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Nordic Name & Meaning of McCrummen-MacCrummen-McCrimmon-MacCrimmon
What are the origins of the names MacCrummen, MacCrimmon, and variations? The origins seem to be Nordic. The Nordic words from which the names derived are “Rumun” or “Hro’mundr”, translated as “Famed Protector”.
Gaelic and English uses revise “Rumun” or “Hro’mundr” primarily into Mhic Cruimein, Mhic Criomain, MacCrummen, MacCrimmon, McCrummen, and McCrimmon. 
My conclusion is based reviewing the materials developed by the late George C. B. Poulter, FSA Scot (former genealogist of the Clan MacCrimmon Society) and analysis published in 1910 by George Henderson (M.A. B.Litt, Ph.D., Lecturer in Celtic, University of Glasgow, and Examiner in Scottish Gadhelic, University of London).
Origins – History – Name
Although not the primary focus of this column, there are various oral traditions about origins of the Mhic Criomain – Mhic Cruimein peoples, especially focused on the last thousand years within the Hebrides and Scottish Highlands. As expected, the origins of the Mhic Criomain – Mhic Cruimein peoples remain an ongoing topic. The written evidence of individual activities begins in early written materials, starting about 1200, with most of the documentation after the mid – 1700s.
The main origin legends include being a “tribe” (indigenous?) on the island of Harris-before the subjection of the island by the the progenitor of the MacLeods, as Nordic settlers in the Dunrobin area of Scotland, descendants of an Italian from Cremona, Italy traveling with a MacLeod who was returning from the middle east, and Irish origins. There are believers as well as skeptics about various origin legends.
Tied to the Nordic origin of the name there is another interesting variation. However, this topic has not been fully explored nor will it be addressed further in this column. It is the possible tie between Nordic origins, the Hebrides, and to the Island of Man (Manx culture). On the Isle of Man, the use of “Rumun” is in ancient runic inscriptions. This particular thread – Nordic tie to the Isle of Man and the Hebrides – is also tied to our current YDNA project. There is one McCrummen family YDNA line tied to several men with have documented ancestry to the Isle of Man, and one man with ancestry in Norway.
Mac Criomain Derived from Hro’mundr and is of Nordic Origin
The family genealogists, historians, and Clan leaders of the mid-1930’s to early 1940’s conducted extensive research, including oral interviews with many family members in the Scottish Highlands and the Hebrides, as well as a review of naming conventions. Let’s return to their work, especially that of the late George C. B. Poulter, FSA Scot, and genealogist of the Clan MacCrimmon Society from about 1936 to 1943.
Re-discovered in 2016 and dated between 1937 and 1943, the documents of the Clan MacCrimmon Society include an outline of the history and genealogy of the Mhic Criomain – Mhic Cruimein peoples. Poulter was the primary author of the recently re-discovered handwritten notes of the MacC’ genealogy and history. I recently transcribed these notes and included them in the unpublished manuscript: History and Genealogy of Mhic Criomain – Mhic Cruimein. Volume I.
In his handwritten notes for Clan MacCrimmon Society, Poulter provides detailed background on the various theories and family oral traditions but does not state a conclusion – nor should he have stated a conclusion, since he was reporting on the family traditions.
In those recently discovered handwritten notes (circa 1937), Poulter, writes “Dr. George Henderson, an authority on the Norse influence on Celtic Scotland, thought the name Mac Criomain was derived from Rumun (from the Norse Hro‘mundr, the “famed protector”) which may be found among ancient Manx runic inscriptions. Dr. Henderson pointed out that Romundr is fairly common in Norse, and he preferred that derivation to the old Gaelic Crimthann.”
The following excerpt is taken from an electronic PDF version of The Norse Influence on Celtic Scotland. George Henderson. Glasgow. James Maclehose and Sons. Publishers to the University (of Glasgow). 1910. p. 53. Chapter III. Scoto-Norse Personal Names.
Supporting the Nordic Naming Convention: MacRimmon Arrival in 1200’s
One of the important findings in the handwritten notes of George Poulter summarizes the arrival of Nordic people around 1200 in the area of Dunrobin Castle and north of Inverness, Scotland. Of course, this was some 400 years after the first Nordic explorations of the Hebrides and Ireland.
In that time frame of the 1200’s, he indicates people named Mac Rimmon were involved with both the Gunns and the Freskins (later the Earls of Sutherland of Dunrobin Castle). Significantly, he indicates Mac Rimmon men were appointed Pipers to the Earls of Sutherland – for some 300 years, starting about 1200. As many readers know, starting more recently and for more than 300 years there were MacCrimmon – MacCrummen pipers for the MacLeods of Harris and other prominent families in the Outer Hebrides, Skye, and Glenelg area of the Highlands.
Following this line of reasoning, Poulter suggests the distinct possibility that since the Mac Rimmons were involved with the Gunns and Freskins they were probably related to the Borreraig MacCrimmons.
Borreraig MacCrimmons Connected to Earls of Sutherland & Clan Gunn?
Poulter outlines his research, including the question about the possible relationship between the Mac Rimmons and Borreriag MacCrimmons. He indicates:
It seems possible that the celebrated Mac Crimmons of Borreraig are descended from the ancient race of Mac Rimmon or Mac Crimmon, pipers to the Earls of Sutherland at Dunrobin Castle.
William, son of Hugh Freskin, was appointed first Earl of Sutherland about 1230. The Mac Crimmons were therefore appointed pipers to that family within the next three centuries, and as their name appears as Rimmer or Rimmon in that part of Scotland occupied mostly by Scandinavians, it is probable that these pipers came over with their friends the Gunns from either Norway or Denmark early in the 12th century. There seems to be some kinship between the Mac Crimmons and Gunns, they have the same badge and motto, and were living in the same part of Sutherland soon after 1500.
It is said that the March “Cogadh no Sith” (War or Peace) was composed by the Mac Crimmons as a compliment to the Gunns, both having the same war cry; if so that melody was in existence many centuries before the Cameron Highlanders played it at Waterloo.
It is generally agreed that up to the second quarter of the sixteenth century, there are no records or traditions of Mac Crimmon pipers in Skye. Indeed, we know that in 1528 a family of Mac Angus occupied Borreraig, and it seems likely that Iain Odhar, the first of Borreraig, came from the service of Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland, to enter that of Alasdair Mac Leod at Dunvegan. It may be that Iain Odhar was one of several piper sons, and that the succession at Dunrobin continued for at least another century, as the Wardlaw notes gives the story of how the famous piobaireachd “Thuair oni pog o’laimh an Righ” was composed in 1651 by John Mac Gurmen, the “ Earl of Sutherland’s domestick”.
In conclusion, it seems very likely that our family name(s) was (were) derived from “Rumun” or “Hro’mundr” of the early Nordic language. During the period from 800 to the 1700’s, Pipers became important to various families and later, Clans, for their leadership, inspiration, and involvement in armed conflicts. Perhaps “Famed Protector” described some of those early Mhic Criomain – Mhic Cruimein men.
 History & Genealogy of Mhic Criomain – Mhic Cruimein. Volume I. February 2018. JB McCrummen, FSA Scot.
 According to Bill Lawson, Gaelic expert and genealogist of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, the Gaelic prefixes of Mhic means “of the son of” and Mac means “son of”. Harris. In History and Legend. Bill Lawson. 2002. John Donald Publishers, imprint of Birlinn Limited. Edinburgh. Appendix.
 Editor Note: In the Fairbairn reference materials this is translated as “Peace or War”. However, the common translation of “Cogath” is “war”.