Show ContentsCalhoun History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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 còil or cùil, which means "nook" or "corner." Colquhoun is properly pronounced "Ko-hoon."

Early Origins of the Calhoun family

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.

Early History of the Calhoun family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Calhoun research. Another 255 words (18 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.

Calhoun Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Calhoun family (pre 1700)

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

Calhoun Ranking

In the United States, the name Calhoun is the 592nd most popular surname with an estimated 49,740 people with that name. [1]

Ireland Migration of the Calhoun family to Ireland

Some of the Calhoun family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 109 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Calhoun migration to the United States +

Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. 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
  • James Calhoun, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 [2]
  • Patrick Calhoun (1727–1796), Irish-born, American settler, who emigrated to Pennsylvania with his father in 1733 [3]
  • William Calhoun, who landed in America in 1795-1798 [2]
  • Andrew Calhoun, who landed in America in 1795 [2]
Calhoun Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jean Calhoun, who landed in America in 1805 [2]
  • John Calhoun, who arrived in America in 1805 [2]
  • Samuel Calhoun, who arrived in America in 1805 [2]
  • William Calhoun, who landed in America in 1805 [2]
  • Altar Calhoun, aged 49, who landed in South Carolina in 1812 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Calhoun migration to Australia +

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

Calhoun Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Hugh Calhoun, (b. 1815), aged 25, American ploughman who was convicted in Kingston, Ontario, Canada for life for unlawful invasion, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 28th September 1839, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), captured at the battle of Windmill in 1838 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Calhoun (post 1700) +

  • David L. Calhoun (b. 1957), American businessman, former chairman of The Boeing Company, current president and CEO-designate of Boeing
  • Marge Calhoun (1926-2017), American first woman world champion surfer
  • Lamar Dupré Calhoun (1971-2017), known by his stage name, Crazy Toones, an American hip-hop producer and DJ
  • 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
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Calhoun 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: Si je puis
Motto Translation: If I can

Suggested Readings for the name Calhoun +

  • 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.

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from on Facebook