'Cameron01'Index links to: Lead / Letter
Families covered: Cameron of Ballegarno, Cameron of Cameron (Cambrun)

As with so many other families, the origins of the Camerons are obscure but there is no shortage of suggestions. Some say that they descended from a younger son of Camchron (of Cambro), a (minor) king in Denmark; others that they descended from an early Earl of Fife (this latter idea possibly coming because an early line of the family held Ballegarno and there was a well-known property of that name in Fife - however, the Ballegarno owned by this family appears to have been a different one in Angus). There seems to be general agreement that the basic pedigree is secure from Donald Dhu, described below as the 11th Chief, but BLG1952 (Cameron of Lochiel) starts with John 'Ochterly', 8th Chief. Mackenzie starts with ...
Angus, 1st Chief (d c1020)
m. Marion (dau of Kenneth, Thane of Lochaber, sister of Bancho)
1. Gillespick (Archibald), 2nd Chief (a 1057)
  A. John Cameron (de Cambrun), 3rd Chief (a temp David I who r. 1124-1153)
  (1) Various web sites show John and his successors (until John, 8th Chief) as 'de Cambrun' rather than Cameron. That may well have been how he was known at the time but we follow Mackenzie who starts using Cameron as the family name from this John although he does mention that the following Robert was known as Robert Cambron and then reports that his eldest son was referred to as 'John de Cambrun' and his younger sons as 'de Cambron'. Douglas starts using 'Cameron' with John's father, Gillespick. BLG1952 does not start doing so until Ewen, 13th Chief.
(2) Note that the dates suggest that a generation or two may have been missed out around this part of the pedigree.
  i. Robert Cameron, 4th Chief (d early temp Alexander II who r 1214-1249)
  Mackenzie mentions that the following John is designated Sir John in 1250 but adds that he died in the reign of Alexander II who died in 1249. This minor discrepancy adds to the concern expressed by Mackenzie (p12, note) that Dugdale cannot be fully relied on at this point, mentioning a report that "the earlier generations ... were not of the Lochiel family, but belonged to the family of Camerons of Balligarnoch, in Perthshire". Having taken into account various comments in various web sites, we are not convinced that Mackenzie was right to follow Dugdale in showing this Robert as father of John 5th (and of Robert "said by some, but, we think, erroneously, to have been the progenitor of the Camerons of Stone" and of Hugh or Ewen) with John 5th being shown as father of Sir Robert 6th (a 1296) father of John 7th (a 1320) father of John 'Ochtery' 8th. The following is an attempt to show the relationship between the Camerons of Ballegarno, thought to have been the senior line that died out in the 14th/15th century, and the line that led to the later Camerons of Lochiel. It has NOT been proved and should be viewed as speculative.
a. Sir Robert Cameron of Ballegarno, 5th Chief (Sheriff of Atholl ?)
  (1) John Cameron of Ballegarno, 6th Chief
  (A) John Cameron or Cameron of Ballegarno, 7th Chief§D
Provisionally, we show this John as the John Cameron who signed the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320. However, the uncertainty on these generations make it not impossible that the signatory was the John shown below as father of the 8th Chief.
  (i) Jean Cameron (d before 03.1383)
  m. Nicholas Erskine of Kinnoull (d before 12.1406)
  (ii) Margaret Cameron --
  m. John Halyburton of Dirleton (d after 1402) --
  b. Sir John Cameron
  (1) Sir Robert Cameron (a 1296)
  (A) John Cameron
  (i) John 'Ochtery' Cameron, 8th Chief (a 1357) - continued below
  m. Elaine Mowat (or de Montealto)
  (2) John de Cameron (a 1296)
  B. Angus
  i. Martin "progenitor of the family of Letterfinlay"



John 'Ochtery' Cameron, 8th Chief (a 1357) - continued above
m. Elaine Mowat (or de Montealto)
1. Allan (MacOchtery) Cameron, 9th Chief
  m. ?? Drummond (possibly dau of Malcolm Drummond, 1st of Strobhall, niece (not daughter) of Queen Annabella)
  Dugdale shows Allan succeeded by his son, Archbishop & Chancellor John ('10th'), shown as father (by Helen Mowat) of Alan ('11th') father (by Marian, dau of Angus/Aeneas, heir of John, Earl of Ross by Mary, dau of Colin, Earl of Argyle) of John (younger) & Ewen ('12th') father of Donald Duff (Dubh) ('13th'). The last 2 generations are omitted by Mackenzie & BLG1952 except that Mackenzie shows Archbishop John as brother of Ewen & Donald Dubh. Henceforth, Dugdale numbers the Chiefs 2 more than BLG1952 & Mackenzie, whom we follow. Further disagreements in later generations, apparently caused by Dugdale (or an earlier source) confusing the generations, vary that numbering difference. We stop reporting Dugdale at this point.
A. Ewen Cameron, 10th Chief (dsp)
  B. Donald Dhu (or Dubh) Cameron, 11th Chief (a 1411)
  m. _ MacMartin (dau/heir of MacMartin of Letterfinlay)
  It appears that, because of this connection and because the MacMartins are a sept of Clan MacGillonies, the Camerons are sometimes reported to have been descended from that clan.
  i. Alan Cameron, 12th Chief (a 1472)
  m. Mariot Macdonell (dau of Angus Macdonell)
a. Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, 13th Chief (d 1547)
  m1. _ Macdonald (dau of Celestine Macdonald of Lochalsh)
  m2. Marjorie Mackintosh (dau of Lachlan Mackintosh)
  b. John Cameron ancestor of Camerons of Callart (Caluart)
  c. daughter
  m. Alastair 'Crottach' Macleod, 8th Chief (d 1547)
  d. daughter
  m. Alan Stewart, 3rd of Appin (d c1562)
  e. daughter
  ii. Ewen Cameron probably progenitor of the 'MacGillonie' Camerons of Strone
  iii. daughter
  m. Donald Macdonell, 3rd of Kepoch (d 1496)
  C. John Cameron, Archbishop of Glasgow, Chancellor of Scotland (d 1446)

Main source(s): 'History of the Camerons' (Alexander Mackenzie, 1884, p9+), Douglas's 'Baronage of Scotland' (1798, 'Cameron of Lochyell') and, for the lower section, BLG1952 ('Cameron of Lochiel')
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