Irish Surname - Collins
The Gaelic version of the name Collins name is O'Coileáin, which means a young dog.
In Ireland, Collins may be regarded as a genuinely indigenous Irish name; ranked number 30 in Ireland it is one the most numerous surnames, with an estimated Collins population of 14,000 persons, the majority of which come from Counties Cork and Limerick.
The Irish Collins surname originated in Limerick, where they were lords of the baronies of Connello, until after the Norman invasion they fled to Cork. The O'Coileains seem to have left no visible landmarks as no castles or towns are stamped with their name. There are also Collin families from the province of Ulster, most of whom were probably English.
One of Ireland's most famous sons was Michael Collins (1890 - 1922), affectionately known as 'The Big Fellow'. He was a man of great physical strength and courage and one of the signatories of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. He topped the polls for Sinn Fein in the 1918 general election and, with the outbreak of the Civil War in 1922, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief with a price of £10,000 on his head. When the President, Arthur Griffith, died in August of that year, Michael Collins took over as head of state and the army. Ten days later he was shot in an ambush at Beal-na-Blath in his beloved West Cork and his untimely death deprived Ireland of a most promising leader.
Alternate Surname Spellings
Collin, Colling, Collings, Collen, Collens
Researching Irish Surnames
We have only scratched the surface with information on Irish surnames. If you have an interest in helping to develop this area of our site contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and how you could be remunerated.
Ireland Roots Message Board
Leave a message on our Facebook page if you're researching this surname