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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Cochran family come from? What is the Scottish Cochran family crest and coat of arms? When did the Cochran family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Cochran family history?

The Strathclyde-Briton people of ancient Scotland were the first to use the name Cochran. The Cochran family lived in Renfrewshire, where they took on the name of the lands of Cochrane in the parish of Paisley, near Glasgow. This place name is of uncertain derivation, perhaps stemming from the Welsh word "coch," meaning "red."

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The variation in the spelling of Medieval names is a result of the lack of spelling rules in the English language prior to the last few hundred years. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound, often varying the spelling of name within a single document. Cochran has appeared as Cochrane, Cochran, Cocrane, Cocran, Cochren, Cockram, Cockran, Cockren and many more.

First found in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Frił), a historic county of Scotland, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland, where the first record of the name was Waldeve de Coueran, who was witness to a charter issued by Dugal, son of Syfyn, to Walter Stewart, fifth Earl of Menteith, regarding several lands in Kintyre. William de Coughran of Lanark swore an oath of allegiance to King Edward I of England during his short conquest of Scotland in 1296. Walter Cochrane was the first record of the more popular spelling used today in 1262. His son William Cochrane, the second chief of the Clan, also rendered homage to King Edward I in 1296.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cochran research. Another 231 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1482, 1600, 1669, 1605, 1685, 1707, 1669, 1683, 1690, 1691, 1778, 1659, 1717, 1708 and 1713 are included under the topic Early Cochran History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 195 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cochran Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Cochran family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 51 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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As the persecution of Clan families continued, they sailed for North America in increasing numbers. In most cases, they found the freedom and opportunity they sought. Land was often available and the American War of Independence allowed Scots an opportunity to solidify their independence from the English crown. These settlers and their ancestors went on to play essential roles in the forging of the nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Cochran Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • John Cochran, who arrived in New England in 1717
  • Ann Cochran, a Scotch-Irish settler, who came to New Hampshire in 1722
  • Barbary Cochran, who landed in New England in 1732
  • George Cochran, who was on record in Pennsylvania in 1765
  • James Cochran, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766


Cochran Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Robert Cochran, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Agnes Cochran, aged 28, arrived in New York, NY in 1804
  • Elizabeth Cochran, aged 24, landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1804
  • Charles Cochran, aged 24, landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1804
  • Alexr Cochran, aged 36, landed in New York, NY in 1804


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  • Jacqueline Cochran (1910-1980), pioneer American aviator, considered to be one of the most gifted racing pilots of her generation
  • Alexander Gilmore Cochran (1846-1928), US Congressman from Pennsylvania
  • Barbara Cochran (b. 1951), Olympic gold medal skier
  • Gregory Cochran (b. 1953), American physicist and professor
  • Johnnie Cochran (1937-2005), American attorney-at-law
  • Thomas C. Cochran (1877-1935), US Congressman from Pennsylvania
  • Colonel Phiolip Gerald Cochran (1910-1979), officer in the United States Army Air Corps
  • Charles B. Cochran (1873-1951), English stage actor and theatrical manager
  • Julian Cochran (b. 1974), Australian composer
  • Maxine Cochran (1926-2014), Canadian politician, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia (1984-1988), Minister of Transportation in 1985, first female cabinet minister in Nova Scotia


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  • The Cochrans of Horseshoe Bend by Katherine Hedges Evers.
  • Early Cochran Marriages, 1600-1899 by Larry and Cynthia Cochran Scheuer.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtute et labore
Motto Translation: By valour and exertion.

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Cochran Clan Badge
Cochran Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...

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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  6. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  7. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Cochran Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cochran Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 July 2014 at 15:53.

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