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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada is thought to be the home of the ancestors of the Calhoun family. Their name comes from someone having lived in the former Aberdeenshire, derived from the Gaelic cil or cil, which means "nook" or "corner." Colquhoun is properly pronounced "Ko-hoon."


The surname Calhoun was first found in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), part of the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, formerly known as Forfar or Forfarshire where they held a seat at Luss and possessed vast manors and elegant estates. Although not formally recognized before the 11th century (the Clan system was not developed until the reign of King Malcolm Ceanmore and his second wife, Margaret) this Clan has a unified history that may well precede that time. It is believed that they occupied this area well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 AD. According to Clan tradition, the Calhoun Clan is descended from an early Celtic priest named St. Kessog who lived in Glen Luss, the Monks' Isle in Loch Lomond.

In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. Calhoun has appeared as Colquhoun, Colhoun, Colhoon, Cahoun, Cohoun, Cahoon, Cohoon, Culquhoun, Cahune, Cohune, Cowquhone, Colquhone, Culquhown, Cahoone, Calhoun, Kalhoun, Kulhoun, Kolhoun, Calhoon, Calloon, Culloone, Collune and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Calhoun research. Another 509 words (36 lines of text) covering the years 1241, 1602, and 1715 are included under the topic Early Calhoun History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early Calhoun Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the Calhoun family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 205 words (15 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Dalriadan families proliferated in North Ameri ca. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Calhoun or a variant listed above:

Calhoun Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • William Calhoun, who landed in America in 1795-1798

Calhoun Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Calhoun, who landed in America in 1805
  • Samuel Calhoun, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Jean Calhoun, who landed in America in 1805
  • John Calhoun, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Altar Calhoun, aged 49, landed in South Carolina in 1812
  • ...

  • Ann Carter "Bootsie" Calhoun (1924-2014), American politician
  • Barbara Fiske Calhoun (1919-2014), born Isabelle Daniel Hall, American cartoonist and painter
  • George Whitney Calhoun (1890-1963), American sports and telegraph editor, co-founder of the Green Bay Packers
  • James Calhoun (1845-1876), American soldier in the United States Army during the American Civil War and the Black Hills War, brother-in-law of George Armstrong Custer, he was killed in the Battle of the Little Bighorn
  • Chad Calhoun (b. 1933), one of the many pseudonyms of Ron Goulart, American mystery, fantasy and science fiction author
  • Wil Calhoun, American Primetime Emmy nominated television producer and writer
  • John B. Calhoun (1917-1995), American ecologist and research psychologist
  • James S. Calhoun (1802-1852), American Governor of New Mexico Territory from 1851 to 1852
  • Ann Marie Calhoun (b. 1980), American violinist
  • Donald Clevester "Don" Calhoun (b. 1952), former professional American NFL football running back
  • ...

  • The Calhoun Family and Thomas Green Clemson: The Decline of a Southern Patriarchy by Ernest McPherson Lander.
  • 800 Years of Colquhoun, Colhoun, Calhoun and A Cahoon Family History in Ireland, Scotland, England, United States of America, Australia, and Canada by Orval Calhoun.

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: Si je puis
Motto Translation: If I can


Calhoun Clan Badge
Calhoun 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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    Other References

    1. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
    2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    3. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
    4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    5. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
    7. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
    8. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
    9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
    11. ...

    The Calhoun Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Calhoun 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 15 June 2016 at 01:23.

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