Author Topic: Camphall of Argyll  (Read 15965 times)

Danny Thompson

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Camphall of Argyll
« on: May 11, 2010, 02:57:32 AM »
what connection have we to the Camphall of Argyll, if any?
A book I have on clan tartans show in the index that the Thompson's,Thomsons
where a Sept of the Camphall of Argyll.
The book is ' the Clans and Tartans of Scotland ' by Robert Bain.
is there any evidence to show this?
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Stirling Thompson

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Re: Camphall of Argyll
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2010, 05:14:09 AM »
Danny, The short answer would be that there is no connection. However, you should bear in mind that Thom(p)son is a patronymic name so wherever there was a Thomas there was a potential for a Thom(p)son. To be a sept of another clan meant that the surname lived under the protection and obeyed the orders of the chief of that clan rather than the head of their own family. Certainly there were Thom(p)sons living in Argyll (these being the ones MacTavish claim as well) that met the criteria for being a sept of Clan Campbell but they were few in number. The Thom(p)sons were much more numerous in the borders and Lothian and were a never Campbell sept, and were in fact a recognized clan in Acts of the Scottish Parliament in 1584 and 1597. Also, Clan MacTavish was considered to be a Campbell sept until 1997 when Lord Lyon recognized Dougald as Chief of the Name and Clan MacTavish (only MacTavish not Thom(p)son). Hope this helps.
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Michael Thompson

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Re: Camphall of Argyll
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010, 07:54:15 PM »
Danny, Stu is right; it's mostly a matter of numbers. Campbell is a Highland clan, dominant in Argyll, and there are a few sons of Thom who stem from that region as well. There was apparently one Thomson at least, from ancient times, and a few MacTavishes. MacTavish is an anglicized version of the Gaelic name which also means son of Thom.

But statistically, the vast majority of Thom(p)sons were lowlanders, from nowhere near Argyll. And as Stu says, it's a patronymic, meaning anyone whose father was named Thom or Thomas could have taken the name as a family name at some point when it became popular to do so. So lots of Thomsons and Thompsons arose with no actual relation to each other. Only a few of them had any relation to Campbell or Argyll. But some of those few like to pretend that all these numerous Thomsons are part of their clan, and the people who sell clan crest jewelry and such have taken to using Campbell imagery in their products, fooling a lot of people into thinking they were related to Campbell. Many of these commercial outfits peddle a lot of claptrap in the name of family history.

So it's vaguely possible you are related to somebody who hung out with the Campbells, but it's a lot more likely your people came from the border areas. There are even a lot of Thompsons in Ireland, specifically in Country Antrim, where it's a common name. It takes research to find the exact connection.
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