Campbell (surname)

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This article is about the surname Campbell. For other uses, see Campbell (disambiguation).
Family name
Campbell surname map.png
Campbell surname map
Region of origin Scotland
Footnotes: [1][2]

Campbell is primarily a Scottish family name of Gaelic origins.

In Scotland, the name itself derives from two Scottish Gaelic words. "Cam" and "Béal" meaning "Crooked mouth" or "wry-mouthed", originally a nickname which over time became used as a surname.[2]

Campbell is the 47th-most common surname in the United Kingdom,[3] including a significant number in Northern Ireland, largely as a result of the Plantation of Ulster when Scottish and English settlers came to the region. Within the United States, it is ranked as the 46th-most common surname.[4]

The most common Irish derivation is from the surname Mac Cathmhaoil. Descendants of a famous war-leader named Cathmhaoil took the surname, and was often pronounced as "Cammle". This coincidentally was the same pronunciation as the Scottish surname "Campbell". From this Irish surname, a number of derivations were arrived including MacCawill, McCaul, MacCall, Caulfield, and of course Campbell.[5]

Notable persons named Campbell[edit]

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See also[edit]


  1. ^ British surnames - origin
  2. ^ a b Partick Woulfe (March 2010). Irish Names and Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Com. ISBN 978-0-8063-0381-9. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  3. ^ British surnames
  4. ^ U.S. Census Bureau; "Frequently Occurring First Names and Surnames From the 1990 Census, (Table) Name Files dist.all.last"; published May 9, 1995; <>
  5. ^ Alastair Campbell (September 2000). A history of Clan Campbell. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 5–. ISBN 978-1-902930-17-6. Retrieved 15 March 2012.