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Clan Campbell: Feuds, Tartan, History & Castle

Written by: Stewart Borland
Published: 5th November 2015, last updated: 29th June 2022

Clan Campbell, politically (and in every other way), was the most successful clan in Scottish history. With that, it has not survived the turning of time’s wheel without a share of its own dark days and disasters. The Campbells of Argyll represent one of the most successful arms of the Clan. However, even they struck hard times due to political and religious regime change. As with all the clans of Scotland, it was often the chosen allegiance to Kings and their religious leanings that made or broke its fortune, as we shall see.

Origin of Campbell Name

The Campbell name, it is said, was derived from the Gaelic for ‘wry mouth’ or even ‘crooked mouth’. This may be due to an ancestor having a physical abnormality. Before this nickname stuck, Clan Campbell was known as Clan Dairmid.

The Campbell name rose to prominence towards the end of the 1200s, when Cailean Mór Caimbeul, famous warrior, was active. Cailean Mór was allegedly a cousin of Robert the Bruce and took part in The Great Cause, a scuffle for the throne of Scotland between the Bruce and John Balliol which had the unfortunate consequence of providing leverage for Edward I of England (the Hammer of the Scots) to assume over lordship of Scotland. This turn of events led to the Scottish Wars of Independence as Robert the Bruce fought to win back his crown.

The legendary and edifying history of Cailean Mór has resulted in each successive chief of the Campbell Clan taking this name and styling himself MacCailean Mór, (to mean ‘a son of’ Cailean Mór). This famous Scottish warrior was knighted by Robert The Bruce in 1280 and his son, Neil, was given lands in Loch Awe, and Argyll. This is also where the Campbells established their power base for the next seven hundred years.

Campbell Tartan

The Clan Campbell tartan is also known as the “Black Watch Tartan”, named after a British army regiment that was formed largely of Campbell soldiers loyal to the Crown. After a 1746 act of proscription against the wearing of Scottish tartan, the Black Watch tartan was the only allowed exception.

Despite mills producing multiple fabric variations of the Campbell tartan, the Clan Chief only recognizes four: the Black Watch, the Campbell of Breadalbane, the Campbell of Cawdor, and the Campbell of Loudoun.

Photo by Celtus / CC BY 2.5

Campbell Family Crest

Campbell Family Crest

The Campbell Family Crest was a symbol of allegiance, used by clan members to show allegiance to their clan chief. The Clan Campbell’s crest features a boar’s head in the centre of the strap and buckle, framed by the Campbell clan motto Ne Obliviscaris, latin for Forget Not.

Photo by Celtus / CC BY 3.0

Why is the Campbell Clan Hated?

It is said that Britons love an underdog but despise too much success. Nothing invokes quite so much ire in certain parts of the highlands as this most successful Highland clan. Even though many, if not all, the clans have indulged in their share of criminal behaviour: blood-letting, stealing, feuding with neighbours, it is the particular success of Clan Campbell which invokes most hatred.

Clan Campbell’s royal connections, along with their fierce loyalty to Robert the Bruce (they fought at the Battle of Bannockburn and beyond) gave them in return many gifts of land and fortunate marriages from grateful Scottish Kings.

Small island in Loch Awe with excellent castle ruins - formerly a stronghold of the Campbells

Remains of Innis Chonnell Castle, original seat of the Campbell chiefs, on Loch Awe. Photo by Brian D Osborne/ CC BY 2.0

But their success was won not only in the precarious game of feudal loyalty. It was in the tradition of the Campbell men to study the law, and many became powerful lawyers. This gave them an intellectual advantage, and much land was beguiled from other clans through legal loophole and cunningly crafted contractual smallprint. Perhaps this is really where the name ‘Crooked mouth’ came from!

Clan Campbell Castle and Lands

Throughout the 14th century, Clan Campbell amassed a great deal of land from their neighbours, which they leased back to them for comfortable sums. This made the Campbells very rich and much resented. They were a clan with great ambition. You could find the Clan Campbell lands in the Argyll district. The Inveraray Castle in Argyll is still the current seat of the Chief of Clan Campbell, the Duke of Argyll.

