The Ancient History of the Distinguished Surname Camp

Camp is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Camp family lived in Yorkshire. The name, however, is a reference to the area of Campe or Campes, Normandy, where the family lived prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The derivation of this location is from the Old French word camp, which means field. The chronicles of England, though sometimes shrouded by the mists of time, reveal from early records that the surname Camp was of Norman origin. The history of this name is interwoven into the colourful fabric of the history of Britain. Careful research by professional analysts using such ancient manuscripts as the Domesday Book (compiled in 1086 by William the Conqueror), the Ragman Rolls, the Wace poem, the Honour Roll of the Battel Abbey, The Curia Regis, Pipe Rolls, the Falaise Roll, tax records, baptismals, family genealogies, and local parish and church records, determined that the name Camp was first found in Yorkshire where they were seated from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. Many alternate spellings of the name were found. They were typically linked to a common root, usually one of the Norman nobles at the Battle of Hastings. Your name, Camp, occurred in many references, and from time to time, the surname included the spellings of Camp, Campe, and many more. Scribes recorded and spelled the name as it sounded. It was not unlikely that a person would be born with one spelling, married with another, and buried with a headstone which showed another. Sometimes preferences for different spelling variations were due to a division of the family, or, had religious or patriotic reasons. The ancestors of the family name Camp are believed to be descended originally from the Norman race. The Normans were commonly believed to be of French origin but, more accurately, they were of Viking origin. The Vikings, under their Jarl, Thorfinn Rollo, invaded France in about 911 A.D. After Rollo laid siege to Paris, the French King, Charles the Simple, finally conceded defeat, granting northern France to Rollo. Rollo became the first Duke of Normandy, and Duke William, who invaded and defeated England in 1066, was in fact descended from Rollo, the first Duke of Normandy. Duke William took a census of most of England in 1086, and recorded it in the Domesday Book. A family name capable of being traced back to this document, or to

Hastings, was a mark of honour for most families during the Middle Ages, and even to this day. The surname Camp emerged as a notable English family name in Yorkshire where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated at Skipton with manor and estates in that shire. A descendant of the original settler became Constable of Skipton between 1239 and 1244. Sir Martin de Camp Flore was a direct descendant from Le Camp Fleuri in Aumale in Normandy. Soon after, the family moved north to Greenlaw in Berwickshire, Scotland, and were granted lands by the King of Scotland. Nicholas Camp of Greenlaw rendered homage to King Edward I of England on his brief conquest of Scotland in 1296. Their estate Greenlaw was on Blackadder Water. Of note amongst the family at this time was Nicholas Camp of Greenlaw. The surname Camp contributed much to local politics and in the affairs of England or Scotland. During the 12th century many of these Norman families moved north to Scotland, following Earl David of Huntingdon who would become King of Scotland. Later, in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, England and Scotland were ravaged by religious and political conflict. The Monarchy, the Church and Parliament fought for supremacy. The unrest caused many to think of distant lands. Settlers in Ireland became known as the "Adventurers for land in Ireland." They "undertook" to keep the Protestant faith, and were granted lands previously owned by the Irish. The name Camp may well have arrived in Ireland with the "Cromwellian Aventurers for Land," in the 17th century. At that time, 1,000 acres of land was available to settlers in Ulster for £200, in Connaught for £300, and in Leinster for £600. The news and rumours of opportunites in the New World spread like wildfire. Many sailed aboard the fleet of sailing ships known as the "White Sails." In North America, immigrants who shared the family name Camp, or one of its spelling variations included Nicholas Camp who settled in New Haven in 1630; Mrs. Camp settled in Boston in 1769 with her daughter; Daniel, James, John, Joseph, Thomas, arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1875. From the port of arrival many settlers joined the wagon trains westward. During the American War of Independence some declared their loyalty to the Crown, moved northward into Canada and became known as the United Empire Loyalists. In recent history, notable bearers of the Camp surname include: David Lee Camp (b.1953) American politician; Colleen Camp (b.1953) American actress and film producer; Walter Chauncey Camp (1859-1925) American sports writer and football coach known as the "Father of American Football"; Hamilton Camp, British-born singer, songwriter, and actor; William Camp, Author and Communications Consultant; Dalton Camp (1920-2002) Canadian journalist and commentator; and Joachim Heinrich Campe (1746-1818) German educationist. In the process of researching this distinguished family name we also traced the most ancient grant of Coat of Arms from the branches which developed their own Arms. The most ancient grant of a Coat of Arms found was: Black with a chevron between two griffins heads. The Crest was: A griffin's head holding a branch of laurel. The coat of arms found for a bearer of the Camp surname did not include a motto. Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Published Genealogies for the name Camp "Camp, Jones, and Related Families of Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, Virginia, Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Points West" by Nell Jones Carter. "John Steel Camp and His Descendants" by Paul W. Camp and Paul K. Camp. Please note: We do not have these publications in our library. They come from the catalog of Genealogical titles in the collection of the Library of Congress. Most of these Genealogies were published by their authors, probably with one small print run. You can locate these publications through the Library of Congress (, or we would suggest trying to contact a library in the locale of publication (you may be able to use inter- library loan, through your local library).