Recorded in several forms including Loudoun, Lowden, Loudham, Lowdham, and Laudham, this is an ancient Anglo-Scottish surname. However spelt it is locational. If Scottish it originates from an area known as "The lands of Loudoun" in the district of Cunningham, in the county of Ayrshire, itself formerly part of the 9th century British kingdom of Strathclyde. The composition of the placename is the Northern English word "low", meaning a flame or beacon, itself from the Norse-Viking word "loge", plus the Gaelic "doun", meaning a hill.In some instances it may be a an early form of the surname and placename "Lothian", John de Loudonia was the constable of Berwick in about 1327, whilst Patrick Louthyan was a burgess of Linlithgow in 1445. In England the source of the name may be the same, or more likely it is from one of the various villages such as Loudham in Suffolk, Lowdham near Nottingham, both translate as the home of Hlud, an early personal name, or Lowden near Chippenham, which has the same meaning as the Scottish name. Early examples of the recordings include Adam Loudin, in the deeds of Balliol College, Oxford, in the year 1280, John de Louden in the Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland in 1332, and another John de Lowden, who according to the Scottish records, was the perpetual vicar of Kilpatrick in 1418. Nicholas de Loudoun or Lowdon was a landowner in the town of Irvine, in the years1418-1426. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James de Loudun. This was dated 1189, in the land charters of Scotland, during the reign of King William, the Lyon, of Scotland, 1165-1214.
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