This interesting name is of Scottish locational origin from either of two places thus called in the former county of lanarkshire, now part of the Strathclyde region. The component elements of the name, though of uncertain origin, may conceivably be the Old English pre 7th Century "claeg" meaning "clayey", plus the Old English "horn(a)", a corner, bend or tongue of land; hence, "land projection or river fork with clayey soil". The surname was first recorded in the early part of the 16th Century, (see below). One, James Cleghorne was admitted freeman of Glasgow in 1601, and in December 1619, Helen Cleggorne, an infant, was christened in St. Margaret's, Westminster, London. George Cleghorn (1716-1789), physician; educated at Edinburgh, became professor of anatomy in Dublin, 1751, and James Cleghorn (1778-1838), journalist in Edinburgh, became an accountant of repute. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David Cleghorne, witness to a sasine, which was dated 1541, "Historical Manuscripts of Scotland", during the reign of King James V of Scotland, 1513 - 1542. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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