Picture of the Inveraray Castle

Inveraray Castle on the edge of Loch Fyne, home to the Duke of Argyll since the 17th century. Photo by DeFacto / CC BY-SA 4.0

Clan Feuds: Campbell and MacDonald

One of the Scottish clans who hated Campbell’s turn of fortune most was Clan Donald. They are now better known as MacDonald. In the thicker mists of history Clan Donald had been the most powerful clan in the Western Highlands. Descended from Viking kings and known as the “Lords of the Isles”, they commanded the Hebrides and much of the West coast of Scotland. But after 1493, when King James IV forfeited MacDonald lands, their fortunes declined rapidly just as those of Clan Campbell, with royal blessing, were steadily rising (The first Earldom of Argyll had been created in 1457). This must have been more than irksome, because it has led to one of the longest and most famous tribal feuds in world history.

Where it began (as Neil Diamond sings) we can’t begin to know it. But we do know some of the bloodier episodes, and they began long before the Massacre at Glencoe. Clan rivalries fulminated in the 16th century, but the 17th century was a particularly bloody period for the Campbells and the MacDonalds.

Under the auspices of the English Civil War, which spread into Scotland, clan feuding could dress itself in the livery of state sanctioned violence, but the struggle between Covenanters (roundheads) and Royalists (cavaliers) wasn’t the only motivation for the clans of Scotland. Upset over losing their land, the MacDonalds, along with other neighbouring clans, made an agreement to bring down the Campbells. At the time the Campbell chief, Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll was, believe it or not, NOT a royalist! He was committed to the roundhead cause.

The MacDonalds sided with the Royalists, along with other anti-Campbell Clans. Together they fought under James Graham, Marquess of Montrose. But be under no illusions, it wasn’t the Royalist cause so much as Campbell blood the highland troops were after.

Portrait of Archibald Campbell, Marquess of Argyll

Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll. Photo by J Lane / Public domain.

Failed Seige

Alasdair MacColla, a MacDonald soldier from Ireland, with his force of 2000 soldiers made up of MacDonalds, MacLeans and Camerons, took every opportunity to pillage Campbell land. This culminated, on 14th January 1645, in the massacre of Inverary, a Campbell stronghold. After a failed siege on Inverary Castle the whole town was put to the sword.


Archibald Campbell was horrified. He immediately set about pursuing the MacColla forces, who by this time were marching north with the rest of Montrose’s army. Unfortunately, MacColla heard of this pursuit and bade the army make a U-turn. They surprised the Campbells in an ambush at Inverlochy in the dawn of 2nd February. The ambush turned into another massacre. Of the 3000-strong Campbell army, about 1200 lay dead including many of the officer class, while only 20 were lost to MacColla’s side. Archibald Campbell witnessed the defeat in despair from his galley on Loch Linnhe, where he had retired with a dislocated shoulder.


As Archibald Campbell skulked away in his ship, his retreating men were not spared. MacColla’s bloodthirsty troops pursued them along the route now known as the West Highland Way, overtook them and slaughtered every one. Their aim: to leave not one Campbell standing. Bodies piled up along the path as they went. The slaughter continued for hours, until finally, exhausted by all the bloodletting the MacDonalds gave up the chase, and a few limping Campbells were free to go on their way.

The Stone of the Campbells (Clach nan Caimbeulach)

 Clach nan Caimbeulach or the Stone of the Campbells

This Cairn has replaced an original stone that marked the point at which the MacDonalds stopped pursuing the retreating Campbells. Travellers show their allegiance by adding a stone – if theirs lies with MacDonald – or taking one away – if it lies with Clan Campbell.

This Royalist-Covenanter war, though it was about Charles I in England, became in Scotland another excuse for blood feuds and clan rivalry.

Photo by Richard Webb / CC BY-SA 2.0

Campbell Titles and Scotland

As we all know, Cromwell’s idea of ‘Republic of Britain’ was so far ahead of its time. It soon collapsed under the weight of its own improbability and the fortunes of Archibald Campbell collapsed with it. His lands and titles were forfeited and his head skewered on a spike above the Tollbooth in Edinburgh during the Restoration of Charles II. His body (and, after an indecent interval, his head) was interred in St Giles Cathedral.

Memorial to Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquis of Argyll, St. Giles High Kirk Edinburgh

Grave of Archibald Campbell in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh. Photo by Kim Traynor / CC BY-SA 3.0.

After Archibald Campbell’s adventure with republicanism, his descendants became staunch supporters of the Protestant monarchy and the Union of Great Britain. Cailean Mór may be turning in his grave: he who gave his life for Scottish independence. Nevertheless, that loyalty to the British Crown has ensured the clan’s survival. Further, the marquessate of Argyll has since been promoted to a dukedom. Today’s Campbell Chief, Torquhill Campbell, the 13th Duke of Argyll, enjoys excessive land ownership and a seat in the Lords. He holds the hereditary position of Master of the Royal Household of Scotland. This title is held by all Argyll heirs since it was bestowed by James IV. As there is no royal household of Scotland any more, we are not sure what this job entails.

