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Surnames/tags: Colyer Coyler Collier
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About the Project

The Coyler Name Study project serves as a collaborative platform to collect information on the Coyler name. The hope is that other researchers like you will join the study to help make it a valuable reference point for other genealogists who are researching or have an interest in the Coyler name. The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Colyer has been spelled many different ways, including Collier, Collyer, Colier, Colyer, Colyar, Colyear and many more.

This profile is part of the Coyler Name Study.
To add a sticker on a profile page, use the One Name Study sticker with an appropriate category:
{{One Name Study|name=Coyler
|category=Colliers, Coyler Name Study}}

The founding heritage of the Colyer family is in the Anglo-Saxon culture that once dominated in Britain. The name Colyer comes from when one of the family worked as a person who made or sold charcoal. The surname Colyer is derived from the Old English word col, which means coal; as such it is thought to have originally been an occupational name for a burner of charcoal or a gatherer or seller of coal. Early Origins of the Colyer family

As a One Name Study, this project is not limited to persons who are related biologically. Individual studies can be used to branch out the research into specific methods and areas of interest, such as geographically (England Coylers), by time period (18th Century Coylers), or by topic (Coyler DNA, Coyler Occupations, Coyler Statistics). These studies may also include a number of family branches which have no immediate link with each other. Some researchers may even be motivated to go beyond the profile identification and research stage to compile fully sourced, single-family histories of some of the families they discover through this name study project.

Also see the related surnames and surname variants.

How to Join

To join the Coyler Name Study, first start out by browsing our current research pages to see if there is a specific study ongoing that fits your interests. If so, feel free to add your name to the Membership list below, post an introduction comment on the specific team page, and then dive right in!

If a research page does not yet exist for your particular area of interest, please contact the Name Study Coordinator: Vacant for assistance.

... ... ... is a member of the Coyler Name Study Project.
Once you are ready to go, you can also show your project affiliation with the ONS Member Sticker:


My family also spells their name Colyer. Until the late 1800’s the Collier spelling was changed to Colyer. In fact, there were 12 kids in my mom’s family. The first three born their name is spelled Collier on their birth certificates. The last nine are Colyer. I’m told the census changed it in our area.

Research Pages

Here are some of the current research pages included in the study.

... ... ... was an early settler in Pennsylvania.
  • Coyler Village, Potter Twp. Centre County, PA. USA: The founding heritage of the Coyler family is in Anglo-Saxon culture that once dominated Britain. The name Coyler comes from when one of the family worked as a person who made coal. The surname is derived from the old English word "col" which means coal. It is though to have originally been an occupational name of or seller of coal. The Village of Colyer, Potter Township, Centre County, Pennsylvania, is a profusion of roads which loops quite confusing to strangers ( It was originally called the Loop) The name (Colyer) is the title of an area more than a town because Colyer is spread over considerable territory and it is difficult to pinpoint the town itself. The sawmill built by William Colyer and for many years the lumbering operation was the main source of employment in Potter Township.
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Colliers of Virginia

Here are some non-WikiTree pages/sites that may help with your research.

Related Surnames and Surname Variants


Memories: 1
Enter a personal reminiscence or story.
We ( our family) were in possession of the "Colyer Bible" . An enormous book with a very thick cover. Besides being a large print Bible it was used to record family births, deaths, baptisms and marriages It was give to my Dad or he simply took after my Grandmother's death in 1958. It remained with the general family until 2002 when it was given or willed to my sister, by my mother on or near her death. Other than general curiosity I had only passing interest in the family history at the time. Well it was a family firestorm. The Colyer's who I at the time didn't know any at the time, My Aunts my father's sisters wanted it back and there was even some scabbing in the family about the Bible. My brothers believe it my mother vindictiveness to pass it out of the family name (at the time she though it was the Bailey Bible). And my sister was and still is adamant about not giving it up. As the oldest in the family I went out and bought a very expensive Bible in the hopes she would trade it to me so I could give it back to my oldest Aunt. That made things even worst. So the issue has become one we tread easy with. However, over the years my sister, who lives in another State has been willing to share when ask what is in it and what is not. Therefore, it has served as a confirming or not of dates etc.

