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Origins of the Campbell surname

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What does the name Campbell mean?

Campbell is a Scottish surname (where it is still the 7th most prevalent surname), also found in Ireland due to the colonisation of the island by Scots in the 1600s and 1700s. Campbell is derived from the Gaelic 'cam beul' (crooked mouth) and is thought to have come about as a nickname and refer to the descendants of somebody who had this particular feature, potentially an early chief of the Campbell clan. The surname Campbell could also be used by those who had no blood relation but lived on or near the lands of the clan, to show their duty towards their liege lord.

Alternative variations of the name Campbell

Campbell, Camble, Campbill, Cambell, Campbel

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

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Where do most Campbells live?

In 1921, most Campbells lived in London.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Campbells

How common is your surname?

77th most common surname in the UK

We have 391,000 records for the Campbell surname. The oldest one dates back to 1100.

Who were Campbells most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Campbells.

What are the most common Campbell first names?

  • John
  • James
  • Mary
  • Margaret

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Campbell family members

Common jobs for Campbells

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Campbells in 1921
Domestic Servant








General Servant


Common Male occupations for Campbells in 1921
Coal Miner




General Labourer






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