Recorded in the spellings of Calder, Caulder, Cauldor, Caldor, and the locational Calderwood and Calderhead, these are ancient Scottish surnames. They are locational and as Calder, Cauldor, etc. are believed to derive from Caldell in Caithness. As Calderhead the surname is also locational, but in this case from an area known as 'the lands of Calderhead', in the parish of Shotts, in Lanarkshire, whilst Calderwood is from the ancient manor of Calderwood, also in Lanarkshire. The place names and hence the later surnames are of Norse-Viking origins, from the pre 10th century. The derivation is from 'kalfr' meaning calf, and 'dair', a valley, plus 'wudu' for Calderwood and 'hevu' for Calderhead. This suggests that Calderhead was an area used for the summer grazing of young cattle. Locational surnames are much rarer in Scotland than in England, and are generally encountered more in the former kingdom of Strathclyde to the south-west than in other parts. Early examples of the surname recordings include Hugh de Kaledouer, who was a charter witness on behalf of King William, The Lyon, of Scotland in 1178, Isabele de Calrewode rendered homage in 1296, whilst Donald, Lord of Calder, purchased half the estate known as Dunmagles in the year 1419. Other recordings include John Calderwood of Dalkeith who witnessed a land charter in 1456, George Caulder of Petglasse in 1550, and Agnes Caulderhead, recorded as being a citizen of Edinburgh in 1640.
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