- This interesting name is of medieval English origin. It derives from the pre 7th century word "cumb" which described a sort, straight valley, and hence by transference, somebody who lived at such a place. The surname in its many forms was originally associated with the South West of England, and the counties of Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire and Surrey, which is also where most places called Comb, Combe or Coombe, are to be found. Howver perhaps curiously, the first recording as shown below is from a county which is not known to contain any place called Combeor similar. In the modern idiom the surname spellings include Combe, Coumbe, Coom, Coombe, Coombes, Colmer, Cumber, Comar, Comer, Coomber and others. Amongst the many examples of the recordings in the surviving church registers of the West County is the marriage between Mary Ann Coomber and John Pasmore on November 5th 1778, at Chittlehampton, and the christening of Philip Comer on October 22nd 1780, at Stoke Fleming in Devon. A coat of arms associated with the family name has the blazon of a green shield, on a fesse between three gold eagles displayed, as many keys upwards in black. The crest is a squirrel sejant holding in its paws a key, with the motto Persevere. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William le Combere. This was dated 1260, in the Assize Court rolls of Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.