Origin, Meaning, Family History and Abrahams Coat of Arms and Family Crest
Origins of Abrahams:
This unusual surname, listed with various spellings such as Abraham, Abrahams, Abrahamson, the next two being nicknames, and the shortened Abrams, also a possible patronymic, is a 12th-century origin, and a ‘Crusader’ that was brought into Britain. So, it was not Jewish, though of Hebrew influence. It is one of a group like Isaac, Joseph, and Abel, which was given to the coming Christian fighters to their sons for identification of their ‘visit’ to the Holy Land. These frequently advanced into English surnames in their own right. ‘Abraham’ converts as ‘The father of the nation’, and was so produced by the first of the Jewish male head, (Genesis 11-25). The 1086 Domesday Book for London relates to ‘Abraham,’ a bishop in the established (Christian) parish, while in 1170 Abraham de Stradtuna listed in the Danelaw Rolls of Lincolnshire. As a Jewish surname, it was recovered after the ‘reign’ of Oliver Cromwell (1649 – 1658), who in 1655 abolished the exile order of Edward I in 1290, and allowed the resettlement of the Jewish people in Britain.
More common variations are: Abarahams, Abrahamse, Abrahamas, Abrahamss, Aabrahams, Abrahames, Abrahams, O Abrahams, Abrahamsoa.
The surname Abrahams first appeared in Balfeth, in Scotland, in 1163, where Adam Abraham, priest of Dunblain, held vast lands. More south in Lancashire, the township of Abram was home to another section of the family.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of John Abraham, dated about 1197, in the “Pipe Rolls of Northamptonshire,” Huntingdonshire. It was during the time of King Richard I, who was known to be the “The Lionheart,” dated 1189-1199. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.
Many of the people with surname Abrahams had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Abrahams settled in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Abrahams who settled in the United States in the 17th century included Annetje Abrahams, Cornelis Abrahams, both arrived in New York in 1660. Henry Abrahams, who landed in Maryland in 1661 and Elizabeth Abrahams, who came to Maryland in 1667.
Some of the people with the surname Abrahams who settled in the United States in the 18th century included Solomon Abrahams, who landed in Jamaica in 1745.
The following century saw many more Abrahams surnames arrive. Some of the people with the name Abrahams who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Jacob Abrahams landed in New York in 1812. Elias Abrahams landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1821. John Abrahams, T Abrahams, both arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850. S Abrahams arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851.
Some of the people with the surname Abrahams who settled in Canada in the 18th century included Israel Abrahams landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749.
Some of the people with the surname Abrahams who settled in Australia in the 19th century included William Abrahams, an English prisoner from Buckinghamshire and William Abrahams was also an English prisoner from Essex, both shifted aboard the “Arab” in February 1834, settling in Van Diemen’s Land, Austraila.
Some of the people with the surname Abrahams who settled in New Zealand in the 19th century included Henry Abrahams arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Jura” in 1861. Solomon Abrahams arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship “Black Swan” in 1866.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Abrahams: South Africa 80,872; England 6,093; United States 3,806; Nigeria 3,668; Ghana 2,157; Australia 1,822; Namibia 1,791; Netherlands 1,072; Germany 874; Jamaica 857.
Abraham Abrahams (1813-1892), was a South Australian businessman and art expert.
Arthur Abrahams (born 1955), is an Australian race car driver.
Carl Abrahams (1911–2005), was a Jamaican painter.
Chris Abrahams (born 1961), is a New Zealand jazz pianist.
Abrahams Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Abrahams blazon are the sun and lozengy. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and or.
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).3A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 4The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.
The sun was long used as a potent symbol before the advent of heraldry and brought some of that existing meaning with it. In conventional heraldry it is normally borne in its splendour, that is with a face and a large number of alternating straight and wavy rays. 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sun It can also be seen issuing from behind clouds, and in some cases a demi or half sun coming from the base, reflecting either the dawn, or perhaps as it appears in the arms of WESTWORTH, with the sunset. 8A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P296
Anyone who has seen a typical Jester’s or Harlequin’s outfit has seen the treatment known as lozengy – a pattern of interlocking diamonds of two different colours 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lozengy. It normally covers the whole field of the shield, as in the ancient arms of FITZ-WILLIAM, Lozengy, argent and gules, a striking example of the form.