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The Crosbie Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: RESURGAM (I shall rise again)

Let me share with you the historical background of your family name, Crosbie. The origin of the Crosbie surname is somewhat uncertain, but it is believed to be associated with someone who resided near a market cross or the intersection of major roads. Crosbie is a common place name, meaning ‘place by the cross’, particularly in regions of Britain that were settled by the Vikings, including southern Scotland and northern England. Another possibility is that the name refers to an individual associated with the cross, possibly alluding to participation in the Crusades or holding a position within the Church.

According to surname authority George Black, Crosbie is most commonly found in Wigtownshire and Dumfriesshire in the far southwest of Scotland. However, it is also present in northern England, indicating that it is not exclusive to Scotland. The Crosbie families that gained prominence were those residing in Dumfries and carrying the territorial designations ‘of Oulctis’ and ‘of Holm’. They were followers of the renowned Anglo-Norman Bruce family. An individual named Iuone (or Ivo) de Cosseby witnessed a charter by Robert de Brus to Arbroath Abbey between 1178 and 1180. Another Ivo of Crosbie, possibly the son of the former, was recorded in 1249. A knight named Reginald de Crosbie is mentioned in documents related to the High Stewards of Scotland (the Stewarts) and held the title in 1296. These connections laid the foundation for the family’s subsequent prosperity. In 1298, John of Crosbie made a presentation to the church of St. Mary in the Forest of Selkirk, which was witnessed by King Edward I of England. The name Crosbie appears in numerous charters in Annandale and Moffat throughout the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries.

Andrew Crosbie, belonging to the Holm branch of the family, achieved renown as a distinguished lawyer practicing at the Scottish Bar in the eighteenth century. He is said to have served as the inspiration for Councillor Playdell in Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Guy Mannering. Andrew Crosbie also holds the distinction of being the only person known to have held his own opinion against the esteemed man of letters, Dr. Johnson, during Johnson’s famous visit to Scotland in 1774. Sadly, the family’s fortunes declined due to a bank crash, and the renowned advocate died in poverty in 1785.

In Ireland, a branch that may have been connected to the same Crosbie family was granted a baronetcy in 1630. The family remained prominent in Ireland until the early twentieth century, and the baronetcy eventually became extinct in 1936.

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Family Crest Motto: RESURGAM (I shall rise again)

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