Colquhoun Clan Crest

The name Colquhoun derives from "Cuil Cumhann", a Gaelic phrase meaning "narrow corner" that refers to an area of land around Kilpatrick, on the north side of the River Clyde and to the west of Glasgow in Scotland. It is pronounced "ca-hoon" with the emphasis on the second syllable.

The lands of Colquhoun were granted to Humphry de Kilpatrick by Malcolm, Earl of Lennox in the 13th Century. Humphry's son Ingelram was the first to use Colquhoun as a surname. The first Lairds (Lord) of Colquhoun stayed at Dunglas castle, but later generations aquired Dumbarton Castle, which became the family home.

In the 14th Century, the Colquhouns aquired the lands of Luss through marriage and since that time the chief of the Colquhoun Clan has been known as Colquhoun of Colquhoun and Luss. In the 15th Century, the family holdings were further expanded to include the forests of Rossdhu and Glenmacome.

In 1602, following raids on family lands by the MacGregors, Alexander Colquhoun was given a royal commission to pursue the clan. Moving with 500 men and 300 horse, the Laird of Colquhoun was surprised by the MacGregors at Glen Fruin, a bog that put calvary at a distinct disadvantage in combat. The Colquhoun losses were severe, forming the basis of an enmity that lasted several hundred years and resulted in the MacGregor name being banned by the crown.




The Colquhouns in America

In 1650 the English Parliamentarian Forces under the command of Oliver Cromwell invaded Scotland citing the Scot's support for the monarchists, most especially Charles II, King of Scotland. General David Leslie, charged with meeting Cromwell, decided to avoid direct contact as his forces were well armed but poorly trained. They stayed mainly behind strong fortifications in and around around Edinburgh, refusing to be drawn out. Finally on September 2nd, thinking the English were retreating, Leslie brought his troops out, only to be outflanked and beaten in what would be called the Battle of Dunbar. Among the captured survivors of Leslie's Army were John and William Colquhoun, grandsons of the fifteenth Laird (Lord) of Colquhoun. Both were sent to the Boston in chains after being sold to Bex and Company. John died either on the voyage to America or shortly thereafter. William worked in servitude until about 1661.

William purchased property and started a family within a couple years of being released. In 1673, he became the official brickmaker for Swansea, Massachusetts, which is about the time he changed the spelling of his name to Cahoon, perhaps because the new spelling was phonetically correct or perhaps because 'Cahoon' was easier to stamp on the bricks he made than Colquhoun.

William's children spread out through New England, Virginia and the Carolinas. It was in the south that the spelling of the family name was again changed, this time to Calhoun.


Sir Alexander Colquhoun
1573 - 1617

Clan chief who ends one feud only to find himself engaged in another. His Army is decimated by the MacGregors at Glen Fruin but he survives and the MacGregors name is banned by royal edict.
Sir John Colquhoun
1596 - 1650

Clan Chief and 1st Baronet of Nova Scotia. Is accused of necromancy after eloping with his wife's sister thus forfeiting his lands and titles.
William Colquhoun
1633 - 1675

Is captured after the Battle of Dumbar and sold into slavery by the cash-strapped English to a company in Boston where William learns shipbuilding and brickmaking. He later gains his freedom and achieves a moderate level of success only to be killed in an Indian uprising.
Samuel Cahoon
1663 - 1704

Moves to Virginia where he makes or sells shoes, but dies young.
Alexander Cahoon
1700 - 1776

Orphaned by both parents by age 11, he eventually settles near Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
James Irwin Calhoun
1735 - 1795

A modestly successful farmer living in North Carolina.
Sarah Calhoun
1770 - 1843

Marries John Love, has eight children and emigrates to Ohio before John dies in 1808.

Relationships to other families on this site.

   Sarah CALHOUN marries John LOVE in 1785.
   Sarah LOVE marries Lewis Kincade RICHARDSON in 1848.
   Nora RICHARDSON marries Clarence OKESON in 1935.



Names Index

CAHOON, Alexander
CAHOON, Deliverance
CAHOON, Samuel
CAHOON, William
CALHOUN, James Irwin

CALHOUN, Sarah
COLQUHOUN, Alexander 1573
COLQUHOUN, Alexander 1599
COLQUHOUN, John

COLQUHOUN, Humphrey
COLQUHOUN, William
LOVE, Sarah
PECK, Deliverance