Recorded in several forms including McCluney, McClooney, McClunie, Cluney, Clunie, Clooney, Chiny and others, this is a Scottish surname, although one also recorded in Ireland, and particularly Ulster. It is locational from a place called Clunie in the district of Stormont, in the county of Perthshire. The placename means the hill side near the reef, Clunie being situated on the shores of one of the small lochs of Lunan Burn, near Blairgowrie. Early examples of the surname recording include William de Cluny of Perthshire who rendered homage to King Edward 1st of England in 1296, whilst another William de Cluny, but of Brechin, also rendered homage in the same year. He is recorded again in 1305 but this time as Sir William de Clony, being by then chaplain to the bishop of Brechin. Several centuries later John Clunie or Clunnie was charged with "tumult" in 1686, and appears in the register of the Privy Council of Scotland, whilst earlier 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, in the charters of the abbey of Arbroath, during the reign of King Alexander 11nd of Scotland, 1214 - 1249. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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