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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Collier family come from? What is the English Collier family crest and coat of arms? When did the Collier family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Collier family history?

The name Collier finds its origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxons of England. It was given to one who worked as a person who made or sold charcoal. The surname Collier is derived from the Old English word col, which means coal; as such it is thought to have originally been an occupational name for a burner of charcoal or a gatherer or seller of coal.

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Collier has been recorded under many different variations, including Collier, Collyer, Colier, Colyer, Colyar, Colyear and many more.

First found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Collier research. Another 211 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1350, 1685, 1677, 1622, 1678, 1656, 1730, 1699, 1680, 1732, 1650 and 1726 are included under the topic Early Collier History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 117 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Collier Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Collier family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 49 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Collier or a variant listed above:

Collier Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Daniell Collier, who arrived in Virginia in 1618
  • William Collier (ca.15851671), English grocer who was one of the few London Adventurers to voyage to New England settling at Duxbury, Massachusetts in 1633, later to become Assistant Governor in the Plymouth Colony
  • Thomas Collier settled in Hingham Massachusetts in 1635
  • Henry Collier, who landed in Virginia in 1648
  • William Collier, who landed in Maryland in 1649


Collier Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Sara Collier, who arrived in Virginia in 1704

Collier Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Nicholas Collier, who landed in New York in 1835
  • Johann Collier, aged 45, arrived in America in 1846
  • Jacob Collier, aged 23, arrived in Missouri in 1847
  • Dr. Collier, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • C W Collier, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850


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  • Barron Gift Collier (1873-1939), American advertising entrepreneur
  • John Collier (1708-1786), English-born American short story writer and novelist
  • Lucille Ann Collier (1923-2004), original name of Ann Miller, American singer, dancer and actress
  • Christopher Collier (b. 1930), American historian and author
  • Constance Collier (1878-1955), British-born American film actress
  • Lieutenant-General John Howell Collier (1898-1980), American Commanding General 4th Army (1955-1958)
  • Brigadier-General William Albert Collier (1896-1984), American Chief of Staff US European Theater of Operations (1944-1946)
  • Robert Porrett Collier, 1st Baron Monkswell, English judge
  • John Collier (1850-1934), English painter
  • Sir George Collier (1774-1824), 1st Baronet, Royal Navy officer

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nemo sine cruce beatus
Motto Translation: No one is happy but by the cross.

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  1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  2. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  11. ...

The Collier Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Collier Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 16 March 2014 at 10:43.

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