This famous Scottish name, with the variations Cochrane, Cochran, Cochern and Colqueran, is locational and derives from the "Lowlands of Cochrane", near Paisley in Renfrewshire. There has hardly been a period in Scottish and English history when the Cochrane's have not been prominent. Robert Cochrane, Earl of Mar (d. 1482) was a favourite of King James 111, whilst Sir John Cochrane (c. 1650) was a Royalist Commander of Charles 1 and Governor of Towcester in 1644, whilst Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald (1775-1860) was an Admiral in the Royal Navy until driven out for exposing naval corruption. In 1817 he commanded the Chilean Navy and secured independence from Spain.It is said that some Mac Eacherens who removed to the lowlands and adopted the surname Cochrane to conceal their origin. This has mislead some people to believe that there is a connection between the two names. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Waldegrave de Coveran which was dated 1262 Charter Witness in Kintyre during the reign of King Alexander III of Scotland 1249-1286 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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