Show ContentsCollison History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Collison family

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.

Early History of the Collison family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Collison research. Another 165 words (12 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Collison Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Collison family (pre 1700)

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

Collison Ranking

In the United States, the name Collison is the 15,225th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Collison migration to the United States +

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 landed in Virginia in 1639 [2]
  • Eliza Collison, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [2]
  • John Collison, who arrived in Maryland in 1662 [2]
  • George Collison, who arrived in Maryland in 1666 [2]
Collison Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • David Collison, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815 [2]
  • Thomas Collison, who landed in New York, NY in 1815 [2]
  • John Collison, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1848

Canada Collison migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Collison Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Collison U.E. who settled in Matilda, Dundas County, Ontario c. 1783 [3]
Collison Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • F. O. Collison, who arrived in Victoria, British Columbia in 1862

Australia Collison migration to Australia +

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

Collison Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Collison, (b. 1806), aged 22, English tailor who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life for burglary, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 29th April 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1845 [4]
  • Mr. William Collison, (b. 1810), aged 20, English seaman who was convicted in London, England for life for pick pocketing, transported aboard the "Florentia" on 11th August 1830, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Thomas Collison, English convict who was convicted in Norfolk, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Clyde" on 20th August 1830, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Thomas Collison, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Theresa" in 1847 [7]
  • George Collison, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia [8]

New Zealand Collison 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:

Collison Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Collison, aged 33, a shoemaker, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "New Zealand" in 1842
  • Janet Collison, aged 32, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "New Zealand" in 1842
  • Mr. Edward Collison, (b. 1848), aged 20, British ploughman travelling from London aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 8th February 1869 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Collison (post 1700) +

  • 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 Collison Motto +

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.

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th April 2021). Retrieved from
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th October 2022).
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th February 2021). Retrieved from
  7. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) THERESA 1847. Retrieved from
  8. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Western Australia, Australia in 1855 with 261 passengers. Retrieved from
  9. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook