and Highland zones, probably forming the first Roman limes or frontier in Scotland. Agricola’s successors were unable or unwilling to further subdue the far north. By the year 87, the occupation was limited to the Southern Uplands and by the end of the first century the northern limit of Roman expansion was a line drawn between the Tyne and Solway Firth. The Romans eventually withdrew to a line in what is now northern England, building the fortification known as Hadrian’s Wall from coast to coast.
Around 141, the Romans undertook a reoccupation of southern Scotland, moving up to construct a new line between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde, which became the Antonine Wall. The largest Roman construction inside Scotland, it is a sward-covered wall made of turf around 20 feet (6 m) high, with nineteen forts. It extended for 37 miles (60 km). Having taken twelve years to build, the wall was overrun and abandoned soon after 160. The Romans retreated to the line of Hadrian’s Wall.
Roman troops penetrated far into the north of modern Scotland several more times, with at least four major campaigns. The most notable invasion was in 209 when the emperor Septimius Severus led a major force north. After the death of Severus in 210 they withdrew south to Hadrian’s Wall, which would be Roman frontier until it collapsed in the 5th century. By the close of the Roman occupation of southern and central Britain in the 5th century, the Picts had emerged as the dominant force in northern Scotland, with the various Brythonic tribes the Romans had first encountered there occupying the southern half of the country. Roman influence on Scottish culture and history was not enduring.
In the centuries after the departure of the Romans from Britain, there were four groups within the borders of what is now Scotland. In the east were the Picts, with kingdoms between the river Forth and Shetland. In the late 6th century the dominant force was the Kingdom of Fortriu, whose lands were centered on Strathearn and Menteith and who raided along the eastern coast into modern England. In the west were the Gaelic (Goidelic)-speaking people of Dál Riata with their royal fortress at Dunadd in Argyll [including Campbell ancestry], with close links with the island of Ireland, from whom comes the name Scots. In the south was the British (Brythonic) Kingdom of Strathclyde, descendants of the peoples of the Roman influenced kingdoms of “Hen Ogledd” (Old north), often named Alt Clut, the Brythonic name for their capital at Dumbarton Rock. Finally, there were the English or “Angles”, Germanic invaders who had overrun much of southern Britain and held the Kingdom of Bernicia, in the south-east. The first English king in the historical record is Ida, who is said to have obtained the throne and the kingdom about 547. Ida’s grandson, Æthelfrith, united his kingdom with Deira to the south to form Northumbria around the year 604. There were changes of dynasty, and the kingdom was divided, but it was re-united under Æthelfrith’s son Oswald (r. 634–42).
The images to the right are the ruins of Dunollie. This was a fortification on this high promontory in the Early Middle Ages, when Dunollie was the royal centre of the Cenél Loairn within the kingdom of Dál Riata. The Irish annals record that “Dun Ollaigh” was attacked or burned down three times, in 686, 698, and in 701. It was subsequently rebuilt in 714 by Selbach mac Ferchair (died 730), the King of Dál Riata credited with destroying the site in 701. Excavations in the 1970s suggest that this early fortification was abandoned sometime in the 10th century.
The area around Dunollie subsequently became part of the semi-independent Kingdom of the Isles, ruled over by Somerled in the 12th century. On his death the MacDougalls became Lords of Lorne. Dougall, Somerled’s son, held most of Argyll and also the islands of Mull, Lismore, Jura, Tiree, Coll and many others in the 12th century.
Excavations show that Dunollie was refortified with an earthwork castle in the 13th century or potentially the late 12th century. The builder may have been Dougall, or his son Duncan. Ewan MacDougall, great-grandson of Somerled and the third chief of the MacDougalls, switched the clan’s allegiance in the mid-13th century: initially allied with Haakon IV of Norway, from the 1250s, Ewan remained loyal to the kings of Scotland.
In the 14th century Ewan’s grandson John MacDougall, along with his kinsmen the Comyns, sided with the Balliols against the interests of Robert the Bruce. John MacDougall’s army defeated the Bruce at the Battle of Dalrigh in 1306, but Bruce returned in 1308 and crushed the MacDougalls at the Battle of the Pass of Brander. The MacDougall lands of Lorne were subsequently forfeit and were given to the Campbells, though Dunollie and other estates were regained later in the 14th century.
Scotland was largely converted to Christianity by Irish-Scots missions associated with figures such as St. Columba, from the fifth to the seventh centuries. These missions tended to found monastic institutions and collegiate churches that served large areas. Partly as a result of these factors, some scholars have identified a distinctive form of Celtic Christianity, in which abbots were more significant than bishops, attitudes to clerical celibacy were more relaxed and there were some significant differences in practice with Roman Christianity, particularly the form of tonsure and the method of calculating Easter, although most of these issues had been resolved by the mid-7th century.
