Last name: Coleman
This interesting surname is a Scottish variant of Coleman, which has a number of possible origins, the first source being of both Irish and English origin, from the Old Irish personal name "Colman", from "Columban", a compound of the Gaelic elements "colm", a dove and "ban", white, hence a "white dove". This name was adopted by Scandinavians as the Old Norse "Kalman" and was introduced into Cumberland, Westmorland and Yorkshire by Norwegians from Ireland. The second source is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and was given as an occupational name for a burner of charcoal or a gatherer of coal, from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "coleman", derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "col" (char) coal and "mann", man. This source of the surname is the same as that of the surname Collier. Another possible source is also of English origin, from an occupational name for the servant of a man named "Cole", Middle English a personal name derived from the Old English byname "cola", from "col", (char)coal, used to describe someone of a dark complexion. The modern surname can be found as Coleman, Colman, Coulman, Callum and Cullum. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hervicus Coleman, which was dated 1166, in the "Red Book of the Exchequer", Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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 www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2016
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
I'm a Coleman from Hastings in East Sussex, England. There are dozens of Coleman's in the town and the local area. A village called Coleman's Hatch and dozens of local businesses bear the name - Coleman Construction, ABC Coleman's Drinks being a couple.
Being in the south of England the name almost certainly derives from charcoal burner. I for one love that idea as it was an extremely important job in the Anglo-Saxon period. The burner would have to stay awake for 72 hours straight making sure the charcoal being burnt didn't get too hot or cold otherwise all of his effort went to waste.
That charcoal was then used to produce the supra-heated furnaces to make some of the finest swords of the period. Using folded steel for the centre and then a high carbon content steel for the edge the Saxons made swords as strong and keen as the Japanese katana centuries before them. All with the help of the Colman.
I am proud to be a Coleman! Wouldn't change my last name when getting married because I love it too much
My last name is Coleman. I'm from BC, Canada. My grandparents came here from Saskatchewan, Canada, but that's as far back as they've told me. My grandmother is still alive so I should really ask her, however the few times she's mentioned her life in Saskatchewan there was some hint of animosity, so I've been nervous to ask. I tried ancestry.ca, but I couldn't find anything indicating any connection to my family. Plus, my father is actually adopted which is another matter that is not discussed in our family.
It's rather disappointing as I meet so many people here in Canada who have family in Europe and visit every year, or know their cultural language and make traditional dishes for Christmas or Thanksgiving or Easter.
I find it interesting though, that the name Coleman has some roots in Old Irish. I've always been interested in Cetic history, and Ireland and Scotland are the top 2 places I want to visit.
John Adam Coleman
My family came originally from the County Sligo, Ireland. I've been trying to find out more, but don't know where to go from where I am since I don't have the name of the original person that came to the US. I know they were shipbuilders in the Rhode Island and Boston areas. But there are so many Colemans in that area of Ireland, I'm not sure how to narrow it down without finding out who the original family was that came to the US. I know they were wealthy. I am the fourth John in a line going back to the 19th Century. That's cool, but wish I knew more.