Select Cameron Miscellany

Here are some Cameron stories and accounts over the years:

How The Camerons Came to Lochaber

The following account of how the Camerons came to Lochaber was written by Dr. Archibald Cameron sometime around 1740.

"The first man who was called by the name of Cameron was much renowned for his feats in arms and his prodigious strength, a monument of which is still remaining near Achnacarry, the seat of Lochiel - namely a large stone of upwards of 500 pounds weight which he could hoist from the ground with a straight arm and toss it with as much ease as a man does a cricket-bat; a plough-share which he could bend round his leg like a garter; and the strongest ropes which were no more in his hands than twine-thread.  In short, he seems to have been a second Samson.

This man of might was so conscious of his strength and prowess that he thought no man upon earth was a match for him and accordingly he entered the lists with the most famous champions of that age.  In one of their combats, it seems that his antagonist handled him very roughly and with a violent blow of his fist set his nose awry.  From this accident he was always called Cameron, the knight of the wry-nose. 

The baron of Straborgig was willing to marry his daughter to our knight, because by this alliance he should get a brave bold man to head his people against the clan of MacDonalds of Glengarry who bordered on the Lochiel estate.

Our knight, whose courage never flinched in the greatest dangers, led on his men boldly and fought many bloody encounters with the MacDonalds,  The MacDonald then agreed that they would renounce all claim and pretense of right to such a certain district, containing about 500 acres of land, which shall be made over to the knight of the wry-nose and his heirs forever."

March of the Cameron Men

"There's many a man of the Cameron clan
That has followed his chief to the field.
He has sworn to support him or die by his side
For a Cameron never can yield.

I hear the pibroch sounding
sounding deep o'er the mountain and glen
While light springing footsteps are trampling the heath.
'Tis the march of the Cameron men.
'Tis the march, 'tis the march,
'Tis the march of the Cameron men.

Oh proudly they walk, but each Cameron knows
He may tread on the heather no more
But boldly he follows his chief to the field
Where his laurels were gathered before.

The moon has arisen, it shines on the path
Now trod by the gallant and true
High, high are the hopes, for their chieftain has said
That whatever men dare, they can do."

The Grave Site of Gentle Lochiel in France

In 1998 the grave site of Donald Cameron, the 19th chief of Lochiel, was found by Julian Hutchings, a Scottish businessman based in France.  The evidence had been obtained from a slip signed by Gentle Lochiel days before he died, giving permission for one of his soldiers to marry.  It is believed that Gentle Lochiel died of meningitis in a military hospital just days later.

The area that contains the grave is now a school playground and a memorial plaque has been mounted on the brick playground wall.  The memorial was put in place by Clan Cameron Association during a ceremony at which many Camerons attended.  As to whether Lochielís actual grave could be identified, it would depend on how many Protestants were buried in this separate section of what must have been the hospital graveyard in 1748.

Reader Feedback: Gentle Lochiel

Can you please correct the spelling of Cameron of Lochiel's town name in which he died in October 1748 as Bergues and not Bourges.  Bourges is to be found in the central Cher region of France and is nowhere near the northern Belgian border town of Bergues.  

Although I spent a lot of time and money investigating where our Gentle Lochiel died and was buried, I had in fact handed over the mission to someone who has become a fine friend of mine, Monsieur Jean Bonduelle from Armbouts-Cappel (a wee town next to Bergues).  He carried on the research work, reporting back to me his findings and in fact it was Jean who salvaged all of the archives attesting to the authenticity of Bergues as being Gentle Lochiel's last resting place.  It was a team effort if you like. 

Julian Hutchings (

Verney Cameron and Dr. Livingstone

By dogged determination, Verney Cameron had persuaded the Royal Geographic Society to use its surplus funds to form an expedition for him to find Dr. Livingstone and to put himself under his orders and to assist him wherever possible.

The Livingstone East Coast Africa Expedition thus began.  After much trouble in obtaining stores and hiring porters, the expedition set off for the interior on February 2, 1873.  Sadly, on October 20, a letter was received, written by Jacob Wainwright (one of Livingstone's African colleagues), stating that Livingstone had died and that his body was being taken to the coast.  A few days later, the body arrived at Unyanyembe and was received by Cameron with all the respect and honor he could muster.  It was Cameron who immediately sent word to Zanzibar of Livingstone's death for the world to know.

Cameron then made the decision to continue with his expedition and to explore Africa.  For the next two years and more, he trekked west through Tanganyika, the Belgian Congo, and Angola.  He was the first European to cross Africa from East to West and he discovered the source of the Congo among his various other achievements.  In April 1876, he returned to England after three years and four months to the sort of acclaim that had greeted Livingstone twenty years earlier.

Reader Feedback: Simon Cameron's Ancestry

Ship records show that Donald Cameron, aged 65, came to Philadelphia in Jully 1775 aboard the Clementia from Stornoway in Scotland.  His place of residence was given as Beauly.  With him came his two sons, John and Simon, and three grandchildren.  The story that this Donald had previously fought at Culloden, gone to America and fought with Wolfe in Canada, and then returned to Scotland seems unlikely.

Donald and his two sons settled in Donegal township in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania and farmed the church lands of the Donegal Presbyterian Church.  Simon and his brother John did both take the oath of allegiance and both have 1777 court records of being fined for not marching when called.  Both fines were dropped when Simon said: "I have just come to this country and speak only Gaelic and my wife recently died, leaving me four small children to care for."

