Collins (surname)

The surname Collins has a variety of likely origins in Britain and Ireland:

  1. Anglo-Saxon: A patronymic surname based on the name Colin, an English diminutive form of Nicholas. In England, Collins usually signified "son of Colin."
  2. Irish: "cuilein" = darling, a term of endearment applied to a whelp or young animal. The medieval surname was Ua Cuiléin, which has usually become Ó Coileáin today.
  3. Welsh: Collen = hazel, hazel grove.

Alternative spellings or related surnames include Collin, Colling, Coling, Collings, Colings, Collis, Coliss, Collen, and Collens.[1]

The earliest documented evidence of the name in England dates back as far as the twelfth and thirteenth centuries where several instances have been recorded. One Colinus de Andresia appears in the pipe rolls of Berkshire in 1191, while a Colinus is mentioned in Hartopp's Register of the Freeman of Leicester recorded in 1196. The name Colinc is also mentioned several times in the Domesday Book. The personal name Colin from which the surname derives has an even older history; Ceawlin, the king of the West Saxons, Caelin, a brother of St Chad, and the early Welsh saint, Kollen, all have names related to Colin. In Ireland, Collins may be regarded as a genuinely indigenous Irish name; in fact, it is one of the most numerous surnames, ranked number 30.[2]

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