This interesting name is Scottish in origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called "Clunie" in the district of Stormont, in Perthshire. The placename means "the slope near the reef", Clunie being situated on the shores of one of the small lochs on Lunan Burn, near Blairgowrie. One William de Cluny of Perthshire rendered homage to Edward 1 of England in 1296, and another William de Cluny, of Brechin, also rendered homage in that year and is recorded again in 1305 as Sir William de Clony, chaplain to the bishop of Brechin. One John Clunie or Clunnie was charged with "tumult" in 1686 (Register of the Privy Council of Scotland). Other old forms of the name are Clenye, Cloonie, Clwny, and Clyye, while the modern surname can be found as Clunie and Chiny. The marriage of James Clunie and Bessie Sandie was recorded in Erool, Perthshire, on July 28th 1648. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Clonin, Charter Witness, which was dated 1214, Register of Arbroath Abbey, during the reign of King Alexander 11, King of Scotland, 1214 - 1249. 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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