Colen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the name Colen are from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the personal name Nicholas. A common diminutive of the name Nicholas was Colin. [1]

Saint Collen was a 7th-century monk who gave his name to Llangollen, Denbighshire which translates from the Welsh as "church of the hazel-wood."

Early Origins of the Colen family

The surname Colen was first found in various counties throughout old Britain. By example, the Hundreorum Rolls of 1273 list William de Colince or Colunce as holding lands at Chadlington, Oxford, and Hugh de Culunce had custody of Pont Orson temp. King John, c. 1200. Ernis de Coulonces married a daughter of William de Warrenne, Earl of Surrey, temp. Henry I. and Hugh de Colonches in 1165, held a barony of four fees. Adam de Coulnce paid a fine to the King in Oxfordshire 1203, and Hugh de Coulnce confirmed lands to Mottisfont Priory [2]

We must look to Somerset to view an early entry for an early phonetic match to the more popular spellings of today. For it is there that John Colyngs was listed as holding lands, 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [3]

Down in Cornwall, the Halset manor in Lesnewth, "belonged to the family of Colyn but in the reign of James I. it was the property of Thomas Southcott, Esq. and Mr. Humphrey Brown." [4]

Again in Cornwall, "the manor of Luxulian was in the family of Collins in the reign of Elizabeth, after which it became the property of the Kendalls." [4]

Early History of the Colen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Colen research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1576, 1651, 1624, 1711, 1618, 1667, 1623, 1690, 1625, 1683, 1653, 1705, 1697, 1660, 1172 and are included under the topic Early Colen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Colen Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Colen family name include Collins, Collin, Collings, Colling, Collis, Caullins, Caulling, Caullings, Caullis, Colins, Colings, Coliss and many more.

Early Notables of the Colen family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Samuel Collins (1576-1651), an English clergyman and academic, Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge and Provost of King's College, Cambridge; and his son, John Collins (1624-1711), an English academic and politician; Abraham Cowley (1618-1667), an English poet born in the City of London; John Collinges (1623-1690), an English Presbyterian theologian, participant in the Savoy Conference, ejected minister, and prolific writer; John Collins (1625-1683), an...
Another 70 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Colen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Colen family to Ireland

Some of the Colen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 72 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Colen family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Colen surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Alary Collin who settled in Philadelphia, Pa. in 1774; George Collin settled in Maryland in 1775; Patrick Collin settled in New Castle County, Del. in 1856.



  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print


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