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Surname Caldwell - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'C'

iGENEA DNA Test: An Exploratory Journey into the Caldwell Lineage

The DNA test from iGENEA reveals fascinating insights into the Caldwell lineage, tracing the surname to Scottish highlands. It provides an understanding of ancestral migration patterns, potential genetic relatives, and adds a sense of pride to the surname. The technical aspects and accuracy of the DNA test assure trustworthy information.

L. Caldwell

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Caldwell: What does the surname Caldwell mean?

The surname Caldwell is of Scottish and Northern Irish origin and it is believed to be a locational name. The name is derived from various places in Scotland and Northern Ireland that were named Caldwell. This places were named from the Old English pre 7th Century words "cald", which means cold, and "wella", which means spring or stream. Essentially, Caldwell would translate to "cold stream" or "cold spring". This implies that the original bearers of the name either lived near or were named after a cold stream or cold spring. As such, Caldwell is considered a topographic surname, which is a type of surname based on the geographical features of the bearer's surroundings. These were some of the earliest names to be created, as natural and man-made features in a landscape provided convenient distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages.

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Caldwell: Where does the name Caldwell come from?

The surname Caldwell originates from England and Scotland. It is derived from two old English words; “cald,” meaning cold, and “welle,” meaning stream or well. Thus, Caldwell roughly translates to "cold stream." The name is typical for people who lived near a cold well or stream. This habitational surname began being used during the Middle Ages.

Today, Caldwell is a common surname in various English-speaking countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, it is most prevalent in Texas but is evenly spread across the country. In the UK, it is particularly common in areas historically associated with Celtic Britons such as Wales. Overall, among the world's population, Caldwell ranks as the 5,265th most common surname.

Variations of the surname Caldwell

The surname Caldwell is mainly of Scottish and Northern Irish origin. It includes a wide range of variations and phonetic misspellings. Some of the key variants and differences in spellings include Caldewell, Caldwill, Caldwall, Coldwell, Caoldwelle, Colwell, Cadwell, Cadwall, Caudwell, Cawdell, Caudill, Chadwell, and Cauldwell.

The surname can also occasionally appear with prefix variations such as 'Mc' or 'Mac', leading to surnames such as McCaldwell or MacCaldwell. Some derivations can also drop the 'C' from the name, resulting in names like Aldwell.

Due to trends in regional dialects and language evolution, it's not uncommon to encounter the same surname with different spellings. The name's etymology suggests it derived from a place meaning "cold spring", so names associated with this meaning may also be connected. Variants of Caldwell have been found in Scotland, Ireland, England, and with the passage of time, North America too. Naturally, the name has encountered numerous transformations in spelling and pronunciation.

As with many surnames, the exact number of variants is hard to accurately determine due to the organic and inconsistent nature of language development.

Famous people with the name Caldwell

  • Alicia Caldwell: An esteemed journalist and member of the editorial board at The Denver Post.
  • Sarah Caldwell: An American opera conductor, impresario, and stage director. She was the Founding Director of the Opera Company of Boston and the first woman to conduct at the Metropolitan Opera.
  • Alexander Caldwell: A U.S. Senator from Kansas.
  • Ben Caldwell: An American storyboard artist and book illustrator.
  • Erskine Caldwell: A popular American author known for his writings about poverty, racism and social problems in his native South.
  • J. Alexander Caldwell: A former police officer who appears on reality television series The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
  • Taylor Caldwell: A British-born American author known for her best-selling novels.
  • James Caldwell: An American clergyman and revolutionary who provided supplies to the Continental Army.
  • Bobby Caldwell: An American singer and songwriter known for his hits such as "What You Won't Do for Love".
  • Andre Caldwell: A former American football wide receiver who played in the NFL.
  • Reche Caldwell: A former American football wide receiver in the NFL, and brother to Andre Caldwell.
  • Jim Caldwell: A professional American football coach.
  • Joe Caldwell: A retired American professional basketball player.

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