Kingdom of Alba
Conversion to Christianity may have sped a long-term process of gaelicisation of the Pictish kingdoms, which adopted Gaelic language and customs. There was also a merger of the Gaelic and Pictish crowns, although historians debate whether it was a Pictish takeover of Dál Riata, or the other way around. This culminated in the rise of Cínaed mac Ailpín (Kenneth MacAlpin) in the 840s, which brought to power the House of Alpin. In 867 AD the Vikings seized the southern half of Northumbria, forming the Kingdom of York; three years later they stormed the Britons’ fortress of Dumbarton and subsequently conquered much of England except for a reduced Kingdom of Wessex, leaving the new combined Pictish and Gaelic kingdom almost encircled. When he died as king of the combined kingdom in 900, Domnall II (Donald II) was the first man to be called rí Alban (i.e. King of Alba). The term Scotia was increasingly used to describe the kingdom between North of the Forth and Clyde and eventually the entire area controlled by its kings was referred to as Scotland.
The long reign (900–942/3) of Causantín (Constantine II) is often regarded as the key to formation of the Kingdom of Alba. He was later credited with bringing Scottish Christianity into conformity with the Catholic Church. After fighting many battles, his defeat at Brunanburh was followed by his retirement as a Culdee monk at St. Andrews. The period between the accession of his successor Máel Coluim I (Malcolm I) and Máel Coluim mac Cináeda (Malcolm II) was marked by good relations with the Wessex rulers of England, intense internal dynastic disunity and relatively successful expansionary policies. In 945, Máel Coluim I annexed Strathclyde as part of a deal with King Edmund of England, where the kings of Alba had probably exercised some authority since the later 9th century, an event offset somewhat by loss of control in Moray. The reign of King Donnchad I (Duncan I) from 1034 was marred by failed military adventures, and he was defeated and killed by MacBeth, the Mormaer of Moray, who became king in 1040. MacBeth ruled for seventeen years before he was overthrown by Máel Coluim, the son of Donnchad, who some months later defeated MacBeth’s step-son and successor Lulach to become King Máel Coluim III (Malcolm III).
It was Máel Coluim III, who acquired the nickname “Canmore” (Cenn Mór, “Great Chief”), which he passed to his successors and who did most to create the Dunkeld dynasty that ruled Scotland for the following two centuries. Particularly important was his second marriage to the Anglo-Hungarian princess Margaret. This marriage, and raids on northern England, prompted William the Conqueror to invade and Máel Coluim submitted to his authority, opening up Scotland to later claims of sovereignty by English kings. When Malcolm died in 1093, his brother Domnall III (Donald III) succeeded him. However, William II of England backed Máel Coluim’s son by his first marriage, Donnchad, as a pretender to the throne and he seized power. His murder within a few months saw Domnall restored with one of Máel Coluim sons by his second marriage, Edmund, as his heir. The two ruled Scotland until two of Edmund’s younger brothers returned from exile in England, again with English military backing. Victorious, Edgar, the oldest of the three, became king in 1097. Shortly afterwards Edgar and the King of Norway Magnus Barefoot concluded a treaty recognizing Norwegian authority over the Western Isles. In practice, Norse control of the Isles was loose, with local chiefs enjoying a high degree of independence. He was succeeded by his brother Alexander, who reigned 1107–24.
When Alexander died in 1124, the crown passed to Margaret’s fourth son David I, who had spent most of his life as a Norman French baron in England. His reign saw what has been characterized as a “Davidian Revolution”, by which native institutions and personnel were replaced by English and French ones, underpinning the development of later Medieval Scotland. Members of the Anglo-Norman nobility took up places in the Scottish aristocracy and he introduced a system of feudal land tenure, which produced knight service, castles and an available body of heavily armed cavalry. He created an Anglo-Norman style of court, introduced the office of justicar to oversee justice, and local offices of sheriffs to administer localities. He established the first royal burghs in Scotland, granting rights to particular settlements, which led to the development of the first true Scottish towns and helped facilitate economic development as did the introduction of the first recorded Scottish coinage. He continued a process begun by his mother and brothers helping to establish foundations that brought reform to Scottish monasticism based on those at Cluny and he played a part in organizing diocese on lines closer to those in the rest of Western Europe.
These reforms were pursued under his successors and grandchildren Malcolm IV of Scotland and William I, with the crown now passing down the main line of descent through primogeniture, leading to the first of a series of minorities. The benefits of greater authority were reaped by William’s son Alexander II and his son Alexander III, who pursued a policy of peace with England to expand their authority in the Highlands and Islands. By the reign of Alexander III, the Scots were in a position to annex the remainder of the western seaboard, which they did following Haakon Haakonarson’s ill-fated invasion and the stalemate of the Battle of Largs with the Treaty of Perth in 1266.
