Comins History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

It is generally believed that this name comes from a Breton personal name, derived from element "cam," meaning "bent," or "crooked;" or perhaps from the herb called "cummin" (cumin).

Or the name may have come from the place name Comines, in Northern France, bordering the Belgium border. Regarding this latter scenario, multiple sources agree with this postulation, but all include wording similar to "there is no positive evidence in favor of this view." [1] [2] [3]

Early Origins of the Comins family

The surname Comins was first found in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire in England, in the 12th and 13th centuries. Robert of Comyn (Comines,) (died 1069) was a noble who accompanied William the Conqueror and was made Earl of Northumberland. "He so commended himself to the king by his military skill that he was chosen at the end of 1068 for the difficult task of reducing the north of England to obedience. William I conferred on him the earldom of Northumberland, vacant by the flight of Gospatric. Comin was the founder of the family of Comyn, many of whom played an important part in the history of Scotland." [4]

"The first of the name connected with Scotland is Willelmus Comyn, a churchman, chancellor to David I. He was promoted to the bishopric of Durham by the Empress Matilda, but had many controversies with his clergy. Later he was poisoned by some of their number who mixed poison with the wine of the Sacrament and give it to him to drink. Richard Cumyn, second of the name in Scotland, made a gift of the church of Lyntun-ruderic (Linton-Roderick) to the Abbey of Kelso for the weal of the souls of Earl Henry (d. 1152) and his own son, John. He also witnessed charters by William the Lion after 1165 (REM., I, 2). By his marriage with Hextilda, granddaughter of Donald Bane, king of Scots, he had a son, William, who became chancellor and great justiciary of Scotland. William married Marjory, daughter and heiress of Fergus, the last Celtic earl of Buchan between 1211-1224, and in right of his wife became earl of Buchan. " [2]

John Comyn (d. 1212), was Archbishop of Dublin and was in his early life a trusted official and chaplain of Henry II.

Later, John Comyn (Cumyn) (c. 1215-1275) was Lord of Badenoch in Scotland and justiciar of Galloway in 1258. He founded and started the construction of Blair Castle with a tower in 1269. He was nephew of Alexander Comyn, Earl of Buchan, Constable of Scotland, and of Walter Comyn, Earl of Mentieth. [4]

Alexander Comyn, 2nd Earl of Buchan (d. 1289), was Constable of Scotland, "the son of William Comyn, Earl of Buchan, the founder of Deer Abbey, and of Marjory, his second wife, who brought the title into the Comyn family. " [4]

John Comyn the Elder (d. 1300?), of Badenoch, was 'claimant to the Scottish throne,' and was the second son of John Comyn, Justiciar of Galloway. His lordship of Badenoch came from his uncle, Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith. [4]

His son, John Comyn the younger (d. 1306), of Badenoch, surnamed The Red, was one of the competitors for the crown of Scotland in 1291. [4]

Early History of the Comins family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Comins research. Another 456 words (33 lines of text) covering the years 1124, 1153, 1133, 1302, 1296, 1306, 1274, 1300, 1289, 1258, 1289, 1275, 1289, 1263, 1266, 1264, 1266, 1286, 1289, 1150, 1212, 1180, 1212, 1189 and are included under the topic Early Comins History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Comins Spelling Variations

Historical recordings of the name Comins include many spelling variations. They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. They include Cumin, Cumins, Cumine, Cummin, Cummins, Cummine, Comings, Comins, Commin and many more.

Early Notables of the Comins family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family at this time was John Comyn (died 1274), was justiciar of Galloway, the son of Richard Comyn and nephew of the powerful Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith. His son John Comyn the Elder (died 1300), of Badenoch, 'claimant to the Scottish throne,' was the second son of John Comyn, justiciar of Galloway. Alexander Comyn (d. 1289)...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Comins Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Comins family to Ireland

Some of the Comins family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 142 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Comins migration to the United States +

Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Comins or a variant listed above:

Comins Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Comins, who arrived in Maryland in 1640 [5]
  • Isaac Comins, who arrived in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1642 [5]
  • Matthew Comins, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1654 [5]
Comins Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Richard Comins, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [5]
Comins Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Lorenzo Comins, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1813 [5]

New Zealand Comins migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Comins Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Richard B. Comins, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863

Contemporary Notables of the name Comins (post 1700) +

  • Daniel Comins, American chemist from North Carolina State University who identified Comins' reagent, a triflyl compound in 1992
  • Harry Mason Comins (1882-1962), American politician, Mayor of Flint, Michigan (1938-1940)
  • Linus Bacon Comins (1817-1892), American politician, 4th Mayor of Roxbury, Massachusetts (1854), Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts (1855-1859)
  • A. H. Comins, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1876 [6]


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  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)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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