Campbells of Argyll and Auchinbreck

Despite the Campbells of Argyll were forgiven and regained their lands after the civil war, other Campbell fortunes were not saved. Consider the Campbells of Auchinbreck. They had been a great military support to the Argyll Campbells. Yet, their Chief had commanded under Archibald Campbell during the massacre at Inverlochy and was executed by the Marquess of Montrose.

The next chief of the Campbells of Auchinbreck had to surrender at the end of the failed Monmouth Rebellion of 1685 against the popish James II (VII of Scotland) and was executed. Three years later William of Orange succeeded in overthrowing the king. By that time, the family had converted to the Catholic faith and now supported the Jacobite cause. Although, this was just in time to lose in both the 1715 and the 1745 Jacobite rebellions. Thus, they forfeited all their lands. Allegiance is a tricky business!

The Campbells Are Coming

Above all, Campbells mustn’t be downhearted, for they have their own rousing anthem: ‘The Campbells are Coming’! It was composed around 1715 by a Scottish piper, and adopted by Argyll’s Highlanders when they defeated the Jacobites. As they marched triumphant into Perth and Dundee in 1715, the army was led by pipers playing the tune below. Electric Scotland website has the choral version with lyrics. You can listen to it here.

Campbells Nowadays

The Campbell name can still be hard to bear. We are indebted to one of our community, Sandra Zaninovich, for her comment on our post about the Glencoe Massacre. It tells a sober tale:

“I work at a clothing store in LA, CA, where about a year ago a lady came in with a Scots accent. When she went to pay, her credit card had the Campbell surname. I asked if she was a genuine Campbell from Scotland. She replied that she was. I then half-jokingly said to her that she must not be a big fan of the MacDonalds then. At that her face darkened and she said that she’d grown up very near the “incident,” as she termed it. She added that the people there had “made her life hell,” and that she hadn’t been able to wait until the moment that she could leave and never go back.”

So ill-feeling towards Clan Campbell continues even now… Will it ever go away?

A Famous Campbell

Andy Warhols Campbell’s Soup Cans

In 1869, Joseph A Campbell, a fruit seller from New Jersey founded a brand new canning company, along side Abraham Anderson, an icebox manufacturer from South Jersey.

The company that initially produced canned tomatoes, vegetables, jellies, condiments, soups, and minced meats would become the highly successful Campbell Soup Company.

Another Campbell success story!

Photo by poorcans / Public Domain.

Campbells With Highland Titles

As of June 2019, there are over 3770 plots in the Highland Titles Land Register under the Campbell name.

Accessorise like a true Campbell

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Highland Titles: A Very Modern Clan

Alike historical clans, our community also share the investment and attachment to the land, our Nature Reserves, and we even have our own tartan and crest. Join the clan by purchasing a plot of land and continue our mission to conserve Scotland, one square foot at a time™!

About the author

Written by: Stewart Borland

Comments on this post

  • Clifford Lonsdale.
    15/01/16 - 22:30

    I find this information on the Clans extremely interesting . My grandmother was from Scotland her name was Anne Macleay. I would appreciate very much if you could give me any information on the Macleays and the tartan.
    Kind Regards .

    31/03/17 - 02:57


  • Campbell McDonald
    20/05/17 - 23:12

    Campbells and Mc / MacDonalds exist side by side in harmony in Scotland. Mainly because those are both very common surnames and it would by the equivalent of (for example) everyone called Smith in the US hating everyone called Johnson – emnity would be so widespread as to make society unworkable.

    The idea that the massacre at Glencoe would be a good reason to resent someone with a particular surname today is regarded as ridiculous in Scotland – so frankly, if it is happening anywhere else, they should grow up.

  • Roger spring
    22/05/17 - 05:10

    I’m a Buchanan and my wife a Graham…. long live the Clans of Loch Lomond….

  • David
    10/10/17 - 17:25

    My grandmother was a Campbell and although a genealogy search went back to 1851 and ended up in Ireland, I still harbour hopes that somewhere along the line I have some Scots blood in me!

