Show ContentsAbercromby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Abercromby family saga is rooted in the people of the Pictish Clan of ancient Scotland. The Abercromby family lived in Fife from a place named Abercrombie (earlier Abarcrumbach), which is of Pictish origin, meaning "a place on the bendy river" or "crooked marsh." [1]

Formerly known as St. Monan's, "this place, which appears to have been a distinct parish since the middle of the 12th century, is in ancient documents invariably called Abercrombie, or Abercrumbin." [2]

Early Origins of the Abercromby family

The surname Abercromby was first found in the county of Fifeshire (Gaelic: Fìobh), in southeastern Scotland; an ancient Pictish kingdom, known as Fib, and still commonly known as the Kingdom of Fife. Arguably, the first mention of the Clan was in the Ulster Chronicle as one of the clans that King Malcolm Ceanmore took north to quell the claims of MacBeth for the throne of Scotland in 1057. Today, Abercrombie, or St. Monan's, is a parish, in the district of St. Andrew's.

One of the first records of the family was "William de Abercromby of the county of Fife did homage [to King Edward I of England] in 1296. His seal bears a boar's head and neck on a wreath, star in base and crescent above, and S' Will's de Ab'crumbi." [3]

Also recorded as "William de Haberchrumbi, he was juror on an inquest in the same year which found that Emma la Suchis died seized in demesne in Fife. Johan de Abercromby of the same county also rendered homage in the same year, and in 1305 served on an inquest made at the town of St. John of Perth." [3]

Early History of the Abercromby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Abercromby research. Another 168 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1734, 1801, 1456, 1895, 1561, 1561, 1534, 1613, 1603, 1684, 1702, 1656, 1716, 1734, 1801, 1756, 1774, 1780, 1793 and 1800 are included under the topic Early Abercromby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Abercromby Spelling Variations

Prior to the invention of the printing press in the last hundred years, documents were basically unique. Names were written according to sound, and often appeared differently each time they were recorded. Spelling variations of the name Abercromby include Abercrumby, Abircrumby, Abbircummy, Abbircromby, Abircombie, Abircromy, Abircrommbie, Abircromby, Abircrumme, Abircrumbye, Abercrombie, Abercromby, Abyrcrumby, Abyrcrumbie, Abbercrumbie, Abbercrommie, Ebercrombie and many more.

Early Notables of the Abercromby family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was John Abercromby (d. 1561), Scottish monk of the Order of St. Benedict, a staunch opponent of the doctrines of the Reformation, and on that account was condemned to death and executed about the year 1561. [4] Robert Abercromby (1534-1613), a Scotch Jesuit, who, after entering the order, spent twenty-three years in assisting Catholics abroad, and nineteen years on the Scotch mission, where he suffered imprisonment. [4] Sir Alexander Abercromby of Birkenbog, 1st Baronet (c.1603-1684), was a Scottish politician; David Abercromby (died c. 1702), was a Scottish physician and writer. Patrick Abercomby (1656-1716?), was a Scottish...
Another 142 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Abercromby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Abercromby migration to the United States +

The freedom of the North American colonies was enticing, and many Scots left to make the great crossing. It was a long and hard journey, but its reward was a place where there was more land than people and tolerance was far easier to come by. Many of these people came together to fight for a new nation in the American War of Independence, while others remained loyal to the old order as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of Scots in North America have recovered much of this heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and other such organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important and early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Abercromby:

Abercromby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • David Abercromby, who arrived in Carolina in 1671 [5]
  • Thomas Abercromby, who landed in New Jersey in 1685 [5]
Abercromby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Baby Abercromby, aged 22, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1775 [5]
Abercromby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Abercromby, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [5]
  • Robed Abercromby, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [5]
  • Robert Abercromby, who landed in New York, NY, in 1816 [5]

West Indies Abercromby migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [6]
Abercromby Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • John Abercromby in Jamaica in 1716

Contemporary Notables of the name Abercromby (post 1700) +

  • Sir Robert Abercromby (1740-1827), Scottish military commander, born at Tullibody, his father's seat in Scotland, younger brother of the more famous Sir Ralph Abercromby
  • General Sir Ralph Abercromby (1734-1801), British officer who shares with Sir John Moore the credit of renewing the ancient discipline and military reputation of the British soldier
  • David Abercromby (d. 1701), Scottish physician whose written works were published to much acclaim fifty years after his death [7]
  • Lord John Abercromby (1841-1924), Scottish antiquary
  • James Abercromby (1775-1858), 1st Baron Dunfermline, British politician, third son of General Sir Ralph Abercromby [7]
  • Alexander Abercromby (1784-1853), British colonel, the youngest son of Sir Ralph Abercromby [7]
  • Alexander Abercromby (1745-1795), Scotch judge and essayist, fourth and youngest son of George Abercromby, of Tullibody, in Clackmannanshire [7]
  • Sir Edwin Abercromby Dashwood (1854-1893), 8th Baronet New Zealand-born, English landowner

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Ralph Frank Abercromby, Scottish 2nd Class passenger residing in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA returning to Scotland, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and died in the sinking and was recovered [8]

The Abercromby Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Tace
Motto Translation: Keep Silence.

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 17 Apr. 2019
  8. Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook