Caourne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

An ancient Strathclyde-Briton family from the Scottish/English Borderlands were the first to use the name Caourne. They lived in Midlothian. The name Caourne is also derived from the Gaelic word carn, which means pile of stones, and referred to the stone burial chambers we now call cairns. [1]

Early Origins of the Caourne family

The surname Caourne was first found in Midlothian, in the lands of Cairns in the parish of Mid-Calder.

"The first of the name recorded is William de Carnys, who appears as a charter witness in 1349. Though this is the earliest mention of the name in record there must have been many of the surname living at an earlier date, as in the latter half of the fourteenth century many individuals of the name are mentioned in documents referring to the adjoining counties of Midlothian and West Lothian. In 1363 William de Carnys and his son, Duncan de Carnys, had a charter of the baronies of Esterquytburne and Westirquitburne from David II. Two years later David de Carnys appears as a bailie of Edinburgh." [2]

Early History of the Caourne family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Caourne research. Another 271 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1350, 1372, 1386, 1395, 1406, 1431, 1455, 1401, 1408, 1418, 1430, 1452, 1454, 1503, 1572, 1639, 1665, 1732, 1673, 1743, 1669, 1707, 1703, 1707 and are included under the topic Early Caourne History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Caourne Spelling Variations

Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rules existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. Caourne has been spelled Cairns, Cairn, Kairnes, Carnys and others.

Early Notables of the Caourne family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Caourne family to Ireland

Some of the Caourne family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 127 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Caourne family

For Scottish immigrants, the great expense of travel to North America did not seem such a problem in those unstable times. Acres of land awaited them and many got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. These Scots and their ancestors went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. Among them: John Cairns settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1775; Michael Cairns followed in 1799; Andrew in 1830; John in 1840; Robert in 1864.



  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. 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)


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