  • Jeanette Campbell Gallacher
    04/01/18 - 15:46

    Campbell of Bellshill Scotland

  • Sandra Zaninovich
    19/01/18 - 22:48

    Thanks so much for mentioning the encounter I had at the store where I work, in LA. I want to respond to the person above who commented “Campbells and Mc / MacDonalds exist side by side in harmony in Scotland. Mainly because those are both very common surnames and it would by the equivalent of (for example) everyone called Smith in the US hating everyone called Johnson – emnity would be so widespread as to make society unworkable.

    The idea that the massacre at Glencoe would be a good reason to resent someone with a particular surname today is regarded as ridiculous in Scotland – so frankly, if it is happening anywhere else, they should grow up.”

    Of course, I’m certain that the vast majority of Campbells and McDonalds do exist side by side in harmony. We do supposedly live in a “civilized” world (though sometimes that’s questionable, particularly here in the US as of late). However, as evidenced by what happened to the lady I spoke with, this “incident” is not forgotten, and people not quite as “civilized” as we would have them be, can obviously be hard on those with the surname Campbell. So, not everyone in Scotland regards it as “ridiculous.” And yes, this lady did suffer the barbs in Scotland, not elsewhere. So if any “growing up” is to be done, it appears it would be there (at least as regards this particular topic. Here in the US we have a lot more people who need to “grow up,” starting with the child at the top).

  • Peter Smith
    25/04/18 - 08:01

    My uncle Duncan Campbell was playing lawn bowls against a MacDonald and at the end of the match the Macdonald man wouldn’t shake his hand because he was a Campbell. This happened in Brisbane Australia in the 1990’s. They don’t forget. But the MacDonalds never mention slaughtering 800 Campbells men, women and children 47 years earlier than Glencoe.

  • William Campbell
    21/07/18 - 22:00

    Very informative. I currently reside in Texas. My grandfather William came from Scotland to the US on a ship.

  • Gordon Macpherson
    18/08/18 - 01:04

    The slaughter itself was bad enough, but it was the manner in which it was done that angered the other clans. To accept and enjoy traditional hospitality and then turn on your unsuspecting hosts was not the highlanders way and this is what made the Campbell name infamous. However to carry on this hatred to modern times is ridiculous.

  • Robert Enderle
    29/09/18 - 19:11

    Very interesting report about the organisation of clans and their history. My german name means Son of andrew . It ist usual all over europe but the

  • Ronald Dula
    31/10/18 - 18:33

    My ancestors, Colonel William Dula and Major James Dula, came to North Carolina immediately following the ’45, in which they had been Jacobite military officers from Atholl, and became two of the earliest permanent settlers of the Yadkin River Valley. That being said, let us fast forward to the late 1950s, when my great aunt on my father’s side disowned her daughter for marrying a Campbell. In North Carolina, and especially in Scotland County, these matters have faded far more slowly than perceived injuries from the Civil War. Clan ties run deep.

  • Colin Campbell
    31/10/18 - 23:19

    The Massacre of Glencoe was an instruction by the secretary of state for Scotland issued to Robert Campbell to put the male members of the family to the sword as a result of not swearing allegiance to the king in a prescrible timeframe. The secretary of State wanted to use the murders as an example to other clans.
    It must be noted that it was a integrated army regiment let by Robert Campbell a weak man who had been selected by the secretary of state.

  • Fieldmouse
    01/11/18 - 00:57

    I am Scottish. My family is from the east coast of Scotland. I have lived in Australia since 1964, and became “neutralised” in 1976. (Naturalised). I find that the older I become; the more I lean towards Scotland. My father was particularly fond of Inverary, and often spoke about his years on holidays there. My closest friend is a MacLeod; from Stornoway. We spent many hours delving into her family history, and I had some wonderful hospitality, and whisky, from her family.
    But we never discussed Clan Campbell!! There is still lots of ill feeling in the Islands, but I found it ignored. Life goes on.

  • Frédéric TOBELLEM
    01/11/18 - 09:08

    Merci pour toutes ces informations historiques peu connues, concernant les clans Ecossais. J’ai toujours beaucoup de plaisir à en prendre connaissance. Bien à vous.

  • Emmanuelle Aubin
    01/11/18 - 12:43

    I am so surprised such hard feelings live on.But I shouldn’t actually… History is our blood and marrow. I’m French, with Caribbean blood,so melting pots are my daily life! I make the best of it, and hope to transcend mistakes and fury.Anyway, thanks for the article, keep it up!

