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.
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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.