The surname of NEWCUM was a nickname 'the new-commer' a newly settled stranger to the town or village. The name was derived from the Old English word Niwecumen. Early records of the name mention Gilbert le Neucom, 1273 County Lincoln. Ricardus Newcomen of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Robert Maddison married Elizabeth Newcome in Canterbury, County Kent. The acquisition of surnames in Europe and England, during the last eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in cultures and traditions. On the whole the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working class or the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. The bulk of surnames in England were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in place names into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. The earlier form of the name Newcomen, was a name of note in Dublin in the seventeenth century, which had arrived in Ireland at the end of the 16th century. Newcombe was mainly found in County Mayo, where it is said to be the anglicized from of O'Niadh.
A notable member of the name was Simon Newcomb (1835-1909) the American astronomer. He was a graduate of Harvard. He made many astronomical discoveries, and wrote a long series of works.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
Registered at Stanton Drew and Exeter, County Devon. 1620. (Newcombe). The escallop shell depicted in the arms was a badge much used by Pilgrims, as they considered it to be lucky, and is a common bearing in Coat Armour.
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