  • Helen McEwan
    01/11/18 - 23:22

    My Great Grandfather was a Campbell from Ireland. I have gone back to my Maiden name of McEwan. I believe the Duke of Argyle was a Campbell and made the McEwan’s a landless clan, by scattering them all over the world!. I came to Australia when I was three years of age, and became (neutralised) Naturalised when I was 30, the same as Field mouse. I believe in the ‘Hinterland’ of Queensland there is a town called ‘McEwan’ filled with people called McEwan, I have yet to visit.

  • teresa campbell
    20/11/18 - 15:21

    OH. I want to live with may family. They may be down the line some ways ,but i still love them.

  • Craig Campbell
    02/12/18 - 23:45

    Some pubs in the Glencoe area still don’t allow Campbells in… 2002 Roddy Campbell was made manager of the Glencoe visitor centre causing an uproar made our national news. They seem to forget they slaughtered 800+ men women n children 47 years earlier and we killed 38!!! Slept with 2 Campbell crests above as a bairn as my grandad said be proud of your heritage.i have the crest tattooed on my chest now. NE OBLIVISCARIS

  • Craig Campbell
    02/12/18 - 23:49

    Also forgot to say a bought a yard square piece of land Glencoe for my father and has a certificate on his study wall saying laird Campbell of Glencoe be a few folk turning in the graves

  • Lady Julia
    31/12/18 - 18:55

    Very illuminating; thanks for the research and pithy article.

  • Donald Morris
    04/01/19 - 19:43

    Just found out on that my 4th grandmother was a Campbell . I traced back to Matthew Campbell Rhea being my 10 great grandfather. 1609- 1647 . I’m from Pennsylvania.

  • Thomas bell brown campbell
    06/03/19 - 14:50

    I was born in Scotland in West Lothian and I’m wondering if anybody can give me information on why I have bell brown in my name as there is no reference I can find to this being anything to do with the Campbell clan . Unfortunately I was adopted and moved to England when I was 6 I’m now 30 and my name was changed so I have only just recently found out a lot about my life any information will be gratefully appreciated many thanks

  • Patricia Brennan
    11/03/19 - 11:55

    Found out via that my mother’s side of the family are descended from the Campbells via my 6x great grandmother, Ann. Her father was Duncan, son of Sir William Campbell. How Duncan ended up in Dublin, I have no clue.

  • James_Campbell_descendant
    10/04/19 - 04:07

    My grandfather tracked down some history that seems to point to my ancestors going through the Campbell clan to the Scottish royal family does anyone know of any of these persons: Mary Jane Campbell 1776-1874 or Elizabeth Dean married 1791? Also possibly a Friddle or Gibson line?

  • leanne clair
    12/05/19 - 13:46

    my 6th great grandfather is colin campbell of park his daughter helen campbell my 5th great grndmother married
    my 5th grwat grandfather william hagart born 1768 very proud of my strong scottish bloodline
    im very intrested in how i go about a tiltle of piece of this land title and my rights of this amazing family history i reuinted recently with my first cousion have all documents and info and proudly to know and found out whom i am part ofmy paternal line is hagart married into the campbells from my fathers side

  • Mary Lou Lewis
    12/05/19 - 17:56

    My Grandmother was the daughter of James Layatte Campbell, I never knew her father! Her name was Louise Eliza Campbell (Lewis)! Her son was my Father!

  • Joccoaa Whiteoake
    11/06/19 - 09:41

    My roots go through Ireland and end up heavily in Scotland. My parents are in Scotland right now and discovered that through my Irish grandmother who’s maiden name was the Scottish ‘Orr’ we are linked to the Campbell clan! I’m very excited about this discovery and finding out more about my past. I also took a DNA test and despite my more recent ancestors coming from England and Ireland I’m about 70% Scottish and the rest is English & Irish, with a smidge of Spanish and Swedish. I’m proud that my strong Scottish heritage comes through the most!

  • Lori Campbel;
    20/06/19 - 00:31

    My great great grandfather was John Duke Campbell {1779-1861?} from Yarrow Selkirkshire Scotland. My great grandfather was George Campbell{1812-1877),he came to Canada in or around 1825. I have been told that John and wife are buried there (Scotland). Her name was Margaret Lockie (1782-1855}. My grandfather Fred Campbell(1876-1934)was a year old when his father died. Then my grandfather died when my dad was young {1934). That is as far as I have been able to go back. I am really interested my heritage. I live in the United States. By the way guess what my great grandmothers name was…… Margaret Bruce (1829-1922?). Wanting to know if you know any information on the above. Thanks Lori Campbell

