The surname of COLLIER was an occupational name - the collier -a charcoal burner or the seller of charcoal. The 'collier' is still a term used throughout Furness and the surrounding areas. Surnames of occupation originally denoted the actual work followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and COLINUS (without surname) appears to be the first of the name recorded in 1086. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conqueror. It is known as the Domesday book. Other records of the name mention Henry le Colyer, who was documented in County Lancashire in the year 1273. Adam Colier, of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Robert le Colyer, ibid. Zachery Collier and Alice Hawkyns were married in London in the year 1570. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Dariston, County Stafford. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84.
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