In traditional genealogies of the Clan Campbell, its origins are placed amongst the ancient Britons of Strathclyde; the earliest Campbell in written records is Gillespie who is recorded in 1263. Early grants to Gillespie and his relations were almost all in east-central Scotland, but the family’s connection with Argyll came some generations before, when a Campbell married the heiress of the O’Duines and she brought with her the Lordship of Loch Awe. Because of this the early clan name was Clan O’ Duine and this was later supplanted by the style Clann Diarmaid. This name came from a fancied connection to Diarmid the Boar, a great hero from early Celtic mythology.
The original seat of the Clan Campbell was either Innis Chonnell Castle on Loch Awe or Caisteal na Nigheann Ruaidh on Loch Avich. The clan’s power soon spread throughout Argyll, though at first the Campbells were under the domination of the Lords of Lorne, chiefs of Clan MacDougall. The MacDougalls killed the Campbell chief Cailean Mór (Colin Campbell) in 1296. (See: Battle of Red Ford). All of the subsequent chiefs of Clan Campbell have taken MacCailean Mór as their Gaelic patronymic.
Between 1200 and 1500 the Campbells emerged as one of the most powerful families in Scotland, dominant in Argyll and capable of wielding a wider influence and authority from Edinburgh to the Hebrides and western Highlands.
The Name and Places
Allegedly, the Campbell name came from the Gaelic “cam” or crooked, and “beul” for mouth. Prior to this name arising, the clan was always known as the Clann O’Duibhne. Clan Duibhne derived its name from Diarmid O’ Duin, an individual from whom descended a long line of chiefs, the Lords of Lochawe.
The first of the name Cambel (the original spelling) who can be found in the surviving records was one who owned lands near Stirling in 1263. The earliest written date for the main clan-lands in Argyll is that for Duncan Dubh, landowner in the Kintyre peninsular in 1293.
The first date which survives for the Cambels on Lochawe is the record of the killing of Sir Cailein Mor (Great Colin) of Lochawe in 1296 when he was attacked by men of the Clan Dougall on the Stringe of Lorne. His family had been long established on Lochawe and at that time at least two other Cambels owned land in Argyll; Sir Duncan Dubh and Sir Thomas in Kintyre.
Tradition holds that the first of the Campbell ancestors (still not yet called Campbell) who came into Argyll married Eva, daughter of Paul an Sporran and the heiress of the O’Duibhne tribe on northwestern Loch Awe in Argyll.
This ancestor may well have first been established in Argyll as a follower of the Earl of the neighboring Lennox clan when Alexander II, king of Scots, marched into Argyll to enforce the loyalty of its people. Alexander is said by Fordun, a medieval writer, to have visited Argyll in 1222, and this period for a Campbell ancestral arrival on Lochawe is supported by the Gaelic genealogies and later charters.
Argyll is a county on the west coast of Scotland, the second largest in the country, embracing a large tract of country on the mainland and a number of the Hebrides or Western Isles. The Argyll branch of the Clan Campbell controlled the area round Loch Awe, an inland loch in the ruddy heart of the Argyll region.
The middle of the shire contains:- Inveraray Castle and furnishing the titles of earl and duke to the Campbells; – Cowall, between Loch Fyne and the Firth of Clyde, in which lie Dunoon and other favorite holiday resorts; – Knapdale between the Sound of Jura and Loch Fyne; and – Kintyre or Cantyre, a long narrow peninsula (which, at the isthmus of Tarbert, is little more than 1m. wide), the southernmost point of which is known as The Mull, the nearest part of Scotland to the coast of Ireland, only 13m. distant.
The mainland portion of the County of Argyll is bounded : – North by Inverness-shire; – East by Perth and Dumbarton, Loch Long and the Firth of Clyde; – South by the North Channel (Irish Sea); and – West by the Atlantic.
The principal districts are Ardnamurchan on the Atlantic, Ardnamurchan Point being the most westerly headland of Scotland; Morven or Morvern, bounded by Loch Sunart, the Sound of Mull and Loch Linnhe; Appin, on Loch Linnhe, with piers at Ballachulish and Port Appin; Benderloch, lying between Loch Creran and Loch Etive; Lorne, surrounding Loch Etive and giving the title of marquess to the Campbells.
The family of Colin Campbell went on to become firm supporters of King Robert the Bruce and benefited from his successes with grants of lands, titles and good marriages. During the Wars of Scottish Independence the Campbells fought for Scotland against the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. During the 14th century the Clan Campbell rapidly expanded its lands and power. This is partly explained by the loyalty of Sir Neil Campbell (Niall mac Caile), (d.1315), to the cause of Robert the Bruce – a loyalty which was rewarded with marriage to Bruce’s sister Mary. The family was also closely associated with the Stewarts as well as the Bruces in the time of Cailean Mór. Sir Neil, as a staunch ally of the Bruce was rewarded with extensive lands that had been taken from the forfeited MacDougall, Lords of Lorne and other enemies of the Bruces in Argyll.