  • Jim west l was born in ontario Canada big family Campbell
    13/08/19 - 22:02

    l looking for Campbell l have sister last Campbell l do not no wear they live canada

  • Danielle Parish
    31/01/20 - 21:33

    I am Clan Cameron and Campbell of Cawdor on my mom’s side and MacTavish and Campbell of Argyll on my dad’s side. I’ve also got Bains/Baynes, Majorbanks of that Ilk and MacKenzies in there too (I’m WAY more Scottish than I would have guessed). I notice that I have an Archibald Campbell in the 1400s in Argyll but the dates don’t line up with the Duke of Argyll. Does anyone know if it was common to name sons after aristocracy then? That particular line is very intertwined with MacTavishes.

  • Carrie Campbell
    10/07/20 - 16:09

    I found all of this to be very interesting and has answered a lot of the questions I’ve been searching for. I’ve been using ancestry to find out more about my family. Ive been using the site since 2015 and I’ve got as far back as my 15th great grandfather who is Lord Colin Campbell (1434-1479). I’ve been interested in knowing who my family is that is currently alive and living in the United States. Especially in Oregon where I currently live

  • Debra
    31/07/20 - 20:01

    I am of the Campbell clan. I fear all these years our clan has gotten a bad rap for a fight which was in retaliation to one purpetrated upon our clan first. Retribution in those days was common. The measure repaid was as the measure bestowed upon us, no more no less. Ye,I to find all things related to our clan interesting. There is a set of DVDs history that can be purchased from the Official Campbell clan site if anyone is interested.

  • Sharron Desiree Fox Walters
    13/08/20 - 11:05

    Hi, My Grandfather was Clarence Campbell, from Tacoma WA. He died in ?1961/62? He was married to his second wife, Mary Spitler Campbell and had 3 more kids, my Mom-Dorothy Marie Campbell, Archibald Campbell, and Donald Campbell. My Mother and her siblings are all past. How would I go about looking for history on my Grandfather. He was a long shoreman, and a bare-fisted fighter. Loved reading your site.

  • Clan Donald
    09/09/20 - 06:30

    From the Mc/MacDonad perspective, it was not only Glencoe, but many, many other decisions by Clan Campbell wherein they consistently allied themselves with the English against their own countrymen. It is disturbing. Many, many of Clan Donald, especially Jacobite Catholics were put to sword. Complicit genocide against one own’s Scottish Highland brethren over hundreds of years tends to breed resentment. Time has revealed these decisions to have been even more diabolical, nefarious and calculating. But, it is hard to be kind upon review, especially when your own family suffered greatly through the generations. Glencoe was a betrayal of good will extended by Clan Donald. Slaughtering your hosts in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter showed the depths an overly ambitious and twisted family/Clan had sunk. Its evil reverberates still.

    My grandfather and father would say only half jokingly, “Ne’er trust a Campbell!” Our ancestors, our family, especially because of our fealty to the Catholic faith, barely escaped death. That should never have happened. it is not funny. It is like joking about a concentration camp. One of my best friends is a Campbell, but, even he, agrees it is a stain that like Lady Macbeth’s “spot” is tough to contemplate. Even now, it makes the virtuous stomach heave. God bless those poor souls and God bless the Clan Donald and Clan Campbell. I hope Scotland can find a way to right the wrongs of the past. Maybe the Campbells and the rest of Scotland can find the guts to vote for independence…soon and very soon this time. That would atone for a lot.

  • Jonathan Hardy
    09/09/20 - 23:00

    I am English but have a Scottish name (Hardy).When I used to visit Scotland with my Scottish friends some pubs still had signs saying “no Campbells served).Also some Scotsmen were still belligerent towards the English.

  • barbara campbell
    22/11/20 - 21:05

    I am a desent of colon the gray campbell.

  • jeannie furey
    25/11/20 - 21:37

    regarding t comment left by Clan Donald
    09/09/20 – 06:30…..

    Amen to a well put and necessary tribute for the disdain and appropriate reminder that, no matter how any particular incident may be explained, it is the totality of actions that evidenced the true nature that the Campbell Clan became, voluntarily, infamous for.

    I would most definitely agree that the right thing to do is ask for God’s blessing upon the clan, as well as was asked for the MacDonalds…but precisely for the instruction, whether read from a protestant or catholic bible, that we are divinely told how to handle our ire, angst, and other self defeating attitudes, by praying for our enemies. The best retribution, which punishes, corrects, heals and restores, can not be as thorough as God’s.

