Scottish Place Names
- Houston, Texas, USA

Houston family recorded in Paisley Abbey

For comparability with other large cities around the world, Greater Houston has been defined as the entire urban area including and surrounding the City of Houston. This area extends from Pinehurst, The Woodlands and New Caney in the north to Alvin and Galveston in the south, and from Katy and the Rosenberg-Richmond area in the west to Mont Belvieu and Baytown in the east. This is a vast metropolitan area, typical of the urban sprawl that characterises most American cities as a consequence of the steady population influx from rural areas, the post-WWII baby boom and the 1960s ‘flight to the suburbs’. Suburban growth was further accelerated in Houston’s case by the oil boom of the 60s and 70s.

Of the names of the 1,149 suburbs, subdivisions and neighbourhoods in Greater Houston that have been identified to date, 194 (16.9%) are based, in whole or in part, on place names that can be found in Scotland, on Scottish family names, or on Scottish words. Of course, many of the names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well but at least 93 of these (8.1%) appear to have a direct or indirect link with Scotland. Admittedly, these statistics may be a little inflated since several names are variations on a single name, for example the numerous neighbourhoods with Brae, MacGregor or Houston itself as part of their name.

Communities and neighbourhoods 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:

Some of the following localities may also prove on further investigation to have a link with Scotland. However, these names are also associated with other parts of the British Isles:

A final category of neighbourhood and suburban names comprises places that can be found in Scotland but which, in Houston's case, definitely or most probably have no Scottish connection.

Other place names in Greater Houston that have a "Scottish ring" about them but that have not yet been established as having a connection with Scotland include:

Aldine, Aldine Meadows, Aldine Place, League City, McHattie, Park Glen, Park Glen West, Villages at Glen Iris and Woodglen.
According to the House of Names Heraldic website, Aldine is said to be both a Scottish family name from East Lothian (a variant of Haldane) and an English family name from Lancashire (a variant of Holden). Black (1996), the authority on Scottish family names, makes no mention of the name, however. Black is also silent in regard to League (said to be a variant of McLeish) and McHattie.


© Ian Kendall
Melbourne, Australia, April 2004
Revised July 2008

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

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