This very Olde English surname has two possible origins, both from pre-existing personal names. The first of these is from the Old Norse personal name "Kollungr" a form of "koli" which in Olde English (pre 7th Century) took the form of "Cola", and signified one of dark or swarthy appearance. The second source is from the personal name "Coll" which is a diminutive of "Nicholas" a Greek name meaning "victory of the people" and very popular in the Middle Ages partly due to the influence of St. Nicholas, patron saint of children and sailors. The name development has included Griffin Collingus (1114 Staffordshire) and John Collynges (1376 Shropshire).Church records include Edward Colling who was christened on May 24th 1562 in St. Andrew Hubbard with St. Mary at Hill, London; Francisca Colinge who was christened on April 17th 1675 in St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, and Ely Collings who was christened on July 15th 1792 in St. Mary le Bow, London. One Catherine Colling, aged 20 yrs., a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool, aboard the "Liberty", bound for New York on April 8th 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aluuardus Colling, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book (Wiltshire), during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror" 1066 - 1087. 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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