This very unusual surname is of Cornish-Gaelic origins, although its modern form may owe something to French-Breton as well. The derivation is from the pre 10th Century "crib", which can either mean a "cattle-fold", or "the crest of a hill", either way it is somebody resident at such a place. The likelihood is that such a place once existed in Cornwall, but if so, it is not recorded in the Medieval Village lists. The suffix "-o(e)" represents a genitive suffix and is loosely equivalent to the Irish "O", or the Scottish "Mac", to indicate a close member of a particular family or sept.However, in this case there is a further complication in that the forms as Crebott and Cribbott are themselves diminutives, although using the shortened form of "petit" (little) to achieve the same result. Early recordings include: Lennard Creboe, who was married at Truro, on June 6th 1681, and Jacob Crebo, a witness at Cubert, Cornwall, on August 27th 1691. The diminutive form was recorded in Launceston, Cornwall, on October 6th 1725, Thomas Crebott being christened on that date, whilst on June 6th 1831, Catherine Crebo married Henry Kingdon at St. Pancras Old Church, London, in the reign of King William 1V (1830 - 1837). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Frances Creebo, which was dated November 30th 1679, christened at Perranzabuloe, Cornwall, during the reign of King Charles 11, known as "The Merry Monarch", 1660 - 1685. 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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