Colingam History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Colingam reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Colingam family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Colingam family lived in Yorkshire. They lived in Collingham, in a parish near Wetherby, as Lords of the Manor of Collingham.

Early Origins of the Colingam family

The surname Colingam was first found in West Yorkshire at Collingham, a village and civil parish bounded on the north by the river Wharf and comprises about 2,500 acres. The village dates back to 1167, when it was listed as Col(l)ingeham. North and South Collingham, Nottinghamshire actually date back further to the Domesday Book where they were listed as the one village of Colingeham. All have the same meaning of "homestead or village of a family or followers of a man called Col or Cola", having derived from the Old English personal name + ham. [1]

Further to the north in Scotland, Coldingham is a parish in Berwickshire. "This place, of which the name is of doubtful derivation, has a claim to very remote antiquity, and appears to have originally acquired distinction from the erection of a nunnery, in the seventh century, by Ebba, daughter of Ethelfrith, King of Northumbria. The monastery of Coldingham is said to have been founded by Edgar, King of Scotland, about the year 1100." [2]

Robert de Colingeham was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Leicestershire in 1195 and Richard de Kollyngeham was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296. [3]

Geoffrey de Coldingham ( fl. 1214), was an early historian of the church of Durham and was, according to the heading prefixed to the manuscripts of his book, sacrist of Coldingham priory, a ' cell ' or dependent establishment of the priory of Durham. "Of his life nothing is known. His history begins with the death of Bishop William de St. Barbara in 1152, and ends abruptly with the election of Morgan (an alleged natural son of Henry II) to the bishopric in 1214. " [4]

Thomas Colyngham (fl. 1387), was a Cistercian monk, attended the university of Paris, where he proceeded to the degree of doctor, presumably in theology. [4]

Early History of the Colingam family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Colingam research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1195, 1296, 1379 and 1613 are included under the topic Early Colingam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Colingam Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Collingham, Colingeham, Coldingham, Kollyngeham, Colyngham, Colingam and many more.

Early Notables of the Colingam family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Colingam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Colingam family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Colingam name or one of its variants: John Collingam who sailed to Maryland in 1673.



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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