This very interesting Scottish surname is probably Norman-Breton in origin. It was introduced initially into England, by the followers of William the Conqueror at or after the battle of Hastings in 1066. The derivation is from either a pre 7th century personal name, originally 'Cumine' or 'Comyn', and thought to derive from the Breton/Celtic element 'can', meaning 'bent, crooked', and a common element in such surnames as 'Campbell' and 'Cameron', or from the French town of Comines. In Scotland, the family founded by William Comyn (see below), grew to be one of the most powerful in he country. In so doing they held at one time the Earldoms of both Angus and Atholl, although they were not only to lose them, but by the 14th century it was recorded that 'this great house of four earls and thirty two knights was so utterly overthrown, that there is no memorial in the country save the orisons (?) of the monks of Deer (A monastery). Be that as it may the surname remained popular, and there are now a very wide range of spelling forms including Cumming, Cummings, (patronymic), Cuming, Cumine, Cummine, Camings, Kaman, Camin, Kaming, Kemmons (!), Keming, Kimmons, Kimmins, Kimmings, and no doubt many others. Recording examples include Simon Comyn of Coldingham, in 1483, Barabara Keminge, christened at St Margarets, Westminster, in January 1st 1579, and Johes Kemmin, the son of George and Annae, christened at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on May 2nd 1641. The coat of arms has the blazon of a blue field charged with three golden wheatsheaves, banded in red. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Willelmus Comyn (Chancellor of Scotland), which was dated 1133, in the records of Kelso Abbey, Scotland, during the reign of King David 1 of Scotland, 1124 - 1153. 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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