Cumberbatch Surname Meaning, History & Origin
The surname Cumberbatch derives from the place-name
Comberbach, a small village
in Cheshire. Combe is Old
English for “valley” and bach is Old English for
So Comberbach describes a valley by a stream. Comberbach
was first mentioned in early
Cheshire charters in the late 12th century.
Early spellings of the surname were various.
Cumberbatch Resources on
The Cumberbatch surname started in Cheshire.
By the 16th century it had reached Lancashire. Thomas
Comberbach was recorded in Congleton,
about 20 miles away from Comberbach, in the Tudor tax returns of 1546;
in various spellings appeared in its parish records from 1593. The name had spread elsewhere in Cheshire by
the 17th century.
However, by the time
of the 1881 census, the largest number (42) was to be found to the
south – in
the village of Wolstanton in north Staffordshire. Many
there were working in the nearby coal
mines. I.W. Cumberbatch was director of
the Sneyd Collieries in 1942 when 57 men were killed by an underground
Abraham Cumberbatch seems to have been a Bristol man. He married Ann Lord there in 1675. He was not in Barbados, but his children were
by the early 1700’s. His daughter Ann
married Edward Carleton and their son Abraham, born in 1726, was in
according to his grandfather’s will and by an Act of Parliament –
surname of Cumberbatch. Some descendants of this line joined the
service. A modern-day descendant is the
actor Benedict Cumberbatch.
Abraham Cumberbatch owned sugar plantations in St. Peter’s parish and
elsewhere in Barbados. That parish became
the origin of the Cumberbatch name in Barbados. After 1834 the
previously the property of white Cumberbatch families, were freed and
that surname. By that time, all of the white male Cumberbatchs
had either died
or relocated themselves back to England. By a strange twist of
fate, by the 1880’s there were more Cumberbatches in Barbados than
there were in England.
Many Cumberbatches have dispersed since that time,
elsewhere in the Caribbean
and to England and America. Claudia
Cumberbatch left Trinidad for the UK and, as Claudia Jones, helped
found the Notting Hill
carnival. But a number have
remained. Seibert Cumberbatch, who was
born in St. Andrew parish in 1912, recently celebrated his hundredth
- Claudia Cumberbatch, also known as Claudia Jones, started the Notting Hill carnival.
- Benedict Cumberbatch is a well-known
British actor, most recently seen on TV as Sherlock Holmes.
Select Cumberbatch Numbers Today
- 1,000 in the UK (most numerous
- 1,000 elsewhere (most numerous in the Caribbean)
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