Our hope has been to discover the ancestry of our known predecessors in the United States. We have not accomplished that goal. Indeed, such a pursuit has absorbed many genealogists in decades of study only to emerge dissatisfied. And while the older records are meticulous in tracking the descendants of Campbell lairds, no such effort was been made to track those not of the noble households, i.e. the commoners. Further problems arise when trying to discover the link between those records and the haphazard documentation, if any, of early American Campbells. As noted by Mary Turner of the University of Arizona at Flagstaff in her paper on this subject written February 28, 1996:
“The ways that led from Scotland to North America were many and diverse, often circuitous and usually hazardous to some degree. Those Campbells and other Highlanders who came to the new world in the 17th and 18th centuries were, perhaps, more ready to adapt to a raw frontier and to cope with life in an absolute wilderness than most travelers from Edinburgh or London.
“The Gaels who came from the lochs and glens of Argyll and Perthshire had already survived hardship and want, like as not, and they often came in groups when they could, families, kinsfolk and neighbors. Whether they came early or late it was very much a new world, with many adjustments to be made. Their shared memories of the scenes left behind must have been of great comfort. The legends they held in common and their mutual language were a strong support. Many a genealogical report begins with, “Three brothers left Argyll …” or, “There were the four brothers who sailed from Glasgow in the company of local families bound for …”
“The stories of these Campbell immigrants are as varied as the individuals. The reasons they came and the routes they took make fascinating reading. Many went to Ireland first – particularly those who fought in the ill-fated Monmouth Rebellion of 1685. Ireland was close; safety was near, and time was of the essence. But escape was of primary importance for those in political difficulties, so what then? America was farther and so safer and there was land for the winning.
“While in the late 18th and early 19th centuries there would be some ‘clearances’ or forced evictions of tenants from Breadalbane lands in Perthshire, there were very few in Argyll. The concept that most Campbells left Scotland due to clearances is a slight on their initiative and on the humanity of the Dukes of Argyll. Without a doubt most Campbells who left from Argyll left of their own free will and most often in search of land to own.
“Some had no choice but to come, being deported or indentured for being on the wrong side in politics or the law. But most came with the glow of promise, with the hope of better times and of land enough for all. Land was the greatest motivating factor for Highland people who were used to a predominantly cattle economy and wealth being counted on the hoof. From the younger sons of landowning families to the tacksmen and tenants and their servants, North America meant that all had the chance to become landowners.
“Some of the earliest Campbells in North America were likely privateers, traders and indentured servants working out their time until they were free to settle their own place. Then in the first part of the 18th century a large organized group from Argyll crossed the Atlantic to settle in the Cape Fear area of North Carolina. Their descendants spread down to Scotch Neck, the 96 District and over the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky and Tennessee.
“Later in the 18th century Captain Lachlan Campbell from Islay led several shiploads of people to New York State where some later gained their promised land in the Argyle Colony and others moved to New Jersey and further west. Those who came by Virginia and Philadelphia had descendants who crossed the hills into Pennsylvania and Ohio. Others still came to Boston and became New Englanders.
“In the French Indian Wars the Black Watch regiment, a number of whose officers and men were Campbells, landed in New York in 1756 among the first British regular soldiers sent to defend the colonies from the French. Some Campbells and others elected to stay when the regiment eventually left North America.
“Campbells fought on both sides in the Revolutionary War. Many of the Highland families in the Carolinas, remembering the 1745, were Loyalists and so obliged to leave for Canada.
“Early in the 19th century there were sailings from the west coast of Scotland to Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. In the later years of the 19th century more Campbells were attracted to the newly opened lands of eastern Canada in Ontario. And then in later generations some of the younger members of these families would move west to the high plains and Rocky Mountains of both the United States and Canada.
“When the rich lands of the Pacific coast territories were opened for settlement, Campbells left the rocky fields of the Appalachians, from New England to Kentucky, to cross the plains and mountains of the west. A Campbell from the South founded Campbell, California.
Campbells fought on both sides in the Civil War, the War Between the States. By then there was a Campbell judge on the Supreme Court whose actions in the infamous Dred Scott case helped to precipitate the war.”
That said, in the next chapter we proceed to give detail on the earliest Campbells of both Argyll and Breadalbane in order to give the flavor of their lives even though we have no evidence that our lineage derives from these houses.
 Based on my personal experience with Campbells, I think this ‘crooked mouth’ could describe their compulsion to twist words and meanings. Word play at its best, obfuscation at its worst, never a straight comment or answer.