    Besides, as far as human being go, we have such unrealistic forecasting skills in the world which best friends and even family are more inclined to support actions that avoid conflict or disharmony for the occasional situation when a lone, yet courageous individual recognizes a common yet unjust act or procedure cross their path and decide to speak up. Principles are worth upholding because they guard what constitutes value.

    We……the living……all matter. With the world’s history at our disposal to learn from, and all the opportunities to make this world a better place, truth must be held the only standard. What was wrong was wrong. To consider any excuse or reason to allow tragedy, betrayal, and undue privilege when it carries an unjust power to survive at the cost of other humans would be a lunacy worthy of making a bad joke about a good reason to want a new and improved version of the Spanish Inquisition…my sense of humor may be twisted, but I assure my fellow humans that our fallacies must be seriously considered at every bold statement made to inspire great caution when addressing the atrocities that humans have suffered at the hands of others.

    Thank you “Clan Donald”. (Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Few people realize how unqualified they are to even be tested. Until one is put in the position to enjoy benefit, use power and influence for good, how can the eventual compromises they will eventually be forced to consider in the face of not being able to ‘help’ in the future when the position is taken from them for not cooperating possibly be forcasted and avoided? Well, I hope saying that little thought might help. We are all in this together.)

  • Tim Campbell
    16/03/21 - 19:01

    Regarding the comment made by Sandra Zaninovich 19/01/18 – 22:48.
    My wife experienced the opposite of the experience Sandra described. We were vacationing in Scotland in the summer of 2017. My wife was making a purchase at a shop in the town of Portree on the Isle of Skye. She was chatting pleasantly with the shopkeeper until she handed over her credit card. Suddenly the shopkeeper’s face went dark. My wife sensing the change, commented “you must not like the Campbell’s very much” to which the shopkeep replied “we hate you”! Her demeanor never changed and she never said anything after that. My wife gathered her purchases and hurried out of the shop. Old feelings do still indeed run deep in certain areas of the highlands.

  • Tim Campbell
    16/03/21 - 19:43

    Adding further details regarding the comments made by Colin Campbell 31/10/18 – 23:19
    The so called “Campbells” who massacred the MacDonalds in Glencoe were not there for the purpose of carrying out clan warfare. This was a military regiment led by a Campbell. There were other Campbells in the regiment, but many of the regiment members were from other clans. They were representing the King, not the Duke of Argyll, or any other Campbell household. The McDonald’s had failed to arrive at the right place by the prescribed deadline to swear fealty to the King of England and Scotland, and the Secretary of State of Scotland was determined to make an example of them. The regiment arrived ahead of their orders and were billeted in the McDonald’s homes, where they enjoyed the so called “hospitality” of the McDonald’s who had no choice in the matter as was the military custom of the time. The orders which finally came called for the execution of the clan chief and his family. The penalty for noncompliance was death for Robert Campbell the commanding officer. The letter still exists and you can read it for yourself. As has been noted, Robert Campbell was a weak man and might have taken his chances and defied the order, but he didn’t and carried it out, but had his pipers play a warning tune which allowed some of the McDonald’s to escape. Unfortunately being wintertime and a wilderness some of them subsequently froze to death. It’s a terrible tragedy but should be understood that it was not born out of clan rivalry, but rather was the order of an overzealous government official who eventually was found to have overreacted and lost his position. The blame has ever since been laid at the feet of the Campbell’s but it does not belong there, other than to resent the Campbell’s for siding with the government in supporting the 1707 Acts of Union which created Great Britian by backing the Scottish King’s ascent to the combined Kingdom’s throne and staying loyal to the crown throughout the Jacobite rebellions and beyond.

  • Tracie L.
    28/03/21 - 18:26

    I read in ‘McCutcheon’s from Donaghadee’, that the McCutcheon Clan was developed from the Campbell clan.

    Chapter 2: The Name McCutcheon: A Study: the Evolution of a name spanning 255 years:
    During the early part of 2009, Clan Donald USA published a detailed DNA report online. The 5th paragraph of the introductory page reads: (For some unknown reason their [the McCutcheon DNA] signature closely matches the Campbell chiefs).” Also from this report, “In the R1a group there is at least one Campbell, who joined to confirm or deny a possible Somerled connection.” 5

    Why the name digression from Campbell to M’Cutcheon? Colin McHuchone and his wife Katherine Campbell (who I believe were the progenitors of all McCutcheons) were probably first cousins and therefore could not legally marry in the eyes of the Catholic Church at that time. Any children that they produced would have been considered ‘illegitimate’ in the eyes of the church only. It is important to note here that the highland Clans did not consider any child to be illegitimate. They may even have been turned away or ostracized from the clan for a variety of reasons When that happened, as it often did in the old Clan dynasties, the offending son then took on the name of “son of…..” As will be seen later in this chapter, Colin tried to legitimize his 6 sons which seemed to have failed. And so the McCutcheon surname diverged from the Campbell surname and a new surname was invented.

