What is the origin of the last name Calhoun?

The last name Calhoun originates from Scotland and is derived from the Gaelic name "O'Ceallachain." It is composed of two Gaelic elements, "ceallach," meaning "bright-headed," and the diminutive suffix "-an," which implies a descendant or family connection. The name Calhoun has a longstanding history and can be traced back to ancient Gaelic clans and chieftains, signifying a noble heritage and historical significance.

Countries of origin for the last name Calhoun

The last name Calhoun has its origins in Scotland, specifically in the Gaelic language. The name is derived from the Gaelic surname Mac Ille Chaluim, which means “son of the servant of Columba.” It is believed that the name first emerged in the western region of Scotland, in the region of Argyll.

The surname Calhoun is closely associated with the Clan MacColquhoun, which has a rich and ancient history in Scotland. The clan is believed to have descended from Sir Ivan of Colquhoun, who lived during the 13th century. The MacColquhoun clan held the ancestral lands of Luss, located on the banks of Loch Lomond.

Throughout history, the clan and the name Calhoun have been closely linked to military service. In particular, the MacColquhouns were known for their fierce and loyal warriors. The clan was a staunch supporter of the Scottish Crown and played a significant role in various conflicts, including the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century.

The MacColquhoun clan faced challenging times during the 18th century, as political and economic changes affected the Scottish Highlands. The clan’s lands were eventually sold off, and many members of the clan were forced to leave their ancestral homes. Some migrated to other parts of Scotland, while others sought opportunities abroad, including North America.

In the United States, the name Calhoun became particularly prominent due to a distinguished individual associated with the surname. John C. Calhoun, born in 1782, was a renowned American politician who served as the Vice President under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. His political career, spanning from the early 19th century until his death in 1850, made him a prominent figure in American history.

The popularity of the last name Calhoun extends beyond its association with John C. Calhoun. Many individuals with the surname have achieved success in various fields, including academia, sports, and the arts. The name has become an enduring symbol of Scottish heritage in America.

In conclusion, the last name Calhoun has its origins in Scotland and is closely associated with the Clan MacColquhoun. It holds a rich history of military service and loyalty to the Scottish Crown. The notable figure of John C. Calhoun contributed to the prominence of the name in the United States. Today, the name Calhoun continues to be embraced by individuals proud of their Scottish heritage and the enduring legacy of the clan.

Interesting facts about the last name Calhoun

  • The surname Calhoun is of Scottish origin.
  • It is derived from the Gaelic personal name “Colquhoun,” which means “narrow corner or narrow wood.”
  • The Calhoun family’s ancestral seat is in the historic region of Dunbartonshire, Scotland.
  • The name Calhoun can be traced back to the 13th century in Scotland.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Calhoun include John C. Calhoun, an American statesman and political theorist in the 19th century.
  • The Calhoun family is known for its involvement in various political and military activities throughout history.
  • There are several variations of the surname Calhoun, including Colquhoun, Cahoon, Colquhoune, and Calhoon.
  • Many descendants of the Calhoun family can be found in the United States, particularly in the southern states.
  • The surname Calhoun has been passed down through many generations, signifying a rich ancestral heritage.

Name Rank


There are around 43180 people with the last name Calhoun in the US

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