What is the origin of the last name Coulter?

The last name Coulter is of Scottish origin, derived from the medieval occupational name "coltar," which referred to a person who worked with a colt, young horse or a young donkey. Another possibility is that it originated as a locational name from Coulter in Lanarkshire, Scotland. The surname has various spelling variations, including Colter, Coulthard, and Coltart, and has been present in Scotland since at least the 16th century.

Countries of origin for the last name Coulter

The last name Coulter has a rich history and is of Scottish origin. It is derived from the Old Norse personal name Kolr, meaning “coal,” combined with the Old English word “tūn,” meaning “enclosure” or “settlement.” This suggests that Coulter may have originally been a locational surname, referring to someone who lived near a coal settlement or an area known for its coal production.

The surname Coulter dates back to at least the 14th century, and its variations have been recorded throughout Scotland and Northern Ireland. Over time, different spelling variations of the name have emerged, including Colter, Cultar, Coultar, and Coulther.

As with many surnames, Coulter has undergone phonetic changes and alterations throughout history. This can be attributed to various factors, such as regional dialects, illiteracy, and the passage of time. Consequently, different branches of the same family may bear different spellings of the name.

Throughout centuries, individuals with the Coulter surname have migrated to other parts of the world, including the United States. The surname is relatively rare in the US, but can still be found among American families of Scottish or Northern Irish descent. Notable individuals with the surname Coulter in the United States include political columnist and author Ann Coulter.

The etymology and historical usage of the surname Coulter suggests a connection to the coal industry. It is plausible that early bearers of this surname were involved in coal mining or lived in areas with a prominent coal trade. However, without comprehensive genealogical research, it is challenging to determine the exact occupations or locations associated with each individual Coulter family.

Researching genealogy and delving into the historical context of surnames can unravel fascinating insights into our ancestral roots. While the known facts about the Coulter surname provide a solid foundation, further exploration and investigation could potentially reveal more about the specific origins and significance of this name for different families around the world.

Interesting facts about the last name Coulter

  • The surname Coulter is of Scottish origin.
  • It is derived from the Old Norse name Koltr, meaning “a young horse” or “a colt.”
  • The name Coulter is often associated with the profession of plowmaking or plowing, as a coulter is a blade or knife used in plows.
  • Variations of the Coulter surname include Colther, Coulthard, Coultrie, and Coltrane.
  • The Coulter surname is found predominantly in Scotland, particularly in the regions of Lanarkshire and Dumfriesshire.
  • Many individuals with the surname Coulter have migrated to other countries, including the United States, Canada, and Australia.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Coulter include Ann Coulter, a prominent American conservative political commentator and author.
  • The Coulter coat of arms features a silver shield with three red piles and a black lion rampant holding a gold coulter in its forepaws.
  • The name Coulter ranks as the 4,630th most common surname in the United States.
  • The meaning of the surname Coulter signifies strength, vitality, and agricultural connections.

Name Rank


There are around 20757 people with the last name Coulter in the US

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