Responding to an inquiry about Leah Campbell Colyer to Great-Grand Son Lawrence Bailey

posted 16 Mar 2020 by Lawrence Bailey   [thank Lawrence]
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Comments: 15

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What a mess! The English Colliers are bad enough, with Collyer, Cullyer, Cullyen (when ancient handwriting is misread), Collyar, etc.. I didn't know that Germans had dipped their oars in the waters, too. That makes one wonder about a single ancient source for the name.

My Collier adventure has been a trip down one of those genealogical rabbit holes. What interested me, once I started learning about this family, was that in a few generations they (1) as fellow inhabitants of Southwark, probably knew William Shakespeare; (2) survived (most of them) repeated bubonic plague outbreaks; (3) endured the monarchs' vacillation between Catholicism and Church of England; (4) lived through the interregnum (Oliver Cromwell) period, when there was no monarch, and (5) must have been seriously affected by the Great Fire of London in 1666. All of this while maintaining membership in one of the great Livery Companies of London, the Worshipful Company of Grocers. As time goes on, I expect that more will be learned and added about this family because they were prominent citizens. But, long story shortened, my interest in the Colliers will wane once I get this large family group entered. I'll update my comment in a few days when I get my research write-up posted on a free-space page, and then see whether any Colliers want to join the effort of moving the family into WikiTree. Ray Watts PhD Thank you Ray:

As to origins of the Collier/Colyer name it's probably Angel-Saxon. Which would also explain a German/Swiss connection. Also there is an Anabaptist connection as far as early Pennsylvanians. Since often Quaker (English) and Amish (German/Swiss0 did intermarry especial in Central pennsylvania as was the case in my family.

posted by Lawrence Bailey
I entered the Collier world through an interest in Mary (Collier-117) Browning, an emigrant from Southwark (then in Surrey, now in London) to Massachusetts around 1640. My initial search was for relatives who may have emigrated with her or around the same time, but I soon discovered that she belonged to a family long associated with the Worshipful Company of Grocers of London, and that this family was primarily and stably affiliated with the Parish of St. Saviour in Southwark. They were sufficiently interesting to me that I have documented seven generations of the family beginning with the 1549 death of patriarch Joseph and ending in 1700 (I had to draw a line somewhere!). I am just beginning to move my research materials into WikiTree and will shortly make a free-space page with a pdf containing links to all the sources (primarily parish records from London and Surrey on Ancestry). The collection covers about 90 individuals, with biographic notes on those for whom I found other records (wills etc.). My research is by no means exhaustive, but offers a solid starting point for further work.

It will involve considerable work to move this collection into WikiTree profiles, so I am looking for collaborators to help in that endeavor.

posted by Raymond Watts PhD
Welcome! My focus is the Virginia Colliers, so I won't be volunteering. If you don't get replies through your post here, you might want to post to G2G.

Cheers, Liz

posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
I agree with Liza Shefflet in changing the Name Study space page to Coyler Name Study space page and retain the Category: Coyler Name Study. I don't know if their intertwined but I believe they are not so they probably need only to be separated at Wiki
posted on Collier Name Study (merged) by Lawrence Bailey
edited by Lawrence Bailey
Lawrence - Collier Name Study is now Coyler Name Study. I removed myself as manager/coordinator but did not add you as the study's coordinator - didn't want to presume! Please add your name as coordinator and let Nat know. If you'd rather not be the coordinator, please add the following category to this page:

Category:One Name Studies Project, Needs Coordinator

(and let Nat know).

Nat - I'll be marking the Category: Collier Name Study for deletion soon.

Cheers, Liz

posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
I'm confused by this. Everything says Colyer, yet the name study is Coyler? Here is the thing: one name should be the "main" name, with the other two names as variants for ONE STUDY. The categories go under one study name, not existing as three separate category streams. I am trying to figure out what is going on. LOL. PLUS, there will be a template issue by using three names. Pick one as main, then I'll fix the rest. BUt I NEED to know which name:Colyer, Coyler, or Collier?


