Collins – Surname Saturday

I don’t really know much about my Collins ancestors, but they are among my earliest ancestors, 8th 9th and 10th great grandparents. They were part of the “Great Migration” of the early 1600s arriving in Massachusetts then locating to Connecticut.

Name Origin

Ancestry.Com suggests that the Collins surname is an Anglicized for of the Gaelic names Ó Coileáin and Mac Coileáin. It also suggests that it is a form of “Coll” a shortened form of Nicholas.[i]

Similarly, Forbears suggests that Collins is derived from and ancestor, “the son of Nicholas” – Coll or Cole – and put into a diminutive form: “Col-in” like “Rob-in.”[ii]


Collins is the 698th most Common surname in the world; Approximately ¾ of a million people have the Collins surname in the world and about ½ of them are in the United States where the surname ranks 50th.  In terms of density, (percentage of population and rank within a nation) the number one place for the “Collins” surname is Ireland.

Although often thought of as an Irish name, there are more people with the Collins surname in England (and Nigeria) than in Ireland.[iii]

My Earliest Ancestors

I believe that my Collins ancestors came from England. That is to say, I understand that my 8th great-grandmother’s grandfather was Deacon Edward Collins of Bramford, Suffolk, England.[iv] It appears that he came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1637.

His son, Deacon Nathaniel Collins, was probably born in Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1643.[v]

His daughter, Abigail Collins, was likely born in Connecticut Colony about 1682 and married Samuel Wolcott on 27 Dec 1705. I say “understand,” “appears,” “probably,” and “likely” because I have not had the chance to independently verify and confirm the source document from several authored sources individual trees that suggest this information. I have not confirmed with original source documents.

Marker of Abigail Collins Wolcott (1682 - 1758)
Abigail Collins Wolcott (1682 – 1758) – Marker

My third great-grandmother is Fanny Taylor who married Stephen Blackhurst. So the Taylor surname jumped five generations to me. Likewise, I have a niece whose surname is Collins having jumped 12 generations to another descendant being a “Collins.”

Abigail Collins married Samuel Wolcott (1679-1734) in 1705.[vi] They had six children (that I know of); their third child, Samuel (1713-1800) is my 7th great grandfather.

My Direct Collins Ancestors

#6564 – Edward Collins – (1603-1689) – Generation 13
#3282 – Nathaniel Collins (1653-1741) – Generation 12
#1641- Abigail Collins (1681-1758)
#  820 – Samuel Wolcott (1713-1800)
#  410 – Samuel Wolcott (1736-1802)
#  205 – Mary Wolcott (1767-1857)
#  102 – Chester Parsons (1799-1887)
#    51 – Mary Electa Parsons (1828-1888)
#    25 – Marion Sanford (1846-Unk)
#    12 – Arthur Durwood Brown (1869-1928)
#      6 – Richard Earl Brown (1903-1990)
#      3 – My mother – Living
#      1 – me – Living


My known relatives.

My records only have six known Collins, however, I have identified 703 direct-line descendants of Abigail Collins, including my niece over 14 generations, which is almost 1/8 of my known genealogical database.


[i] Internet: Collins Family History –
[ii] Internet: Forebears – Collins Surname –
[iii] Ibid.
[iv] Geni –
[v] Geni –
[vi] Wolcott, Chandler, HENRY WOLCOTT, The Family of, Internet Archive, Page 066 & 067 – Fourth Generation – XVI – Samuel Wolcott [42].

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Appleton Surname and My Appleton Ancestors


Surname Saturday

Name Origin

Appleton is a surname based upon habitation, that is to say based upon where a person lived or came from. If it were Orchard, you would know right off; however, Appleton comes from æppeltun, Old English literally meaning “apple enclosure.”[i]


The Appleton is said to come from England. The 1840 Census indicated there were 137 Appleton families in the United States. Fifty of them, or 36%, were living in Massachusetts.[ii]

My Earliest Appleton Ancestors

DECd MAY Ye 15th 1696
photo by: John Glassford via Find a Grave

My earliest known Appleton ancestor is my 10th great grandfather, Samuel Appleton. Samuel was born 2 Feb 1624 in Waldringfield, Suffolk, England. Some records I have indicate that he was a Junior, so I suppose his father, Samuel Appleton is my earliest known Appleton Ancestor, although I have no information on him, yet. When Samuel (the younger) was ten, his family came to the colonies and settled in Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts. He married Hanna Paine (1627-1656) and had two children, Judith and Samuel. Hanna died and then he married Mary Oliver and had two more children, Isaac and Oliver.[iii] Samuel died on 15 May 1696 in Ipswich, MA. He is buried in the Old Burying Ground in Ipswich. I believe his marker is the oldest marker of a direct ancestor that I know of.

Judith Appleton married Samuel Wolcott (1656-1695) in 1678.[iv] They had nine children, their eldest son, Samuel (1679-1734) is my 8th great grandfather.

My Direct Appleton Ancestors

#6562 – Samuel Appleton (1624-1696) – Generation 13
#3281 – Judith Appleton (1653-1741) – Generation 12
Wolcott – Four Generations – Generations 8 thru 11
Parsons – Two Generations – Generations 6 and 7
Sanford – One Generation – Generation 5
Brown – Two Generations – Generations 3 and 4
My mother – Generation 2
Me – Generation 1

My known relatives.

My records have 364 direct-line descendants identified over sixteen generations, which is 8% of my known Brown/Montran Ancestors.


[i] Ancestry.Com – Appleton Family History –
[ii] Ibid.
[iii] Find a Grave; Col Samuel Appleton, JR – Memorial# 38222231
[iv] Wolcott, Chandler, The Family of HENRY WOLCOTT

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