Show ContentsColquhoun History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada is thought to be the home of the ancestors of the Colquhoun 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 Colquhoun family

The surname Colquhoun 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 Colquhoun family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Colquhoun research. Another 255 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1241, 1602, 1715 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Colquhoun History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Colquhoun 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. Colquhoun 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 Colquhoun family

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was

  • Sir John Colquhoun

Ireland Migration of the Colquhoun family to Ireland

Some of the Colquhoun 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 Colquhoun 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 Colquhoun or a variant listed above:

Colquhoun Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Colquhoun, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 1
  • Alexander Colquhoun, who landed in New York in 1749 1
  • Ann Colquhoun, who arrived in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1775 1
  • Archibald Colquhoun, who landed in North Carolina in 1786 1
  • Malcolm Colquhoun, who landed in Virginia in 1792 1
Colquhoun Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Duncan Colquhoun, aged 48, who landed in North Carolina in 1812 1
  • Thomas Colquhoun, who settled in St. Petersburg Virginia in 1819

Canada Colquhoun migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Colquhoun Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Walter Colquhoun, aged 25, who landed in Canada in 1811

Australia Colquhoun migration to Australia +

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

Colquhoun Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Jane Colquhoun, aged 19, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"

New Zealand Colquhoun 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:

Colquhoun Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Colquhoun, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "John Scott" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 7th March 1858 2
  • Miss Janet Colquhoun, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Bruce" arriving in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand on 12th September 1860 2
  • N. Colquhoun, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wild Duck" in 1860
  • Roger Colquhoun, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875
  • William Colquhoun, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Colquhoun (post 1700) +

  • Edmund Peter Skirving Colquhoun (1945-2023), Scottish footballer who played for Sheffield United and Scotland (1962-1981)
  • Archibald Campbell Colquhoun (d. 1820), Scottish Lord Clerk Register, the only son of John Campbell of Clathick, Perthshire, Provost of Glasgow 3
  • Robert Colquhoun (1914-1962), Scottish painter, printmaker and theatre set designer
  • Maureen Morfydd Colquhoun (1928-2021), British economist and a Labour Party politician, Member of Parliament for Northampton North (1974-1979)
  • Mr. Nicholas Peter Colquhoun M.B.E., British Major from Warminster, of the Black Watch for The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 4
  • Brigadier William Gourlay Colquhoun (1888-1966), Commanding Officer 1st Canadian Training Brigade (1943-1945) 5
  • Glenn Colquhoun (b. 1964), New Zealand poet and general practitioner
  • Christopher Colquhoun (b. 1970), British actor
  • Ian Alexander Colquhoun (1924-2005), New Zealand cricket player
  • Ithell Colquhoun (1906-1988), British Surrealist painter and author
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Colquhoun 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

  1. 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)
  2. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  3. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
  4. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018,
  5. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, September 15) William Colquhoun. Retrieved from on Facebook