Colm History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In the mountains of Scotland's west coast and on the Hebrides islands, the ancestors of the Colm family were born. Their name comes from the Gaelic personal name "MacChaluim" which means "son of Calum," oe "son of St. Colomba." The names MacCallum and Malcolm are used interchangeably as Calum is the often Anglicized as Malcolm.

Early Origins of the Colm family

The surname Colm was first found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where they quickly attained the status of Clan. Their ancient Clan seat was at Poltalloch near Loch Craignish.

The related Clan Calum is said to have been from Ariskeodnish. One of the earliest records of the name was Reginald MacCallum of Corbarron who was made the hereditary constable of Craignish Castle in 1414. Sir Duncan Campbell granted him lands in Craignish and on Loch Avich. This arrangement demonstrates the strong alliance between the MacCallums and the Campbells of Argyll; an arrangement which made them deadly foes of the MacDonalds.

In 1647, Sir Alexander MacDonald killed Zacharie MacCallum, a supporter of the Campbell Chief, in battle at Ederline. In the 17th century, another Zachary Maccallum was bequeathed the Cobarron lands by the last of that branch.

Early History of the Colm family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Colm research. Another 270 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1562, 1779, 1647, 1665, 1850, 1665, 1793 and 1800 are included under the topic Early Colm History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Colm Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Malcolmson, Malcollm, Malcom, Malcomb, Malcome, Malcomson, Malcum, MacCallam, MacCallum and many more.

Early Notables of the Colm family (pre 1700)

Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Colm Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Colm family to Ireland

Some of the Colm family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 127 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Colm migration to Australia +

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

Colm Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Colm, aged 19, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sibella" [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Colm (post 1700) +

  • Colm Honan (b. 1954), Irish retired hurler for Clare (1974-1984)
  • Colm Callanan (b. 1982), Irish hurler for Kinvara and has been a member of the Galway senior inter-county team since 2007
  • Colm McKavanagh, British Headteacher at The Romsey School in Romsey, Hampshire, England
  • Colm Magner, Canadian actor, writer, and director
  • Colm O'Mongain, Irish co-recipient of the Irish John Smith Memorial Mace (1998-1999)
  • Colm Murray (1952-2013), Irish broadcaster, newsreader and sports journalist, best known his horse racing reports
  • Colm O'Rourke, Irish retired sportsperson, columnist and analyst
  • Colm Keaveney (b. 1971), Irish politician and Chairman of the Labour Party
  • Colm Moriarty (b. 1979), Irish professional golfer
  • Colm Coyle (b. 1965), Irish professional Gaelic football player and manager


The Colm 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: In ardua petit
Motto Translation: He has attempted difficult things.


  1. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SIBELLA 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/sibella1852.shtml.


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