This is a Scottish locational surname. It originates from a place formerly known as "The lands of Caldow", near Dalbeattie. The meaning of the name is uncertain, but it seems to derive from the pre 7th century Olde English and later Gaelic, "cal" meaning cold, and "hlaw", a hill or mount. About half of all British surnames have a "residential" origin, and in most cases the meanings relate to natural or sometimes, man made, features in the countryside. The surname is well recorded from the 16th century, see below, but never at anytime has it become popular or common. The early recordings taken from surviving authentic rolls and charters of the late medieval period include: James Caldow, a resident of the town of Biggar in 1643, whilst Robert Caldow was an exiled Covenanter from Balmaghie in 1679. This was during the reign of King Charles 11, 1649 - 1685. He had rather sad memories of the "assistance" granted to him by the Scottish Covenanters in 1650, and although a man not given to retribution, occasionally he hit out at "puritan" elements. Other recordings from those times include Willam Caldow of Lochenbreck in 1674, and John Caldow, at the same place, a century later in 1774. The first known recording is believed to be that of William Caldow, of Corsock, near Dalbeattie, Scotland. This was in the year 1532 in the reign of King James V of Scotland, 1513 - 1542.
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