Caldwell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Scottish history reveals Caldwell was first used as a surname by the Strathclyde-Briton people. It was a name for someone who lived in Renfrrewshire. This place-name may also be derived from the Old English words caeld, which means cold, and welle, which means well, and indicates that the original bearer lived near a well that gave cold water.

Early Origins of the Caldwell family

The surname Caldwell was first found in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Friù), a historic county of Scotland, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland, at the Caldwell Tower, a mansion and old estate that dates back to 1294.

The current Caldwell Tower stands on a mound, and is a small, free-standing tower that was probably built in the 16th century.

It was fully restored in 2011 with the addition of a small extension. Caldwell is also a village and civil parish in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire.

"The old family of the name appears to have ended in the direct line in an heiress in the fifteenth century. In 1342 there is an entry of the fee of William de Caldwell. Robert Cauldwell was a merchant in the service of Sir John of Montgomery, 1405." [1]

The Caudle variant may be related to a thickened and sweetened alcoholic hot drink so named. It was popular in the Middle Ages for its supposed medicinal properties and dates back to at least 1297.

Further to the south in the English county of Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Johannes de Coldwell; and Thomas de Coldwele. [2]

Early History of the Caldwell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Caldwell research. Another 175 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1419, 1495, 1526, 1548, 1687, 1581, 1561, 1572, 1796, 1661, 1628, 1679, 1929, 1505, 1584, 1505, 1533, 1554, 1559, 1596, 1551 and are included under the topic Early Caldwell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Caldwell Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that rules have developed and the process of spelling according to sound has been abandoned. Scottish names from before that time tend to appear under many different spelling variations. Caldwell has been spelled Caldwell, Coldwell, Caldwill, Cauldwell, Cauldwill, Cawldwell, Guildwell, Calewell, Caldewell and many more.

Early Notables of the Caldwell family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Blessed John Fenwick, born John Caldwell (1628-1679), an English Jesuit, executed at the time of the Popish Plot, a Catholic martyr, beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI. Richard Caldwall (1505?-1584), was an English physician, born in Staffordshire about 1505. "He was educated at Brasenose, graduated as B.A. in...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Caldwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Caldwell family to Ireland

Some of the Caldwell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Caldwell migration to the United States +

Unwelcome in their beloved homeland, many Scots sailed for the colonies of North America. There, they found land and freedom, and even the opportunity to make a new nation in the American War of Independence. These Scottish settlers played essential roles in the founding of the United States, and the shaping of contemporary North America. Among them:

Caldwell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Archibald Caldwell, who landed in New Jersey in 1685 [3]
  • John Caldwell, a bonded passenger, who settled in America in 1693
  • Vincent Caldwell, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1699 [3]
Caldwell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Caldwell, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1703 [3]
  • Allen Caldwell, aged 60, who landed in New York in 1710 [3]
  • Andrew Caldwell, who landed in America in 1718 [3]
  • Charles Caldwell, who arrived in New England in 1718
  • Charles Caldwell, who landed in New England in 1718 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Caldwell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jos Caldwell, aged 22, who landed in New York, NY in 1803 [3]
  • Patrick Caldwell, aged 25, who arrived in New York, NY in 1803 [3]
  • Isabella Caldwell, aged 13, who arrived in New York, NY in 1804 [3]
  • Jane Caldwell, aged 7, who landed in New York, NY in 1804 [3]
  • Elizabeth Caldwell, aged 7, who landed in New York, NY in 1804 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Caldwell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Caldwell Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Eleanor Hackett Caldwell, and her sons Jacob and John, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1761
  • Mr. John Caldwell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [4]
  • Mr. John Caldwell U.E. who settled in Home District, [Niagara], Lincoln County, Ontario c. 1783 [4]
  • Mr. John Caldwell U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783 [4]
  • Mr. Robert Caldwell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 he was a Captain in Butler's Rangers Regiment [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Caldwell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John, Caldwell Jr., who arrived in Canada in 1829
  • James Bill Caldwell, who arrived in Canada in 1841
  • Thomas Caldwell, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843

Australia Caldwell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Caldwell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Caldwell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839 [5]
  • Margaret Caldwell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839 [5]
  • Matthew Caldwell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839 [5]
  • Ann Caldwell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839 [5]
  • Robert Caldwell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Caldwell migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Caldwell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. J R Caldwell, Cornish settler travelling from Launceston aboard the ship "Spray" arriving in New Zealand in 1851 [6]
  • S. Caldwell, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 1st December 1852 [6]
  • Miss Mary Ann Caldwell, (b. 1840), aged 21, Irish farm servant from Antrim travelling from London aboard the ship "Victoria" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th March 1862 [6]
  • Miss Mary Caldwell, (b. 1834), aged 27, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mystery" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 7th January 1862 [7]
  • Mr. John Caldwell, (b. 1837), aged 24, British joiner travelling from London aboard the ship "Mystery" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 7th January 1862 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Caldwell (post 1700) +

  • Gail Caldwell (b. 1951), American chief book critic for The Boston Globe awarded the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism
  • William A. Caldwell (1906-1986), American journalist and columnist who won the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary
  • Donald Reche Caldwell Jr. (1979-2020), American professional football wide receiver who played from 2002 to 2008
  • Sarah Caldwell (1924-2006), American opera conductor, impresario and stage director
  • Sara Caldwell (b. 1961), American author and screenwriter/filmmaker
  • Samuel R. Caldwell (1880-1941), first American citizen convicted under the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act
  • Samuel H. Caldwell (1904-1960), American electrical engineer, known for his contributions to the early computers
  • Samuel Shepherd "Sam" Caldwell (1892-1953), American oilman and politician, Mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana (1934-1946)
  • Erskine Preston Caldwell (1903-1987), American novelist who wrote 25 novels, 150 short stories, twelve nonfiction collections, two autobiographies, and two books for young readers
  • Bettye McDonald Caldwell (1924-2016), American educator and academic
  • ... (Another 25 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Eric Dick Caldwell, British Sergean Lieutenant Commander, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [8]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Eric Dick Caldwell, British Surgeon Lieutenant with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [9]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Albert Francis Caldwell, aged 26, Siamese Second Class passenger from Bangkok, Siam who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 13 [10]
  • Mrs. Sylvia Mae Caldwell, (née Harbaugh), aged 28, Siamese Second Class passenger from Bangkok, Siam who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 13 [10]
  • Master Alden Gates Caldwell, aged 10 mths, Siamese Second Class passenger from Bangkok, Siam who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 13 [10]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Charles Caldwell Jr., American Fireman Third Class from Missouri, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [11]


The Caldwell Motto +

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: Fac et spera
Motto Translation: Do and hope.


Suggested Readings for the name Caldwell +

  • 276 "Cook, Caldwell, Peoples, Stuart, and Other Families" by David Stuart Peoples, "David Caldwell, 1705-1781, and His Descendants in the United States of America" by William W. Caldwell.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. ^ State Library of South Australia. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) ASIA 1839 from London with Captain Benjamin Freeman and 245 passengers, arrived Port Adelaide on 16-07-1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Asia-list.htm
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  9. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  10. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  11. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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