The Irish surname Colman is an anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Colmáin meaning “descendant of Colmán.” This was the name of an Irish missionary to Europe, generally known as St. Columban (c.540–615), who founded the monastery of Bobbio in northern Italy in 614. When found in England the name Colman is an occupational name for a burner of charcoal or a gatherer of coal, Middle English coleman, from Old English col ‘(char)coal’ + mann ‘man’. In Ireland the name Colman is most common in counties Mayo and Sligo with significant numbers also found in Dublin and Belfast. Notable bearers include the 6th Century Irish poet Colmán mac Léníne, who was a monk, founder and patron of Cluain Uama, now Cloyne, Co. Cork. In the most recent US census more than 4000 instances of the surname Colman were recorded as living in The United States.
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