The surname of COLINGS was of the baptismal group of surnames 'the son of Nicholas'. The name was popular among Christians throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, largely as a result of the fame of a 4th century Lycian bishop, about whom a large number of legends grew up, and who was venerated in the Orthodox Church as well as the Catholic. East European forms of this name are spelt with the initial M, as Mikulas in Poland. The name was sometimes borne by women in the Middle Ages. A name brought to England with the Conqueror in 1066. 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, workman 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. Early records of the name mention Colinus de Newill was recorded in the year 1273 in County Yorkshire. Johannes Colinson of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Jacob Marsh married Mabella Collins at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in 1682. A notable member of the name was Jesse Collings (1831-1920) the English politician, born in Devonshire. He was elected Radical MP for Ipswich in 1880, and sat for Bordesley as a Unionist. He was specially identified with the Agricultural Labourer's Union and measures for promoting allotments and smallholdings (three acres and a cow). He was under secretary for the home office in 1895. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
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