Simon's son Charles, born in Scotland, grew and married Martha Pfoutz and had several children, one of whom was to become Senator Simon Cameron and Lincoln's Secretary for War.  Charles was not very good in business and had to have a sheriff's sale.  Charles eventually put his children in foster homes and Simon was placed with an affluent doctor who gave him a good education.

Mordecai Cameron, born in America, was another son of Simon's by a different wife.   For a time Mordecai stayed close to his half brother Charles but then decided to move West, through Virginia to Ohio.

Virgil Cameron (

Piedmont Plantation: The Bennehen-Cameron Family and Lands in North Carolina

Jean Anderson's 1993 book Piedmont Plantation: The Bennehen-Cameron Family and Lands in North Carolina detailed the public and private lives of the family patriarchs Richard Bennehen and Duncan Cameron, both of whom settled separately in western North Carolina in the late 18th century. 

Bennehen came to North Carolina from Virginia in the 1770's as a store owner and in short order developed extensive land holdings.  Duncan Cameron also came to North Carolina from Virginia, but twenty years later in the 1790's.  Cameron settled in North Carolina as a lawyer, but also became a planter.  In 1803 he married Richard Bennehen's daughter Rebecca.

Jean Anderson recorded the following Cameron graves at the cemetery in Mangum township:
- Anne Owen Nash Cameron (1753-1825)
- Duncan Cameron (1777-1853)
- Rebecca Bennehen Cameron (1778-1843)
- William Ewen Cameron (1792-1827)
The Bennehen and Cameron family plantation ventures gradually merged into one of the largest plantations in North Carolina, with accumulated land holdings in excess of 30,000 acres and more than 1,000 slaves living and working on the land.  Their main holding was the Stagville plantation (still preserved) in Durham county.

Two male offspring, Thomas Bennehen and Paul Cameron, also figured prominently in Anderson's book.  Paul Cameron was reputedly the richest man in North Carolina by the time of the outbreak of the Civil War.  

Camerons on the Blenheim to New Zealand

Head of Family
wife and two children
engineer's assistant
wife and three children

wife and six children
Donald laborer wife and ten children
Dugald laborer wife and three children
wife and eleven children

wife and seven children


The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada

As early as 1905 the local Scottish community in Winnipeg began lobbying the Government to raise a Highland regiment.  Four years later, prospective officers met and committees dealing with finances, uniforms and the band were formed.  As the Government grant did not cover the entire cost of uniforms and equipment, the Scottish societies and the officers undertook to raise the money themselves.  Almost all of the original accoutrements, including their kilts, were manufactured in Scotland.

In 1910 the 79th Cameron Highlanders of Canada (or, for short, Camerons) were officially gazetted and received its first stand of Colours, presented by Mrs D. C. Cameron, the wife of the Honorary Lieutenant Colonel.

The Camerons saw action in both World Wars and remains a fighting force today.  The regiment parades at Minto Armoury in Winnipeg on Tuesday nights from the last week of August to the second week of June.

Clyde Cameron's Upbringing

Clyde Cameron was born not long after the birth of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and, in a fundamental sense by the time of his death in 2008, he had outlived it by some years.

He not only died a socialist, he was virtually born a socialist.  He was the eldest of four sons of a remarkable woman who taught her boys from their earliest days that the working class deserved a better deal from society.  Not the least remarkable thing about Adelaide Cameron was that she crossed the social boundaries to champion the working-class cause.  She had lived her first two decades as a privileged daughter of a grazier near Quorn in South Australia.  When she married Robert Cameron, a shearer who worked from time to time at her family's property, her father saw this as a betrayal of her class and for many years dismissed her from his life.

Adelaide Cameron was a woman of redoubtable energy and high intelligence.  She did most of the work around the farm as well as in the house and in the evenings she would read to her children; not fairytales or adventure stories but extracts from her favourite authors: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill or Bertrand Russell.  Meal times were for nourishing the mind as well as the body.  The table talk was usually about politics or economics.  Of the four brothers, Clyde was the most ardent debater.  His path in life was already being marked out.

Clyde left school at 14 on the eve of the Great Depression, a social disaster that was to reinforce all his mother had taught him about the deficiencies of capitalism.

David Cameron's Pedigree

David Cameron the Tory leader, sometimes thought of as a toff from Eton, has in fact a family ancestry from the Scottish Highlands.

James Cameron (1776-1865) and Margaret of Croy and Dalcross, Invernessshire.
- William Cameron (born 1806) and Catherine of Croy and Dalcross, Invernessshire.
- Sir Ewen Cameron (1841-1908).  He married Josephine Houchen in 1878.
  He was an accountant by training and rose to become the head of the HSBC bank in London.
- Ewen Allan Cameron (1880-1937).  He married Rachel Geddes in 1905.
  He was a senior partner in the stockbroker firm of Panmure Gordon and also an important international
- Donald Cameron (died in 1958), who married Enid Levita, and Ian Donald Cameron (born in 1932), who
  married Mary Mount, were his grandfather and father. 
  Both worked for the stockbroker firm of Panmure Gordon.
- David Cameron, born in London in 1966.

Through other lines David Cameron is a direct descendant of Queen Victoria's uncle William IV and his mistress Dorothea Jordan and he is also related through his grandmother to the statesman and author Duff Cooper, the TV presenter Adam Hart-Davis, and the journalist and writer Duff Hart-Davis.  David's wife Samantha is a direct descendant of Nell Gwynn, mistress to Charles II.

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