Claughan Family Name History

The English surname Claughan is especially associated with the north of England, particularly Durham and Lancashire as well as north of the border in Scotland.

An early written reference to the surname and its variants Claugham, Claughen and Cloughan dates back to the early eighteenth century and includes one Ralph Claughen who married Mary Speed in Ryton in Durham in May, 1700 while one Stephen, the son of Stephen Claugham was christened in Houghton Le Spring in Durham in June. 1725.

This English surname is locative in origin, belonging to that category of surnames derived from the place where the original bearer once lived or held land. In this instance, the second element of the name is derived from the Old English "ham" meaning "homestead, settlement" while the first element is of uncertain origin. The noted scholar P.H.Reaney states that this suffix tends to be compounded with folk names and woman's names, but never with a post-Conquest personal name.

This suggests that the first element is derived from the Old Norse personal name Klakkr which may be found in the place name Claughton located in Lancashire. Such names were a common means of identification in the medieval period and over time as they were passed on from generation to generation they came to be used as independent surnames.

Other early references to the surname include one Samuel, the son of John Cloughan who was christened in St. Peters Church in Liverpool in April, 1778 and Thomas Airley Claughan, the son of Thomas and Adneg Claughan was christened in Girvan in Ayrshire in Scotland in June, 1849.