Recorded in several forms as shown below, this is an Anglo-Irish surname. It has two possible origins. The first source is a patronymic form of the surname Coole, which is a development of the Gaelic "MacCumhaill", meaning the son of Cumhall, a byname meaning 'champion.' The second possible origin is a patronymic of the English surname Cole. Thi was itself a nickname form of the Greek personal name Nicholas, and translating as 'victory people'. This personal name was popular among Christians throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, and the spellings of this surname include Coulson, Coulston, Coleson, Cowles and Coolson. The earliest recording in Ireland was of the christening of John Colson, on January 22nd 1628 at St. John the Evangelist, Dublin, whilst in the city of London we have the christening of Alexander Coulson, on January 1st 1605 at St. Martin Ludgate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alstan Colesune. This was dated 1095, in the "Feudal Documents of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds", Suffolk, during the reign of King William 11nd, and known as "Rufus", 1087 - 1100. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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