This interesting surname is of Scots-Gaelic origin, and is of locational derivation from the place called Crombie in the parish of Auchterless, in the former county of Aberdeenshire (now part of the Grampian region), where the name is mainly found today. The derivation for the placename comes from the Gaelic "crom(b)", which means crooked. The Gaelic "b" is silent, and the local pronunciation, as well as most old deeds, omit it, for example, the placename appears as "Cromee, Cromy, Cromie, Crommay" and "Crumy" in old records.Variant surnames include Crumbie, Cromie, Crummey, Crummie and Crummy. The first recording of the surname appears relatively late in the early 15th Century (see below). Robert Crumby, a chaplain, was a witness in Brechin in 1450 and 1464, according to Episcopal Registers of the monastery of Brechin, while William de Crumby was granted a safe conduct into England in 1424, and Andrew Cromby, a Scottish merchant received the same in 1475. David Crommy was admitted burgess of Aberdeen in 1516. Agnes, daughter of James Crombie, was christened on October 6th 1612, at Inverurie, Aberdeen. The family Coat of Arms depicts on a green shield, a silver cross botonnee, on a silver chief a red lion passant, the Crest being a red eagle displayed. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Patrick de Cromby, chaplain of Scotland, which was dated 1423, in a "Calendar of documents relating to Scotland", during the reign of King James 1 of Scotland, 1406 - 1437. 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.
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