The origin of this surname is somewhat obscure but some suggest that it relates to one who dwelt beside a market cross or the crossroads of a major highway. Another suggestion is that it relates to the bearer of the cross, and may be an allusion either to the Crusades or to an office within the Church. Black lists the surname as being common in Wigtownshire and Dumfriesshire. The families which came to prominence were those living in Dumfries and bearing the territorial styles ‘of Oulctis’ and ‘of Holm’. They were followers of the Bruce family. Iuone de Cosseby witnessed a charter by Robert de Brus to Arbroath Abbey between 1178 and 1180. The name appears in numerous charters in Annandale and Moffat throughout the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. Andrew Crosbie of the family of Holm was a celebrated lawyer who practised at the Scottish Bar in the eighteenth century. He is credited by Anderson as being the model for Councillor Playdell in Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Guy Mannering. He is also said to have been the only person to have maintained his own opinion against Dr Johnson on his famous visit to Scotland in 1774. The fortunes of the family collapsed in a bank crash and the famous advocate died in poverty in 1785. In Ireland, what may have been a branch of the same family were created baronets in 1630, and the family remained prominent in Ireland to the twentieth century. The baronetcy became extinct in 1936.

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