This surname of English origin is either a locational name from a large number of places mostly spelled Combe for example Combe in Somerset or topographical for someone living in a small valley. The name is derived from the Middle English "Combe" (Old English pre 7th Century "Cumb") meaning "a short, straight valley". The name dates back to the late 12th Century, (see below). Further recordings include Roger de la Cumbe (1273) "the Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire", and Robert atte Cumbe (1296) "The Subsidy Rolls of Sussex". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Combe, Combes, Coombes, Coombs, Coom, Coumbe, Coomber, and Comber. Abraham, son of Adam Coombe, was christened on November 30th 1577 at St. Mary, Stafford. One Anna Coomes was christened at St. Dunstan, Stepney, London in 1579. William Coomes, an early emigrant to the New World, is recorded as resident in Virginia in 1623. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de la Cumbe, witness, which was dated 1194, in the "The Feet of Fines", Sussex, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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.