This interesting Scottish surname is locational from the place so called near Inverness, Scotland. The name is found early in the Orkney Isles and is now generally confined to South Ronaldsay, and curiously enough not found in Scotland proper. William de Crumbacy, shown below as the earliest recording of the name, was valet to John, Earl of Caithness. The Orkney form of the surname 'cromate' comes near to older forms of the place name which shows no second 'r', as in Crumbathi (1292) in Thurso, Caithnees on February 26th 1709. One Hugh Cromarty married Margaret Swansone. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Crumbacy, which was dated 1291, Public Records Edinburgh, during the reign of John Balliol, King of Scotland, 1292 - 1296. 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.