Raven Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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Raven Origin:


Origins of Raven:

This interesting and unusual name is of old English origin, and started from a love name for a dishonest or dark-haired person, from the Middle English word “Raven,” an advancement of the ancient English pre 7th Century word “hraefn.” In some situations, it was probably from a particular name acquired from this component, derived into Middle English from the Old Norse name “Hrafn.” An example of this is one, Rauen de Engelbi listed in the 1185 Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire. It was also found in area names like Ravenscroft and Rawnsley. In England, a few prior forms like William atte Raven (London, 1344) shows that it may also have been slightly acquired from a house sign or an inn-sign. Other different spelling forms of the name consist of Reven, Revance, Rivance, Revens, Revans and Ravens. One William Raven married Elizabeth Chalener in August 1564 at St. Lawrence Jewry, London. A national symbol gave to a Raven family in October 1561 represents, on a gold shield, a lion rampant double adjoin blue on a head sectioned black three bezants. At the peak is a green demi-dragon, winged red.


More common variations are: Ravena, Raeven, Raveen, Reaven, Ravene, Rayven, Raiven, Raveni, Rav En, Ravven.


The origins of the surname Raven were found in Leicestershire where people held a family seat from early times and gave estates by Duke William of Normandy, their true King, for their exceptional services at the war of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of William Raven, dated about 1133, in the “Register of the Abbey of Ramsey,” Bedfordshire. It was during the time of King Henry I, who was known to be the “The Administrator,” dated 1100-1135. 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. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling variations of the original one.


Many of the people with surname Raven had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Raven settled in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Raven who settled in the United States in the 17th century included Peter Raven and Peter Raven; both arrived in Virginia in the same year 1648. Luke Raven and Mary Raven, both came in the same year 1664 in Virginia and Barbados. John and Jane Raven with their four daughters landed in Maryland in 1672.

Some of the people with the surname Raven who settled in the United States in the 18th century included Matthew Raven would eventually settle in Virginia in 1714. Henry Raven arrived in Maryland in the year 1720.

The following century saw more Raven surnames come. Some of the people with the surname Raven who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Richard Raven and Thomas Raven; both arrived in New York in the same year 1812. Albert Raven landed in Missouri in 1845. Charles Raven came to America in 1857.


Some of the people with the surname Raven who settled in Australia in the 19th century included Maria Raven, Charles Raven and Claudius Raven, all arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “ Simlah” in the same year 1849. James Raven landed in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “ Harpley” in 1849.


Some of the people with the surname Raven who settled in New Zealand in the 19th century included William Raven at the age of 38, Susan Raven and George Raven; all arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship “ Oliver Lang” in the same year 1856.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Raven: United States 4,128; England 3,705; Australia 1,008; Canada 963; South Africa 840; Germany 1,143; Mexico 288; Philippines 838; Venezuela 878; Netherlands 1,781.

Notable People:

Arlene Raven was a professor of art, writer and feminist.

Bertram Raven (born 1926), is an American professor.

Charlotte Raven was a British writer and scholar.

Cliff Raven is a famous American tattoo artisan.

Eddy Raven (born 1944), is an American musician and composer.

Ernst Raven (1804–1881), was a traveler from Germany who became an prominent citizen of Texas.

John Raven (1914–1980), was an English traditional scholar and amateur biologist.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (London). Or, a raven rising ppr. Crest—On a mount vert a caltrap or.
2) (London). Same Arms. Crest—A raven ppr.
3) (John Raven, Rouge Dragon Pursuivant, temp. Queen Elizabeth, 1588, Richmond Herald, temp. James I., d. 1615). (Hadley, co. Suffolk). Or, on an orb gu. a raven ppr.
4) (granted 15 Oct. 1561). Or, a lion ramp. double queued az. on a chief indented sa. three bezants. Crest—a demi dragon vert, winged gu.
5) (Creting, St. Mary’s, co. Suffolk, temp. Henry VIII.). Ar. a raven ppr. perched on a torteau.
6) (Bramerton, co. Norfolk, 1798). (Litcham, co. Norfolk). Motto—La tête plus que l’argent. Or, a lion ramp. az. on a chief indented gu. three bezants. Crest—A raven ppr.