This surname is recorded in a very wide range of spellings of which the following are a few examples. Colom, Coulomb, Coulombe, Colomb, Columbo, Collom, Colombier, Colombani, Collombello, Collomos, Collomp, and Collombot. Today the name is considered to be French or Frankish, which is surprising as the origin is Roman (Latin) and pre Christian era, dating back to the very dawn of known history. All subsequent spelling forms have developed from the word 'columbus', meaning 'dove'. The surname in its many various and distinct forms, has over the past seven hundred years at least, spread all over Europe, and has developed, in particular, a number of suffix endings relative to the individual country or even to separate regions within a country. These are almost entirely diminutives and patronymics, indicating 'son' of' or perhaps 'kinship' In most cases the original surname was occupational, and described a keeper of doves and pigeons, but it may also have had a secondary meaning of a pilgrim or holy man. When occupational the dove keeper bred his birds mainly for food, or as bait for the popular sport of hawking, which hardly seems to have been in the spirit of the dove as a symbol of peace! It is known that in some cases doves were also bred for the function of carrying messages, as their homing instinct has been known for thousands of years. The name was also popular in its Christian forms of Columbus and Columba, several saints and martyrs being so named. These people were at least partly responsible for the later popularity of the surname. Early examples of the surname recording taken at random from French church records include: Andre Collom, a wintness at Pont - a - Mouusson, Meurthe et Moselle, on November 26th 1630, and Jean Collombier, at Maubert Fontaines, department of Ardennes, on May 10th 1682.
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