What is the origin of the last name Caldwell?

The last name Caldwell, of Scottish origin, derives from a habitational name referring to a place of the same name in North Yorkshire, England. The name is derived from Old English elements: "cald," meaning "cold," and "well," indicating a spring or stream. The Caldwell surname may also be derived from the Gaelic name "Mac Cathail," suggesting a Scottish Highland origin. Over time, the name has spread, and today, individuals bearing the surname Caldwell can be found throughout various English-speaking countries.

Countries of origin for the last name Caldwell

The last name Caldwell has a rich history and interesting etymology. Here are the key facts about this surname:

Caldwell is of English and Scottish origin. It is a locational surname derived from various places in England and Scotland that share the name. The name is composed of the Old English words “cald,” meaning “cold,” and “well,” meaning “a spring or stream.” The name suggests that the original bearers lived near a cold well or spring.

Notable individuals with the last name Caldwell have made significant contributions in various fields. In the realm of music, Bobby Caldwell is a renowned American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist known for his smooth soul and R&B music. In the political arena, John Caldwell Calhoun was an influential American statesman and vice president in the early 19th century. His philosophical and political theories had a lasting impact on American politics.

The surname Caldwell has been recorded in various forms throughout history, including Caldewell, Cawdewell, Caudwell, and more. These variations are a result of regional or phonetic influences over time. The name has spread beyond its original locations and can be found throughout the English-speaking world.

Caldwell is a relatively common surname, with a moderate frequency in both the United States and the United Kingdom. According to the 2010 United States Census, it ranked as the 882nd most common surname in the country. It is more prevalent in states such as Texas, California, and Florida.

Genealogical research into the last name Caldwell can uncover fascinating family histories and connections. Understanding the origins and meaning of the surname can provide individuals with a sense of identity and belonging. Exploring the branches of the Caldwell family tree may reveal unexpected relationships and shed light on the migrations and historical contexts in which their ancestors lived.

While the known facts about the last name Caldwell provide a foundation for understanding its origins and significance, there is always more to uncover. Delving deeper into historical records, local histories, and individual family stories may offer additional insights into the surname’s evolution and the experiences of those who bear it.

Interesting facts about the last name Caldwell

  • The surname Caldwell is of Scottish origin.
  • It is derived from the Old English words “cald,” meaning “cold,” and “well,” meaning “spring” or “stream.”
  • The name Caldwell was originally a locational or topographical surname, given to those who lived near a cold spring or stream.
  • The Caldwell surname can be traced back to the 12th century in Scotland.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Caldwell include American astronaut Eugene Andrew Cernan, the last person to walk on the moon, and British racing driver Tommy Caldwell.
  • The Caldwell family name has spread throughout the English-speaking world due to migration and colonization.
  • In the United States, the highest concentration of individuals with the Caldwell surname can be found in the southern states, particularly in North Carolina and Texas.
  • The Caldwell Clan, a Scottish clan associated with the name, has a proud history and is known for its distinctive tartan and coat of arms.
  • The Caldwell surname has variations in spelling, including Coldwell, Caudwell, Cawdor, and Cauldwell.

Name Rank


There are around 93944 people with the last name Caldwell in the US

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