Collett History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Anglo-Saxon surname Collett came from the given name Nicholas. A common diminutive of the name Nicholas was Col and Ard was a Norman French suffix that meant son of. "William Colet was resident in Normandy 1180-95 (Mag. Rot. Scac.); Humphry and William Colet in 1198." [1]

Alternatively, the name could have been an occupational name for a "colet, or acolyte, [one] who waited upon the priest and assisted in carrying the bread and wine, in lighting the candles, and performing all subordinate duties.' [2]

Early Origins of the Collett family

The surname Collett was first found in Oxfordshire where "the Colletts of this county are mostly found in the Oxford district. The name of Collet was represented in Oddington in the reign of Elizabeth. In the 13th century Colet was an Oxfordshire, Shropshire, and a London name. The "colet" was the old English form of "acolyte," a church servant, and it is remarkable that, as a rule, the homes of the Colletts are, or have been, in the vicinity of ecclesiastical centres." [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Colett de Sautre, Huntingdonshire; Walter Colet, Salop (Shropshire); and Dyonisia Colet, Oxfordshire and later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed

Coleta Elot; Henricus Tayllour, et Collette uxor ejus; and Johannes Colet. [2]

Early History of the Collett family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Collett research. Another 151 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1202, 1433, 1486, 1480, 1467, 1519 and 1505 are included under the topic Early Collett History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Collett 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 Collett family name include Collett, Colett, Collet, Coullet, Caullet, Cowlett, Cowllett, Colleyt, Coulett, Caulett, Caullett, Coullett, Collette, Colette, Collete and many more.

Early Notables of the Collett family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Colet (1467-1519), a humanist and divine, a friend of Erasmus who helped bring the new learning to England. He was the Dean of St. Paul's, and founder of...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Collett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Collett Ranking

In the United States, the name Collett is the 4,806th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [4] However, in New Zealand, the name Collett is ranked the 701st most popular surname with an estimated 1,020 people with that name. [5]


United States Collett migration to the United States +

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 Collett surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Collett Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Margarett Collett, who landed in Virginia in 1640 [6]
  • Richard Collett, who settled in Virginia in 1642
  • Richard Collett, who landed in Maryland in 1650 [6]
  • Samuel Collett, who landed in Maryland in 1650 [6]
  • John Collett, who arrived in Maryland in 1651 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Collett Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Collett, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [6]
Collett Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • F Or Collett, aged 22, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1838 [6]
Collett Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Clara Collett, (b. 1879), aged 25, Cornish settler from Penzance, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Aurania" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 21st July 1904 en route to Newark, New Jersey, USA [7]
  • Mrs. Clara Collett, (b. 1879), aged 25, Cornish settler from St, Marys, Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Etruria" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 17th July 1904 en route to Newark, New Jersey, USA [7]
  • Mr. Francis Collett, (b. 1877), aged 27, Cornish settler in the Royal Navy from Penzance, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Aurania" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 21st July 1904 en route to Newark, New Jersey, USA [7]
  • Mr. Francis Collett, (b. 1877), aged 27, Cornish settler in the Royal Navy from St, Marys, Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Etruria" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 17th July 1904 en route to Newark, New Jersey, USA [7]
  • Mr. Richard K. Collett, (b. 1883), aged 22, Cornish miner from Bugle, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Cedric" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 14th May 1905 en route to Redridge, Michigan, USA [7]

Canada Collett migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Collett Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Collett Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

Australia Collett migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Collett Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Collett, British Convict who was convicted in Surrey, England for life , transported aboard the "Commodore Hayes" in April 1823, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • Mr. Samuel Collett, (b. 1809), aged 23 who was convicted in Somerset, England for life for house breaking, transported aboard the "Circassian" on 4th November 1832, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • George Collett, English convict from Herefordshire, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Mr. John Collett, English convict who was convicted in Kent, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 18th June 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [12]
  • John Collett, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Aden" in 1849 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Collett migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Collett Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Edward Collett, aged 30, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • Rachell Teresa Collett, aged 30, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • Henry Collett, aged 22, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1840
  • Elizabeth Collett, aged 21, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1840
  • Mr. J.E. Collett, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Bolton" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 30th April 1840 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Collett migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [15]
Collett Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Bridget Collett, who arrived in Barbados in 1680 with two children and their servants

Contemporary Notables of the name Collett (post 1700) +

  • Wayne Collett (1949-2010), American silver medalist athlete at the 1972 Summer Olympics
  • Lorraine Collett (1892-1938), American model from Kansas City, Missouri, the "Sun-Maid girl"; her bonnet was donated to the Smithsonian Institution in 1987
  • John A. Collett, U.S. naval officer, eponym of the USS Collett (DD-730)
  • Benjamin "Ben" Collett (b. 1984), English former footballer who played from 2002 to 2007
  • Andrew "Andy" Collett (b. 1973), English footballer who played as a goalkeeper from 1992 to 2004
  • Sir Henry Collett (1836-1901), English army officer in the East India Company and botanist
  • Lt. Colonel Gilbert Faraday Collett DSO (1879-1945), English sportsman who was an international rugby union player
  • Anthony Collett (1877-1929), English author on natural history, The Times nature correspondent
  • Lucy Victoria Collett (b. 1989), also known as Lucy V and Lucy Vixen, a British glamour model from Warwick, England
  • Mark Adrian Collett (b. 1980), British political activist, former chairman of the Young BNP
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Stanley J Collett (b. 1918), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Surbiton, Surrey, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [16]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Sidney Clarence Stuart Collett, aged 25, English Second Class passenger from London, England who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 9 [17]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  8. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  9. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 4th March 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/commodore-hayes)
  10. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 8th February 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/circassian)
  11. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 27) Andromeda voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1832 with 186 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/andromeda/1832
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  13. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Aden from London via Plymouth Adealide Arriving September 12th 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849AdenRegister.htm
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  16. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  17. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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