While there is not a definitive origin of the Cameron name, there are a few theories concerning where it may have come from.
One states that the family are descended from a young son of Camchron, a King of Denmark. However, a more likely explanation is that the first clan chief, Donald Dubh, can trace his lineage back to either the Macgillonies or the Medieval family of Cameron of Ballegarno in Fife.
If the latter explanation is true, it is believed that Donald Dubh united a confederation of tribes which would go on to be Clan Cameron, if this was the case, the family would have originated around the beginning of the 15th century.
Chiefs of the Cameron family would become embroiled in the politics of the nation over the next few hundred years, no more so than during the Jacobite risings where the Cameron clan chiefs were big supports of the cause. In fact, it is believed that the 1745 Jacobite rising may not have even happened had the Clan Chief of Campbell, Donald Cameron of Lochiel, not given support to Bonnie Prince Charlie when he landed in Scotland in August of that year.
After the failure of the Jacobite rising at Culloden a year after, the Cameron’s lands were confiscated, and their houses burned. The Chief’s wooden house was destroyed during this attack and only ruins remain to this day.
The Cameron family would eventually have their estates returned in 1784 and a new house was built at Achnacarry – starting in 1802. The house still stands on the banks of the River Arkaig.