Colles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Colles comes from a name for a person with a dark complexion. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English word col, which meant dark.
Early Origins of the Colles family
The surname Colles was first found in Somerset or Wiltshire at Cole. The Somerset hamlet is in the parish of Pitcomb, union of Wincanton, hundred of Bruto; while the Wiltshire parish is in the union, and hundred of Malmesbury, Malmesbury and Kingswood. 
"Essentially south of England names, especially in the south - west, rarely occurring north of a line drawn west from the Wash. Cole is best distributed and has its principal homes in Devon and Wiltshire. Coles is most numerous in Somerset. Both names, strangely enough, are rare in Cornwall. Cole was a very ancient Teutonic name; there are places of the name in Somerset and Wiltshire, a circumstance that may perhaps explain the frequency of both names in Somerset and of Cole in Wiltshire." 
Much farther to the north in Scotland, the name was "one of the many forms assumed by the name Macdowall." 
Important Dates for the Colles family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Colles research. Another 43 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1608, 1688, 1640, 1680, 1617, 1676, 1617, 1650, 1616, 1697, 1659, 1660, 1773, 1843 and 1773 are included under the topic Early Colles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Colles Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Colles include Coles, Coals and others.
Early Notables of the Colles family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Elisha Coles (ca 1608-1688), an English lexicographer and stenographer, chorister of Magdalen College, Oxford
His nephew Elisha Coles (1640?-1680), was a lexicographer and stenographer, son of John Coles, schoolmaster of Wolverhampton. 
Gilbert Coles (1617-1676), was an English divine, son of Edmund Coles, priest...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Colles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Colles family to Ireland
Some of the Colles family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Colles migration to the United States
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Colles or a variant listed above:
Colles Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Richard Colles, who arrived in Virginia in 1640
- Richard Colles, who landed in Virginia in 1640 
- James Colles, who landed in Virginia in 1657 
- Edward Colles, who arrived in Virginia in 1665 
Colles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Manuel Colles, aged 35, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1827 
- Jaun Colles, aged 49, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1839 
- Jayme Colles, aged 16, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1839 
Contemporary Notables of the name Colles (post 1700)
- Abraham Colles, Irish professor of anatomy
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)