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Irish and English: from the Middle English personal name Col(e)man Old Irish Colmán earlier Columbán adopted as Old Norse Kalman. It was introduced into Cumbria Westmorland and Yorkshire by Norwegians from Ireland and probably spread widely across England. Ó Colmáin (‘descendant of Colmán’) was the name of an Irish missionary to Europe also known as Saint Columban(us) (c. 540–615) who founded the monastery of Bobbio in northern Italy in 61 Columbanus is formally a derivative of the Latin for ‘dove’ seen in the name of the 6th-century missionary known in English as Saint Columba (521–597) who converted the Picts to Christianity. This surname is also very common among African Americans. Irish: from Mac Colmáin or Ó Colmáin ‘son (or descendant) of Colmán’. Americanized form of Jewish (Ashkenazic) Kalman or Kolman . Americanized form of German Kohlmann or Kuhlmann . Americanized form of Dutch Kolman or its variants Koolman and Colman . Americanized form of Slovenian Croatian Czech Slovak and Polish Kolman . Compare Colman .7: Americanized form of Finnish Kolehmainen an old surname of uncertain meaning recorded since the 16th century in Savonia in the east of Finland from where it has spread early to Kainuu and central Finland.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022