Campbell diagrams describe the variation with speed of the modes of low amplitude (linear) free vibration of a rotordynamic system about its static equilibrium condition, and are an important tool that aids the interpretation of the nonlinear response. However, Campbell diagrams for foil-air bearing (FAB) rotor systems are currently derived using the linear force coefficients (FC) method and individual modes have not been verified by transient nonlinear dynamic analysis (TNDA) at low amplitudes. In fact, significant discrepancies between FC and TNDA predictions for the stability of the leading (i.e. least damped) mode have been reported. This paper establishes for the first time a method for deriving Campbell diagrams of a generic FAB-rotor model that avoids the FC method. It is based on an eigenvalue analysis of the Jacobian matrix of the dynamical system. Through suitable scaling and the application of appropriate criteria, the multitude of eigenvectors of the Jacobian can be filtered to extract the relevant modes. Each mode is verified using TNDA with mode-specific initial conditions derived from the Campbell diagram analysis. The methodology is successfully tested on three cases in the literature, which respectively illustrate its applicability to complex bearing types (3-pad), complex foil models, and flexible rotors.