Recorded in the spellings of MacCool., MacIlhoyle, MacCole, Cole, Coil, Coils, Coll, and Coyle, this interesting surname has three possible origins. Firstly, it may be a pet form of the personal name "Nicholas", itself coming from the Greek "Nikolaos", from "nikan" meaning to conquer, plus "laos", people. Secondly, it may be from a Middle English personal name derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Cola", from "col" meaning (char)coal, presumably denoting someone of swarthy appearance, synonymous with the Old Norse given name "Koli". Finally, it may be of Scottish and Irish origin, and an anglicized form of the Gaelic "Mac Gill Chomhghaill" (Scotland), or "Mac Giolla Chomhghaill" in Irish, both meaning "the son of the servant of (St.) Comhghall". This was a personal name of uncertain origin, borne by an early Irish saint. Early recordings include Richard Cole in the 1185 records of the Knight Templars in Warwickshire, England, and in Ireland, Teag Coyle of County Roscommon, in Pettys "census" of the year1659, and Alexander Coils of Dervock, County Antrim, on August 12th 1864. The first recorded spelling of the name maybe that of Geoffrey Col, which was dated 1148, in the "Winton Rolls of Hampshire", during the reign of King Stephen of England, known as "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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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