Select Abercrombie Miscellany

Here are some Abercrombie stories and accounts over the years:

William and Johan de Abercromby

William de Abercromby paid homage to the Scottish Government for his lands in the parish of Abercromby in 1296 during the period known as 'the interregnum government.'  He was a prominent citizen and was recorded in a number of wills and land charters, as well as in the court register of Fifeshire where he was a juror on several occasions. 

Johan de Abercromby rendered homage in the same year and is believed to have been William's brother.

Sir Ralph Abercromby

Sir Ralph Abercromby was a mentor to Wellington during the retreat from Europe in 1795 at the outset of the Napoleonic wars.  The eventual success against Napoleon can be attributed in no small amount to Abercromby's restructuring of the army. 

He had first joined the British army during the Seven Yearsí War.  He was able at that time to study the methods of Frederick the Great which moulded his military character and formed his tactical ideas.  His sympathy with the American colonies during the War of Independence hindered his professional advancement for a time. 

But he ended his career and life in a blaze of glory.  In 1801
he took his troops to the Middle East, landing with them at Aboukir, and died of wounds received while personally leading them in an attack on the French forces at Alexandria.  In honor of her husbandís bravery, his wife was created Baroness Abercromby of Aboukir and Tullibody.

Lineage of the Abercrombies of Laurens County, South Carolina

Family lore has it that there were three brothers, possibly cousins of James Abercrombie the colonial attorney general, that came to South Carolina and settled in Laurens county in the 1760ís. 

The claim that James Abercrombie of Laurens county was the son of Sir James Abercrombie of Birkenbog, the second Baronet, in Scotland does seem to be mistaken.  Although Sir James did have two sons by Mary Gordon named James, the first James died at an early age and the second James never married, dying in Russia while on military service.  At that time James Abercrombie of Laurens county was in colonial America fathering and raising a large family.

Abercrombies in America in 1880

South Carolina

Abercrombie & Fitch

In 1892 David Abercrombie founded Abercrombie Co. as a small waterfront shop at No.36 South Street in downtown Manhattan.  Wealthy Ezra Fitch was soon one of his regular customers. 

Ezra Fitch was a successful lawyer in Kingston, New York.  Restless and thoroughly bored with his life of law, Fitch spent all of his free time trekking the slopes of the Adirondacks and casting flies into the streams of the Catskill.  In his search for exceptional outdoor gear, he had come to rely upon David Abercrombie's shop, becoming one of its most devoted customers. 

He was so devoted, in fact, that in 1900 he had convinced David Abercrombie to let him buy into the business and become a partner.  By 1904, the shop, which by now had moved to 314 Broadway, was incorporated and the name was officially changed to Abercrombie & Fitch. 

Both David Abercrombie and Ezra Fitch were stubborn, hot-tempered men and they had vastly different views about the future of their business.  Abercrombie was more conservative, content to continue the store as it was, selling professional gear to professional outdoorsmen.  Fitch, on the other hand, was more of a visionary.  He was positive that the future of the business lay in expansion, selling the outdoors and its delights to more of the general public.  Long arguments between the two men ensued.  Inevitably the partnership came to an end and David Abercrombie resigned in 1907.

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