This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a locational name from either Colclough, an estate in Staffordshire, or Cowclouugh in the parish of Whitworth in Lancashire, which was recorded in the 13th Century as "Colleclogh". The placenames probably derive from the same Olde English elements, which are the Olde English personal name "Cola", from "col", (char) coal, given to someone of swarthy appearance, and "cloh", ravine. During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name.The surname is found in Ireland from the 16th Century on; the Colcloughs established themselves in Co. Wexford, having come from Staffordshire, and were prominent there in the 17th and 18th Centuries, where they were classed as "Old English" and suffered under the Williamite Confiscation as "Irish Papists". Anthony Colclough acquired Tintern Abbey in 1575. Elizabeth Colclophe, daughter of William Colclophe, was christened on August 31st 1600 at St. Martin's, Ludgate, London, while Charles Coleclough was christened on June 30th 1782 at St. Nicholas', Liverpool. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Colclough, which was dated 1500, in the "London Church Records", during the reign of King Henry V11, known as "Henry Tudor", 1485 - 1509. 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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