Blazons & Genealogy Notes
Gu. a pelican in her piety ar. on a chief az. a fleur-de-lis or.
Gu. a pelican in her piety ar. on a chief az. a fleur-de-lis or.
This attractive and unusual name has three possible origins. The first of these is of Norman (French) origin, introduced after the invasion of 1066, and is a surname formed from the Old Norman French nickname “cammus, camois”, which means “the snub-nosed one”, from the Old French “camus”, which means short, smooth nose, pug-nose. The first record of the surname from this origin is that of Adam Le Camhus, in the 1256 Assize Rolls of Northumberland. The second possible origin of the name is also a Norman introduction, and is a metonymic professional surname for a shirt manufacturer, acquired from the Old Norman French “camise, kemise”, Old French “chemise”, which means shirt, used by men and women, and mentioning also priest’s surplices and herald’s robes. The first documentation from this origin is Bartholomew le Camisur (1282, Berkshire). Finally, the new surname, appeared as Cammis, Camis, Cammish, Camous, Camoys, Camus, Kemmis and Keemish, may be geographical from “Campeaux” in Calvados, Normandy. The recording below is from this origin. One Emot Cammish named in October 1612 at Filey in Yorkshire.
More common variations are: Camuso, Camous, Cameus, Camusi, Camues, Cammus, Camuse, Camuse, Camuss, Caymus, Camaus
The surname Camus first appeared in Provence where this distinguished family held a family seat from old times.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Stephen de Cameis, dated about 1200, in the “Northamptonshire Pipe Rolls.” It was during the time of King John who was known to be the “Lackland,” dated 1199 – 1216. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.
Many of the people with surname Camus had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
Some of the people with the name Camus who arrived in the United States in the 18th century included Antoine Camus at the age of 41, settled in Louisiana in 1719. Antoine Camus, aged 41, landed in Louisiana in 1719.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Camus: France 17,230; Philippines 8,056; Chile 7,591; Peru 1,696; United States 1,051; Spain 998; Mexico 916; Argentina 866; Belgium 527; Morocco 470.
Aimée Antoinette Camus (1879–1965), was a French biologist and daughter of Edmond Gustave Camus.
Albert Camus (1913–1960), was a French writer, scholar, and journalist, often regarded simply as “Camus.”
Armand-Gaston Camus (1740–1804), was a French Revolutionary leader.
Charles-Étienne-Louis Camus (1699–1768), was a French mathematician and mechanical engineer.
Chico Camus (born 1985), was a U.S. bantamweight mixed martial artist.
Edmond Gustave Camus (1852–1915), was a French pharmacologist and biologist. He was also the father of Aimée Antoinette Camus.
Elisabeth Camus (born ?), was a French cyclist.
Émile Le Camus (1839–1906), was a French Catholic priest, scholar, and scripture.
Étienne Le Camus (1632–1707), was a French cardinal.
Fabien Camus (born 1985), is a Tunisian football player.
François Joseph des Camus (1672–1732), was a French mechanic.
Giulio Camus (1847–1917), was a French biologist and entomologist.
Albert Camus often referred to as Camus, a French Nobel Prize–winning writer, commentator, and scholar.
Jean-Pierre Camus de Pontcarré (1584–1652), was a French priest and author.
Jules-Alexandre Duval Le Camus (1817–1878), was a French historical and scriptural artist, son of Pierre Duval Le Camus.
Louis-Camus Destouches (1668–1726), was a French ordnance officer.
Manuel Camus (1875–1949), was a Philippine advocate and leader.
Marcel Camus (1912–1982), was a French film director and Golden Palm winner.
Mario Camus (born 1935), was a Spanish composer and film director.
Matilde Camus (1919–2012), was a Spanish poet, writer, and researcher.
Nicolas Le Camus de Mézières (1721–1789), was a French builder and theoretician.
Philippe Camus (writer) (c. 15th-century), was a French author and biographer.
Pierre Duval Le Camus (1790–1854), was a French genre and portrait painter, father of Jules-Alexandre Duval Le Camus.
The two main devices (symbols) in the Camus blazon are the pelican in her piety and fleur-de-lis. The two main tinctures (colors) are azure and argent.
The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36.
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 4A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.
The pelican is often associated with parenthood and “devoted and self sacrificing charity”. 5The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P77-78 It is almost always shown with its young in their nest (in its piety) or pricking its breast in readiness to feed its young with its own blood (vulning herself. 6A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pelican
The fleur-de-lys (“flower of the lily”) has a long and noble history and was a symbol associated with the royalty of France even before heraldry became widespread. 7Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3. The Lily flower is said to represent “Purity, or whiteness of soul”8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134 and sometimes associated with the Virgin Mary. The fleur-de-lys is also used as a small “badge”, known as a mark of cadency to show that the holder is the sixth son of the present holder of the arms 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure|
|2.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36|
|3.||↑||Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53|
|4.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11|
|5.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P77-78|
|6.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pelican|
|7.||↑||Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3|
|8.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134|
|9.||↑||A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489|