This name COLLINS is yet another common English surname borne in Ireland both by descendants of settlers, and to a greater extent by descendants of Irish families who adopted it as an anglicization of their Irish surname. This now accounts for it being among the fifty commonest surnames in Ireland. This name was adopted by the descendants of the O'Coileain sept from County Limerick and of the O'Cuilleain sept of the County of Cork. When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definite nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor. Early records of the name mention Colinus de Newill who was documented in 1273, and William filius Colini appears in the same year. Johannes Colynson was listed in the Poll Tax of Yorkskshire in 1379, and Jacob Marsh and Mabella Collins were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in the year 1682. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. An eminent member of the name was William Collins (1789-1853) the Scottish publisher, born in Renfrewshire. He was a weaver by trade, but opened a private school for the poor in Glasgow in 1813. In 1819, he set up in business as a bookseller and publisher. He specialized in church history and pioneered school textbooks. The Gaelic personal name COLLA was borne by a warrior in Celtic mythology; it is of uncertain etymology. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884 The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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