This name of McCOMBIE is the name of a Scottish family which was taken to Ireland by settlers. The name is MacComaidh in Gaelic, a name meaning the son of Tommie or Tommy. In Perthshire the name was frequently Englished as Thomson. MacComy was a common surname in Breadalbane 250 and more years ago. The Glenshee MacComies date their rise from the latter half of the 14th century. They appear as a distinct family in Glenshee in the 16th century, and in a feu-charter of the lands of Finnegand and Glenbeg, granted in 1571 to John M'Comy Moir they are described as being 'ab antiquo' tenants and possessors of these lands. Scottish surnames fall into two quite distinct groups; those of Gaelic origin and those of English origin. The Gaelic language was brought to Scotland from Ireland around the 5th century AD, displacing the British language (an early form of Welsh) previously spoken there as well as elsewhere. Gaelic was the main language of that part of Scotland not subject to English influence, a rather more extensive area than the present day Highlands and Islands, where Gaelic is still spoken in places. It is from these northwestern and western area of Scotland that surnames of Gaelic origin, now almost universally Anglicized in form, have been disseminated around the world. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but most of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name.
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