This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname from the numerous places so called in Berkshire, Hampshire, Somerset, and Surrey, to name but a few. The derivation which seems the most probable, due to the fact that it is still a popular descriptive address, is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "cumb", a narrow valley, with "tun", a farm, thus "valley farm". However, there is a possibility that the derivation is from a Norman personal name "Comin", which was introduced after the Conquest of 1066, and is found in Scotland as the surname "Cummings".This name is recorded in America as early as 1623, when one Frances Compton is listed as "living" in Virginia. Henry Compton (1805 - 1877) who is amongst several namebearers listed in the "Dictionary of National Biography", was a comedian who appeared on the stage in both England and Ireland, and was acknowledged to be the best Shakespearean Clown of his epoch. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gladwin de Cumtuna, which was dated 1167 - 1175, in the "Early Yorkshire Charters", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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