    Any info. On this matter will be helpful.

  • Amanda new
    26/07/21 - 00:35

    Hello, that I know of from what my family has told me I’m from the Campbell clan but I want to know how I would be able to officially know if I’m actually from I Campbell clan??

  • Denis Campbell
    03/08/21 - 19:24

    The glencoe massacre was nothing to do with the campbell clan. It was initiated by Dalyrimple, scottish secretary. It was a company of redcoats, nothing to to with the campbell clan , except that the guy in charge of thr company was captain john campbell. The popular vetsion is a complete myth.

  • Diana R Holland
    02/12/21 - 03:01

    My ggg grandfather was William Barney Campbell b: July 11, 1824 in Kentucky. Per family Bible he died November 16, 1865. They had been living in Colbert County, Alabama. He married Charity Fowler Davis (widow). Before Colbert County they were in Fayetteville County. If anyone has any info about this line of the Cambell/Campbells, I am searching for Williams parents and info about his death. Charity and family ended up in Texas. Please email me at [email protected].

  • Tammy
    12/02/22 - 14:17

    I found this information very interesting. My birth father was Allen Campbell. Unfortunately I’ve never met him or his family. But my curiosity about my genetic history keeps me seeking new information about my natural heritage. Thank you for posting this.

  • Quinn
    14/03/22 - 19:18

    I find this so fascinating.

    My 7th great grandfather on my grandfather’s side was Sir James Patrick Campbell, 5th Baronet of Auchinbreck. The name Campbell continues to my 2nd great grandmother on my grandfather’s side, until she married a Parker.

    I also have Clans MacLellan, Wallace, Hamilton, Douglas, Kerr, Lindsay, and Home branching out from great grandparents. Some are as recent as 6th and 7th great grandparents; some are much further back. I wasn’t taught much about my ancestors or heritage, so I’ve had to discover all of it on my own, but finding all of this has been an incredible experience.

  • Mary E Miqueli
    15/03/22 - 02:53

    My great great grandmother’s name was Mary Campbel, my great grandfather was Archibald Baxter…does anyone know of the connection between the baxters and campbells?

  • Douglas Campbell
    14/04/22 - 18:30

    I’m a Campbell, 100% Scottish, Campbells came from Ireland, Scotts came from Ireland, we are not from England or France or Germany, we are Celtic and I am not catholic!. What is happening right now in Ukraine is what England did to Scotland, couldn’t beat our army so destroyed our civilians! I’m too old to fight for Ukraine but if i could I would!

  • Sherrie
    30/05/22 - 22:12

    This is very interesting! In my family tree there are marriages between Campbell and Lamont. There are common family feuds during this time between the clans. One that held no regard for the Highland customs is known as the “Dunoon Massacre” in 1646.
    Sir John Lamont, Chief, signed a written agreement with the Campbell leaders for surrender, assurance that their lives would be spared and the guarantee of safe passage. The agreement was disregarded by the Campbell leaders. Sir John Lamont was imprisoned in the castle, the Lamont properties were destroyed and hundreds were shot and hung.
    Sir John’s sister managed to escape, with the written surrender document. Eventually she presented her story, with proof, to the King. This along with other crimes resulted in the Earl of Argyll being beheaded for his treasonous behavior in 1661 in Edinburgh. The lands were restored to Sir John in 1663. There is a memorial, dedicated in 1906, commemorating the massacre in Dunoon.

  • Kristina Campbell
    08/06/22 - 07:53

    My mom was born in Scotland in 1955. Her father was Richard Patrick Campbell, grandmother Margaret Harley Simpson Yates Campbell. Born in Glasgow and Edinborough. Last lived on the Isle of Bute. I would love to know more about my Scottish family.

  • Charleene White Wyers
    09/08/22 - 06:02

    Hi my paternal grandmother was Marion McChreachy Campbell from Cambelltown Scotland.
    Her family immigrated to New Zealand.
    She married Charles William White from Kaponga New Zealand.
    I am researching the family on Ancestry

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