This Irish surname of CALHOUN was a baptismal name meaning 'the son of Cathlian' (battle-hero, battle joyful). Ireland is one of the earliest sources of the development of patronymic names in northern Europe. Irish Clan or bynames can be traced back to the 4th century B.C. and Mac (son of) and O (grandson or ancestor of) evolved from this base, the original literal meaning of which has been lost due to the absence of written records and linguistic ambivalences which subtly but inexorably became adopted through usage. Genealogists and lexographers accept that the patronymic base does not refer to a location, quite the contrary. The use of the prefix 'Bally' (town of) attaching to the base name, identifying the location. The base root was also adopted by people residing in the demographic area without a common ancestor. These groups called 'Septs' were specially prevalent in Ireland. The first Normans arrived in Ireland in the 12th and 13th centuries to form an alliance with the King of Leinster. Under Elizabeth I in the 16th century, settlers from England established themselves around Dublin, then under English control and Presbyterian Scots emigrated to Ulster, introducing English and Scottish roots. A notable member of this name was John CALHOUN (l782-l850) the American statesman of Irish Presbyterian descent born in Abbeyville Countys, South Carolina. He studied at Yale and became a successful lawyer. In Congress he supported the measures which led to the War of l8l2-l8l5 with Great Britain, and promoted the protective tariff. He was Vice-President under John Q.Adams (l825-29) and then under Jackson. In l844 as Secretary of State he signed a Treaty annexing Texas. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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