Show ContentsComan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

It is generally believed that this name comes from a Breton personal name, derived from element "cam," meaning "bent," or "crooked;" or perhaps from the herb called "cummin" (cumin).

Or the name may have come from the place name Comines, in Northern France, bordering the Belgium border. Regarding this latter scenario, multiple sources agree with this postulation, but all include wording similar to "there is no positive evidence in favor of this view." 1 2 3

Early Origins of the Coman family

The surname Coman was first found in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire in England, in the 12th and 13th centuries. Robert of Comyn (Comines,) (died 1069) was a noble who accompanied William the Conqueror and was made Earl of Northumberland. "He so commended himself to the king by his military skill that he was chosen at the end of 1068 for the difficult task of reducing the north of England to obedience. William I conferred on him the earldom of Northumberland, vacant by the flight of Gospatric. Comin was the founder of the family of Comyn, many of whom played an important part in the history of Scotland." 4

"The first of the name connected with Scotland is Willelmus Comyn, a churchman, chancellor to David I. He was promoted to the bishopric of Durham by the Empress Matilda, but had many controversies with his clergy. Later he was poisoned by some of their number who mixed poison with the wine of the Sacrament and give it to him to drink. Richard Cumyn, second of the name in Scotland, made a gift of the church of Lyntun-ruderic (Linton-Roderick) to the Abbey of Kelso for the weal of the souls of Earl Henry (d. 1152) and his own son, John. He also witnessed charters by William the Lion after 1165 (REM., I, 2). By his marriage with Hextilda, granddaughter of Donald Bane, king of Scots, he had a son, William, who became chancellor and great justiciary of Scotland. William married Marjory, daughter and heiress of Fergus, the last Celtic earl of Buchan between 1211-1224, and in right of his wife became earl of Buchan. " 2

John Comyn (d. 1212), was Archbishop of Dublin and was in his early life a trusted official and chaplain of Henry II.

Later, John Comyn (Cumyn) (c. 1215-1275) was Lord of Badenoch in Scotland and justiciar of Galloway in 1258. He founded and started the construction of Blair Castle with a tower in 1269. He was nephew of Alexander Comyn, Earl of Buchan, Constable of Scotland, and of Walter Comyn, Earl of Mentieth. 4

Alexander Comyn, 2nd Earl of Buchan (d. 1289), was Constable of Scotland, "the son of William Comyn, Earl of Buchan, the founder of Deer Abbey, and of Marjory, his second wife, who brought the title into the Comyn family. " 4

John Comyn the Elder (d. 1300?), of Badenoch, was 'claimant to the Scottish throne,' and was the second son of John Comyn, Justiciar of Galloway. His lordship of Badenoch came from his uncle, Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith. 4

His son, John Comyn the younger (d. 1306), of Badenoch, surnamed The Red, was one of the competitors for the crown of Scotland in 1291. 4

Early History of the Coman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coman research. Another 456 words (33 lines of text) covering the years 1124, 1133, 1150, 1153, 1180, 1189, 1212, 1258, 1263, 1264, 1266, 1274, 1275, 1286, 1289, 1296, 1300, 1302, 1306 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Coman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Coman Spelling Variations

Historical recordings of the name Coman include many spelling variations. They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. They include Cumin, Cumins, Cumine, Cummin, Cummins, Cummine, Comings, Comins, Commin and many more.

Early Notables of the Coman family

Notable among the family at this time was John Comyn (died 1274), was justiciar of Galloway, the son of Richard Comyn and nephew of the powerful Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith. His son John Comyn the Elder (died 1300), of Badenoch, 'claimant to the Scottish throne,' was the second son of John Comyn, justiciar of Galloway. Alexander Comyn (d. 1289)...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Coman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Coman family to Ireland

Some of the Coman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 142 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Coman migration to the United States +

Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Coman or a variant listed above:

Coman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Coman, who landed in Maryland in 1671 5
Coman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Cara A. Coman, aged 32, who landed in America from Marlborough, in 1892
  • N. Coman, aged 38, who immigrated to the United States, in 1896
  • Wozeick Coman, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States from London, in 1897
  • John Coman, aged 33, who landed in America from Thurles Co. Tipperary, in 1897
Coman Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • George F. Coman, aged 43, who landed in America from London, in 1904
  • Frank H. Coman, aged 45, who settled in America, in 1905
  • John Coman, aged 35, who settled in America from County Tipperary, Ireland, in 1907
  • Elizabeth Coman, aged 28, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Ellen Coman, aged 22, who immigrated to the United States from County Tipperary, Ireland, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Coman 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:

Coman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Coman, aged 43, a farm labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874 6
  • Harriett Coman, aged 43, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874 6
  • John Coman, aged 9, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874 6

Contemporary Notables of the name Coman (post 1700) +

  • Robert Grimes Coman (1887-1963), Commodore in the United States Navy, recipient of the Legion of Merit
  • Carolyn Coman (b. 1951), American writer of children's books from South Hampton, New Hampshire
  • Thomas Coman (1836-1909), American President of the New York City Board of Aldermen from 1868 to 1871
  • Katharine Coman (1857-1915), American social activist and economist
  • Mike Coman (b. 1987), New Zealand Rugby Union player
  • Peter George Coman (b. 1943), former New Zealand cricketer
  • Gilly Coman (1955-2010), British actress

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. 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)
  3. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. 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)
  6. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook