This surname, familiar to Scotland was a baptismal name 'the son of CHRISTOPHER' an ancient and popular font name which has has been in use since the 12th century. This name was from the medieval given name which ostensibly means 'Bearer of Christ'. This was borne by a rather obscure 3rd century martyred saint. His name was relatively common among early Christians, who desired to bear Christ metaphorically with them in their daily lives, but it was later explained by a wholly legendary story in which he carried the infant Christ across a ford, and so became the patron saint of travellors. In this guise he was enormously popular in the Middle Ages, and many Inns providing accommodation for travellors were named with this sign; in some instances the surname may have derived originally from the residence at, or association with an inn. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker. Early records of the name mention Robertus de Cristall of Yorkshire, who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Willi Cristole, who was presented to Court in 1447, and John Cristall witnessed a charter of land in Rait in the year 1491. Christall Murray who appears as the deputy of Stirling in the year 1561. George Cristall of Dysart was a captive among the 'Turks' of Algiers in 1650, and Thomas Cristell was master of the ship 'James of Dundee' in 1567. John Debenger and Mary Crystal were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1790. The name has been found in Ireland since the 17th century. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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