Coleman surname history

Although Coleman is a common surname in England, where it is occupational, denoting a burner of charcoal, in Ireland the name is almost always of native Irish origin and generally comes from the personal name Colman, a version of the Latin Columba, meaning "dove". Its popularity as a personal name was due to the two sixth-century Irish missionary saints of the name, in particular St. Columban, who founded monasteries in many places throughout central Europe and whose name is the source of many similar European surnames: Kolman (Czech), Kalman, (Hungarian), Columbano (Italian). The original homeland of the Irish O Colmain was in the barony of Tireragh in Co. Sligo, and the surname is still quite common in this area. In the other region where the surname is now plentiful, Co. Cork, it has a different origin, as an anglicisation of the Irish O Clumhain, which has also been commonly rendered as "Clifford".

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