This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a nickname for an unfortunate person who was a cripple or hunchback. The derivation of the name is from the Middle English "cripel, crepel, crupel", cripple, and the Middle English "crome" (Olde English pre 7th Century "crumb"), bent, crooked, stooping. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics. The earliest known bearers of the name are recorded in South Devon, and the surname has been almost entirely confined to this locality ever since. The surname can be found as Crimp and Crimpe. Recordings of the surname from Devonshire Church Registers include: the marriage of John Crimpe and Agnis Potter on November 31st 1555, at Clayhanger; the christening of Daroty, daughter of John and Mary Crimp, on January 13th 1626, at Newton Ferrers; and the marriage of Richardus Crimp and Maria Putteven on November 4th 1672, at Buckfastleigh. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Crempe, which was dated 1332, in the "Records of South Devon", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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