Paul Campbell is a Scottish armiger by virtue of his father's 2009 matriculation of arms granted in memory of ancestor Jabez Campbell, his 4th great grandfather, who was born in New York when it was a British colony. Research into further ancestry is complicated by a paucity of primary sources, but descent is thought to be from a clansman who fought during Argyll’s Scottish campaign of Monmouth's Rebellion and fled after its failure. The decision to petition for a grant of arms was made by Paul; his father, Theodore Campbell; and a cousin, Robert Campbell. Design decisions were made by consensus.
In Scots heraldry, differencing from a chief’s coat of arms is the normal route for a clansman’s new grant, and for the surname Campbell that is gyronny of eight Or and Sable. A fess was chosen for differencing because it provided a canvas onto which charges could be added. According to the research of Alastair Campbell of Airds, Maconochy of Rathmore, who claimed descent from Campbells of Inverawe, first differenced a Campbell gyronny with a fess during the reign of King George III, and then the fess does not so appear again until the 20th century.
Jabez Campbell was a lifelong farmer, so an agricultural theme suggested itself to his descendants for charging his arms. For the shield, two garbs were chosen, one for each branch requesting arms. Or being a logical tincture, a colour was needed for the fess, and Vert was chosen. Only one other set of Campbell arms includes garbs, that of the English arms of Archibald Mitchell Campbell whose coat has two garbs Or but on a chief Azure.
Lyon Sellar granted Jabez Campbell the submitted design calling it "appropriate and suitably uncomplicated:" gyronny of eight Or and Sable on a fess Vert two garbs Or. Theodore Campbell matriculated with a difference of a crescent Argent betweens the garbs, and Robert Campbell received a further differencing of a bordure Or. The motto PREVAIL is used by both Jabez Campbell and Theodore Campbell as both recognition of past achievements and encouragement going forward. Robert Campbell answers in the Scottish fashion with PREVAIL IN WAR AND PEACE in recognition of his Civil War ancestor, a Union Army soldier. As an heir, Paul Campbell bears his father’s arms with a label of three points on the coat.
Paul Campbell keeps a busy schedule of heraldry, being active in the New York City heraldry circle, conducting research, and writing occasional articles. He is a member of a number of organizations including the Clan Campbell Society #North America#, the American College of Heraldry (as a Governor), the Fellowship of the White Shield (Founding Fellow), the College of Arms Foundation (Director), and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (Heraldry Committee member). From 2008-11, he was the Editor of the quarterly Journal of the Clan Campbell Society (North America). In 2011, he edited Sir Ilay Campbell's book Some Campbell Heraldic Bookplates.
Arms painted by Andrew Stewart Jamieson.