posted by Natalie (Durbin) Trott
edited by Natalie (Durbin) Trott
I'm back to deferring to Lawrence, but if he doesn't reply, I'll defer to your choice. My focus is on early Colliers, and I created the Collier Name Study in order to have a parent category (Category: Collier Name Study) for,_1600s-1700s - companion category for Space:Virginia Colliers, 1600s-1700s, but any of the three would be ok as a parent category for my narrow-focus study.
posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
The ONS for the Coyler / Collier was originally set up by Liza Nolan Shifflet Noland -165 Who turn over the reins to me to focus on Brunswick County Colliers (Virginia Colliers, 1600s-1700s). Also at the time she though that Coyler should be a separate Name Study rather than treated as a variant of Collier. Neither Coyler nor Pennsylvania is found at Although I believe they are distinct and separate heritage lines, I’ donot know how to separate them. Also I have found that the separate surname have appeared within mutual family member. I was also advised by Dale Scott Wilson that his family also spells their name Colyer. Until the late 1800’s the Collier spelling was changed to Colyer. In fact, there were 12 kids in my mom’s family. The first three born their name is spelled Collier on their birth certificates. The last nine are Colyer. I’m told the census changed it in our area. Where I have seen this I have tried using both. My intention was to not only find the Ancestry of my Grandmother, but also trace to the founding family of the town of Colyer, Centre County, Pennsylvania
posted on Collier Name Study (merged) by Lawrence Bailey
Would it be better to retain this page (with memory/comments/history/links/attached photos) as Coyler Name Study & instead of going with "something like Category:Colyers, Collier Name Study" like Nat suggests, use something like Category: Virginia Colliers, Coyler Name Study for Virginia Colliers? That would work for my purposes. If you have PA Colliers, we could have Category: Pennsylvania Colliers, Coyler Name Study for them.

Alternatively, there's already a space page for early Virginia Colliers - see So, instead of Category: Virginia Colliers, Coyler Name Study, we could create a companion category for that page - i.e., Category: Virginia Colliers, 1600s-1700s & it could be a subcategory of Category: Colyer Name Study

I think I like changing this page to Space: Coyler Name Study & retaining Category: Coyler Name Study while creating Category: Virginia Colliers, 1600s-1700s to support the Space page of the same name.

Let me know if you're ok with Space: Collier Name Study becoming Space Coyler Name Study & I'll take care of that bit. Then we can work with Nat on whatever changes are needed for the categories. My focus on Colliers is fairly narrow, looking at Colliers in Virginia prior to 1800 (I'm descended from Sarah Furgason, b 1818 in TN, whose mother was a Virginia Collier).

edited for clarity

posted on Collier Name Study (merged) by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
edited by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
hmm. looking at the one "people profile" in Category: Collier Name Study (1900s Canadian), perhaps Nat's suggested format of Category: Colliers, Colyer Name Study would be best.

In the meantime, I've created Category: Virginia Colliers, 1600s-1700s & included it under both Name Study categories (but it would probably be best under the proposed Category: Colliers, Coyler Name Study).

Cheers, Liz

posted on Collier Name Study (merged) by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Thanks, Lawrence. So you don't know how to separate them because they are intertwined or you don't know how to separate them at WikiTree? I can do that with WikiTree, so don't worry about that. It's a matter of changing redirects, adding a space page, etc. This is all in my purview.

But if you fear separating them because the name Colyer AND the name Collier are overlapping in a family line, then maybe it should remain. Let me know, and thanks for your answer.


posted on Collier Name Study (merged) by Natalie (Durbin) Trott
Steven and I (ONS Leaders) are going through the errors related to ONS and this one is included.

Is Colyer a variant name? If so, it should remain part of Collier Name Study. It is structured as a separate study, though, with its own category, which is not the way it should be. If it is a variant name, the category should be something like Category:Colyers, Collier Name Study]].

Let me know the way it should be and I will initiate the changes.

Thanks, Natalie, ONS Leader

posted on Collier Name Study (merged) by Natalie (Durbin) Trott
Lawrence -

I think that Coyler should be a separate Name Study rather than treated as a variant of Collier. Neither Coyler nor Pennsylvania is found at

Are you ok with that?

Cheers, Liz

posted on Collier Name Study (merged) by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Please add me to the project, my mother is Cheri Collier, daughter of Bruce Collier, then George Collier and George Collier.
posted on Collier Name Study (merged) by Heather Lawson
I'm on the mailing list for the Collier Heritage Foundation, which recently sent a notice about updates to their website:

Welcome to the updated Collier Heritage Foundation website! Look around and let us know how you like some of the new features. We’ve added “Regions” for those doing genealogical work in specific areas and a restricted (requiring membership) “DNA” category.

posted on Collier Name Study (merged) by Liz (Noland) Shifflett