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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Collison is an ancient Pictish-Scottish name. It is derived from son of Collie which is a diminutive of Nicholas.


The surname Collison was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland, where they held a family seat from very early times.

Translation has done much to alter the appearance of many Scottish names. It was a haphazard process that lacked a basic system of rules. Spelling variations were a common result of this process. Collison has appeared Collison, Collisone, Colesoun, Colison, Colisone, Caullison, Cawlison, Cawllison, Colleson, Coleson, Collisoun, Collisson and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Collison research. Another 220 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1449, 1531, 1584, 1596, and 1674 are included under the topic Early Collison History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Collison Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many Scots left their country to travel to the North American colonies in search of the freedom they could not find at home. Of those who survived the difficult voyage, many found the freedom they so desired. There they could choose their own beliefs and allegiances. Some became United Empire Loyalists and others fought in the American War of Independence. The Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up in the last century have allowed many of these disparate Scots to recover their collective national identity. A search of immigration and passenger ship lists revealed many early settlers bearing the Collison name:

Collison Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Miles Collison who settled in Virginia in 1639
  • Miles Collison, who landed in Virginia in 1639
  • Eliza Collison settled in Virginia in 1650
  • Eliza Collison, who landed in Virginia in 1650
  • John Collison, who arrived in Maryland in 1662

Collison Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • David Collison, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815
  • Thomas Collison, who landed in New York, NY in 1815
  • John Collison settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1848

Collison Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. John Collison U.E who settled in Matilda, Dundas County, Ontario c. 1783

Collison Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • F. O. Collison, who arrived in Victoria, British Columbia in 1862

Collison Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Collison arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Theresa" in 1847
  • George Collison, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia

Collison Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Andrew Collison, aged 33, a shoemaker, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "New Zealand" in 1842
  • Janet Collison, aged 32, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "New Zealand" in 1842


  • Frank Collison (b. 1950), American actor, best known for his portrayal as Horace Bing in the series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
  • Wilson Collison (1893-1941), American author and playwright from Beverly Hills, California
  • Nicholas John "Nick" Collison (b. 1980), American professional NBA basketball player
  • Darren Michael Collison (b. 1987), American professional NBA basketball point guard
  • Levi Collison (1875-1965), English art publisher, printer and politician
  • Harold Collison (1909-1995), Baron Collison, a British trade unionist
  • Meghan Collison (b. 1988), Canadian fashion model from Edmonton, Alberta
  • Jack David Collison (b. 1988), Welsh international footballer
  • William Henry Collison (1847-1922), Anglican missionary in British Columbia, Canada
  • Rev. George Collison (1772-1847), English Congregationalist and educator


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: Hoc virtutis opus
Motto Translation: This is the work of virtue.


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  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  10. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  11. ...

The Collison Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Collison 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 18 February 2015 at 13:15.

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