This interesting surname, with variant spellings MacRobie and Maccrobie, is a Highland border patronymic form of the male given name Robbie, itself a Scottish diminutive of Robert, from the old French Rodbert, (old Germanic Hrodbert), a compound of the elements "hrod", renown, and "berht", bright or famous. The name was introduced into England in the reign of Edward the Confessor, and the forms Rodbertus, Rotbert and Robert appear in the Domesday Book of 1086. The subsequent popularity of the name gave rise to a wide variety of diminutive and pet forms. One, James Makroby, recorded in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, was a tenant in Blalok, Cromar, in 1539, and in 1607 Francis McRobie and George McRobie were "charged with violence" -Register of the Privy Council of Scotland. The "Book of the Thanes of Cawdor" mention one, Allister Cain McRobbie in 1614, and in 1797 a John McRobbie was noted in the "Commissariot Record of Moray". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Maldowny McRobi, of Moray, which was dated 1363, "Episcopal Registers of Moray", during the reign of King David 11 of Scotland, 1329 - 1371. 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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