Scottish Place Names
- Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

For comparability with other large cities around the world, Charlotte has been defined as the City of Charlotte together with its suburbs in Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Catawba, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Rowan and Union Counties in North Carolina and Lancaster and York Counties in South Carolina. The area centred on Salisbury, which is often included in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area, has been excluded from the present analysis because it appears to be detached from the rest of the metropolitan area.

Of the names of the 717 cities, suburbs and neighbourhoods that have been identified to date in Greater Charlotte, 141 (19.7%) are based in whole or in part on places that can be found in Scotland or on Scottish family names. Of course, many of these names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well but at least 65 of them (9.1%) appear to be exclusively or largely Scottish.

Communities, neighbourhoods and suburbs with names that occur only in Scotland and not elsewhere in the British Isles, and/or are definitely, or most probably, of Scottish origin are:

As in other cities around the world, not all of the above place names are necessarily based directly on their namesakes in Scotland. The connection with Scotland may be more indirect in some instances, for example, based on the name of an early Scottish settler. Examples where this may be the case would be gratefully received from readers in Greater Charlotte, for incorporation in future updates of this web page.

Some of the following localities are also likely to have a direct or indirect Scottish connection, but most of these names are associated with other parts of the British Isles as well:

A third category of names comprises places that definitely exist in Scotland, but the likelihood that the Greater Charlotte counterpart was named for Scotland or for a Scots settler is greatly reduced because these names are associated far more commonly with other parts of the British Isles. Most of the names of these neighbourhoods have an 'international' flavour and several may also have been borrowed from other American cities and towns.

Other localities that have a certain Scottish ring to them, but whose possible links with Scotland have not yet been established include:

Arbor Glen, Boger City, Boogertown, Croft, Greylyn Drive, Hardins, Nims, Troutman and Woodburn.

Both North and South Carolina were major destinations for Scots-Irish settlers during the first half of the eighteenth century. Many of these Protestant settlers arrived directly from Northern Ireland while others came from Pennsylvania. It is therefore not surprising that Charlotte and other cities in the Carolinas generally have a fairly high proportion of Scottish place names compared with the average American city. The USA's first gold rush was centred on Charlotte, and would have resulted in a further wave of settlers including people from Scotland. Charlotte has become the second largest banking centre in the USA after New York City, with Scotsmen and their descendants no doubt having played their role in this achievement.


© Ian Kendall
Melbourne, Australia, September 2006

If you wish to contact Ian about his research, his e-mail address is

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