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Calhoun Name Study

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Surname/tag: Colquhoun, Colhoun, Calhoun
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This is a One Name Study to collect together in one place everything about one surname and the variants of that name. The hope is that other researchers like you will join our study to help make it a valuable reference point for people studying lines that cross or intersect. Please contact the project leader, add categories to your profiles, add your questions to the bulletin board, add details of your name research, etc.


Name Variations

Recorded in over fifty spelling forms including Cahun, Calhoun, Colquhoun, Colqueran, and Colhoun, this famous surname is of Scottish origins, but is also widely recorded in Northern Ireland. It is locational and originates from a place known as the "Lands of Colquhoun" in the county of Dumbarton.

Surnames regarded as septs (sub-branch) of the Colquhoun clan include Cowan, Ingram, King, MacCowan and MacManus.


Origin of Name

Origins of the clan

The lands of the Clan Colquhoun were on the shores of Loch Lomond.[1] During the reign of Alexander II of Scotland, Umphredus de Kilpatrick received from Malduin, Earl of Lennox, the estates of Colquhoun, Auchentorily and Dumbuck. The Clan Colquhoun chief's early stronghold was at Dunglass Castle, which is perched on a rocky promontory by the River Clyde Dunglass was also close to the royal Dumbarton Castle, of which later chiefs of Clan Colquhoun were appointed governors and keepers.

The chief's title was that of the Barony of Luss which came to the Colquhouns when Sir Robert of Colquhoun married the heiress of the Lord of Luss in about 1368.[1][2]

Throughout the following centuries nameholders continued to pay a major part in Scottish history. For instance in the early 17th century as ironfounders they were employed by the King Gustavus of Sweden to cast cannon for his army, and it is said that under the spellings of Cahun and Cahund, they are still resident in Sweden. [3]

the Americans have invented their own spellings, and these include John Caldwell Calhoun (1782 - 1850), Vice-President of the USA in 1840.[3]

Coloquhoun Center

A Colquhoun clan centre has been opened in Luss, on the banks of Loch Lomond.[4]

The Colquhoun clan motto is "Si je puis" which means "If I can".[4]

Calhoun Settlers in the United States

In the 17th Century:
In the 18th Century:
  • William Calhoun immigrated 1795-1798
In the 19th Century"
  • William Calhoun immigrated 1805
  • Samuel Calhoun immigrated 1805
  • Jean Calhoun immigrated 1805
  • John Calhoun immigrated 1805
  • Altar Calhoun aged 49, immigrated in 1812

Contemporary Notables

In progress



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Way, George and Squire, Romily. Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. (Foreword by The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin KT, Convenor, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). Published in 1994. Pages 108 - 109.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wikipedia: Clan Colquhoun
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Read more: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Colquhoun#ixzz3zOmVQFdG Surname: Colquhoun]
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Colquhoun Clan History

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