This name is nearly always locational from the villages of Colborn in North Yorkshire or Colesborne in Gloucester and also Caldbeck, a parish in Cumbria, and means "the dweller by the cool stream", from Olde English "col-burna". On occasion the name may derive from the Viking pre 7th Century personal name Kolbrun as in Robert Colbern of Devon in 1185. In the modern idiom the name has at least four spelling variations including Coldbeck, Colebeck, Coulbeck etc. and they are composed of the Olde Norse elements "kaldr" meaning "cold" and "bekkr" a stream. The Olde English elements col meaning "cool" and "burna" a stream, give rise to a similar group of names ie. Colbourne, Colborn etc. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey de Colebrunn. which was dated 1208, in the "Yorkshire Place Name Register". during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.