Last name: Cole

This very interesting English, Irish and occasionally Scottish surname was originally a personal name. It is generally accepted as deriving from the personal name Nicholas, itself of Ancient Greek origins, or it may have derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century byname 'Cola', meaning black. This presumably denoted one of dark or swarthy appearance and may possibly have described a Dane or Anglo-Sazon. 'Cola' and 'Cole' as personal names are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, although the surname was only some seventy years behind (See below). The patronymic form of the now more popular 'Coles' is not recorded until the 16th Century, when George Coles appears in the register of Freemen of the City of York in 1555. In the modern idiom the surname has a number of variant spellings including Coale(s), Coule(s), Cowle(s), and Coleson. Examples of the surname recording include Johannes Cole in the Yorkshire Poll Tax rolls of 1379, and Elias Cole in the same register. A later example is that of John Coles who married Margarett Warton, at St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, London, on June 24th 1565, whilst one of the earliest settlers in the American colonies was Edward Coles, who on June 15th 1635, at the age of 20 yrs, embarked on the ship 'Thomas and John' of London, bound for Virginia. The Coat of arms originally granted in the time of King Henry 1V of England, has the blazon of a bull passant, within a black border, bezantee armed, in gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Randolphi Cole, which was dated 1148, The Winton Rolls of Hampshire, during the reign of King John of England, known as 'Lackland' 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2015

Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA!

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.
PayPal Acceptance Mark
Surname Scroll

My grandmother (I never met) maiden name was Cole. Her mother married James Cole of Ireland and he drowned in the Bay of Fundy off the coast of Nova Scotia around 1900. I have his folks names - the whole family came over from Ireland. Any good sites to help determine who his folks were? James Cole left four little children and they were all split up to be cared for by others. Very sad. I want to learn what I can about him and his family. Any help? Father Dermot Cole, mother Julia or Judith McIlroy or McAlroy both born about 1832. Thanks to all and best wishes to everyone.

Jessica Salvail
Have a grandfather by the name of an Anthony Cole. He was married to Hilga Eklund. The only reference to his parents are that they were L. Cole and E. Redd. The child (son) of Anthony and Hilga lived in Montana, but i do not know if this is where L. & E. Cole lived. Would really love someone to point me in the right direction to find more of the family origin, and how to find out who L. Cole and E. Redd were. Any help or pointers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

The Cornishman
The name Cole originates from Cornwall. It is a Celtic name and has nothing to do with the Danes or Anglo Saxons.

Your website (optional)
my name is cole was interested and seen wasn't from any country but England

Your website (optional)
jesica was a interesting comment you just mentioned my whole name

Susan Cole
My grandfather was Claude Cole married Maude Thomas both from Ireland. Claude died very young at the age of 43 and left 11 kids and a pregnant wife. Very sad
They lived in Rice Lake Wisconsin or Cameron WI not sure where or how they met. It may have been Utah? My grandfathers family disowned him when he married my grandmother Maude because she was beneath him? She had a rough life and struggled with many hard ships with 12 children to raise on her own. Claude was a Baptist Minister when he passed. Would love to find any family related to my grandparents. My dad was Wayne Glen Cole

Susan Cole
Claude Cole born in 1892 in S. Dakota my grandfather. Wayne Glen Cole was my Father. Claude died at an early age of 43 leaving 11children and a pregnant wife (Maude Thomas) behind. I was told we were Irish but we think The family originated in England.
We don't have any history of Grandpa's family and would love to learn any good news
I believe my grandparents met in USA (Utah) they settled in Cameron Wisconsin.
My dad (Wayne Glen Cole) lived many of his years in Milwaukee WI.
Grandpa Claude Cole was a Lutheran Minister at time of death.
Any information on the Claude Cole family history would be deeply appreciated.

Stephen Cole
It's amazing, the Cole last name...strong, so English. My father passed on, he was Sr. I was told Cole came from different regions. It's English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, and probably more... Like Heinz 57. Little bit of everything. Be proud of who you are regardless if your name is...fill in the name.

I often wonder if somehow we can turn back time. Ask all of our relatives, if they could look into the future...go to America, or stay home to England. I myself often wondered how different our lives would be if our families never migrated. Something to think about. Peace to ALL Cole's young and old.

terry-marie cole

I am a Cole. My Father was John Raymond Cole and years ago I traced his family back to Ireland in the 1100s. I was always told he was Irish and Cherokee; his Mother was Irish and father was "black" Irish and Cherokee. The "black" Irish were named after the Spanish and other darker nationalities moved into Ireland. I am an only child and my parents and only grandparents I knew are all deceased and my Mother was an only child so I have no one else to ask. I really didn't know my Father's 2 sisters and his Mother passed when I was preschool but she was red haired, green eyed Irish and his dad was Black haired, blue eyed. I remember they lived in Dinwiddie County Virginia, maybe Petersburg area.

terry-marie cole

Bottom line.....we all came from Adam and Eve!

Dennis Cole

Oops! I am looking for information about ancestors of my relative William F. Cole born 02 Aug 1788 in NORTH Carolina. He married Mary Polly Collier 23 Sept 1811 in Franklin County, North Carolina. She was the daugher of Doctor Collier and Obedience Parish. Mary Polly Collier was born 20 Nov 1791. Can someone connect me with the preceeding generation?

Bennett St. Leger

The name can also be an Anglicization. My Cole ancestors are not from the British Isles, but from the Palatine region of modern day Germany. Johann Ulrich Kohl (English ship masters spelled it Cooll and Coall) came to Pennsylvania in 1733 via Rotterdam and Dover. Also spelled Gaul, or Gaull in other records. Johann's son, Philip was apparently the first to use "Cole" as the fixed spelling.

Lyla Cole

My great (great?) grandparents came from Sweden (grandfather Cole) and Finland (grandmother Andersson) so we are Scandinavian. They supposedly met on a ship coming to America and settled in Louisiana. This was the story told to me my whole life, but it sounds way to romantic to be true. In any case, its still a really nice story.

Gerry cole

I'm looking for anyone who was related to the cole family, the family started out in Australia due to a cole been sent here as a convict. The convict was male and had left a wife and children in England. He had taken a loaf of bread without paying. When arriving in Australia he landed in Tasmania then made their way to the mainland in Victoria to what I'm told. Would love to know more about the family he left behind and the one he started in australia

saamy nathan

கோள் - 'Kol' in Tamil means 'Planet', 'Snake, 'Banana', Cloud'.