This unusual surname is of "Mediterranean" origins, although curiously the earliest recording in the "modern" spelling form is found in London (see below). The name is almost certainly one of the many patronymics based upon "Col", the shortened nickname form of the ancient Greek personal name Nicholas. This name has given rise to over five hundred variant surname spellings; its popularity no doubt being based on its war-like translation of "conquer-people". The second possible origin if job-descriptive, and derives from the Roman (Latin) "Calax", through the late medieval Spanish "Calero", and describes a manufacturer of agricultural lime, or one who worked a quarry. This is also the origin of the surname "Collier", which derives from the same root. The first nameholder was probably of French Huguenot descent, however this is not proven, as "link" recordings have not been found. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Beauchamp Coleiro, which was dated March 27th 1738, a christening witness at the Church of Peter le Poer, London, during the reign of King George 11, known as "The Last Warrior King", 1727 - 1760. 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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