Robbins Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
This is a baptismal or patronymic last name meaning “the son of Robert”, deriving from the name Rob, the nickname or shortened version of the personal (first) name Robert, with the termination in being the diminutive form. The masculine given name Robert derives from the Old German nam Hrodebert, which consists of hrothi and bertha, meaning “fame bright”. The names appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 AD, which was a survey of England and Wales dictated by William the Conqueror, the name having come from Normandy, France. The name was popularized by figures in literature such as Robin Goodfellow (aka Puck) from William Shakespeare’s work “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and from the legend of Robin Good. The first name Robert was born by three Scottish kinds (including the famous Robert the Bruce) and two Dukes of Normandy, France. One source asserts it was originally the name of a Strathclyde-Briton family who lived on the Scottish/English border, living in Peebleshire, where the family held lands and titles. In England, the name was first established in Middlesex, where the surname Robinus was documented in the Pipe Rolls of 1198 AD. One source states that in Ireland, many ancestors of this family lived in Mevagissey and were mariners, naval seaman, coastguards and rope makers.
Some spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Robins, Robyns, Robbin, Robin, Robbines, Robinson, Robebs, Robbens, and about 90 others.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Robbins ranks 364th in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following six states: Maine, Indiana, North Carolina, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming. The surname Robbins frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (850th), Scotland (1,633rd), Wales (399th), Ireland (2,468th) and Northern Ireland (3,129th). In England, it ranks highest in counties Warwickshire and Somerset. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Angus. In Wales, it ranks highest in Brecknockshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in King's County. The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (1,073rd), New Zealand (2,060th), Australia (1,066th), and South Africa (6,345th). The 1890 book Homes of Family Names by H.B. Guppy, states the following in regard to this surname: “Robinson. —Distributed all over England, except in the south - west, where it is either absent or extremely rare. Its great home is in the northern half of the country, the numbers rapidly diminishing as we approach the south of England. Northamptonshire may be characterised as the most advanced stronghold of the Robinsons on their way to the metropolis. Robson, which is, I suppose, a contraction of this name, is essentially a north of England name, being very numerous in Northumberland and county Durham, and extending in diminished numbers across the border into the shires of Roxburgh and Dumfries”.
Early Bearers of the Surname
The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum lists two bearers of this surname: Dera Robins (Cambridgeshire) and John Robin (Oxfordshire). The Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire documents Margaret Robines in 1279 AD. Kirby’s Quest records one William Robyn in county Somerset in 1327 AD. The Poll Tax of Yorkshire in 1379 AD lists three bearers of this last name: Roger Robynsoun, Roger Robynman (the servant of Robin), and Adam Robynman. An early baptism involving this surname was William, son of Arthur Robinsonne at St. Peter, Cornhill in 1606 AD. Two early marriages involving this last name were Elizabeth Robbins to John Bornam at St. Nicholas Acons in 1539, as well as Thomas Robbins to Jane Brown in St. Martin Orgar and St. Clement Eastcheap, London, in 1566,
Robbins Family Tree & Robbins Genealogy
Lionel Charles Robbins, Baron Robins was born in Sipson, Middlesex, England in 1898 and lived until 1984. He was a prominent economist and member of the London School of Economics. He was the son of a farmer named Rowland Richard who was a member of ehe Middlesex county council and Rosa Marion Robbins (see Harris). He served in the Royal Field Artillery during World War I as an officer and was wounded before returning home.
Nathaniel Robbins (1799-1902), 5x great grandson of Richard Robbins (born c. 1610 in England)
credit: Adrian Stanley at wikitree.com
Other Robbins Pedigree & Family Trees
John Robyns was born in England in 1350 AD. He had a son named Richard Geoffrey Robyns who was born in England in 1371 AD. He had a son named John. This John was born in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England around 1391 AD. He married Joan Marty and had two children with her: Alice and Richard. His son Richard was born in Trevordale, England around 1417 AD. He married Margaret De La Clyve and had a son with her named John. This son, John Robyns I, was born in Trevordale in 1443. He married Alice Stourton and had a son with her, also named John. John II was born in Stoulton, Worcestershire, England in 1469 AD. He married a woman named Johanna and fathered a child with her named Edmund. This Edmund Robyns I was born in Whichford, Warwickshire in around 1495 and he married Abigail Worton, having a son with her named Edmund II. Edmund Robbins II was born in Whichford, England in 1532. He married Johanna Pitway and had two sons with her as follows: John Robbins Sr. and William. His son John Sr. was born in Hedingworth, Leicestershire, England around 1583 and he married twice: Hester (surname not known) and Anne Pitt, having six sons as follows: Nicholas, Richard, John, Richard, Thomas, and Robert. His son Richard Robbins (or Robins) was born in Stoulton, Worcestershire, England (modern day Great Britain or United Kingdom) in 1610. He went to colonial America. He married Mary Rebecca Welles and later Elizabeth (last name not known). He had four children with her as follows: John, Nathaniel, Samuel, and Rebecca. His son John Robbins was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts in 1640. He had a son named Roger. This Roger was born in Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA in 1690. He married Mercy Blackman and later Hannah Crowell, having the following children: Eleazer, Richard, Eleanor, James, John, Timothy, and Lydia (Broadbrooks). His son Eleazer Robbins was born in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts in 1714. He married three times: Mehitable Weeks, Mary Bassett, and Thankful Baker, fathering the following children: Nathaniel, Ammiel, Abigail, James, Eleazer, Thankful, and Thomas. His son Ammiel was born in Harwich, Massachusetts in around 1743 AD. He married twice: Abigail Broadbrooks and Phebe Small. He was the father of the following children: Mary, Sarah, Desre, Ammiel Jr., Elijah, Elisha, and Eleazer. His son Elijah Robbins Sr. was born in Harwich, MA around 1780 and he married Abigail Luce, having a son with her named Elijah Jr. Elijah Jr. was born in Industry, Franklin, Maine in 1810. He married Rozilla Stevens.
Early American and New World Settlers
Thomas Robins, age 17, came to Virginia aboard the Speedwell of London in late May 1635.
Edward Robins, age 33, came to Virginia aboard the Thomas in 1635.
John Robins was on a list of convicted rebels (from Monmouth’s Rebellion of 1685) who were transported to the New World in the late seventeenth century. A one John Robins (perhaps the same one?) owned 7 acres of land in the parish of St. George, Barbados in the Caribbean in 1679.
Charles Robin (1743-1824), merchant from the Isle of Jersey who traded between the maritime region of Canada and the British Isles
credit: theislandwiki.org by Mikebisson
Other early settlers in colonial America bearing this surname include Samuel Robbins (New England 1635), John Robbins (Connecticut 1638), Richard Robbins (Massachusetts 1643), Edward Robbins (Virginia 1646), and Thomas Robbins (New England 1703). In Australia, one of the earliest settlers bearing this name was Richard Robbins, a convict from Wiltshire, England who came aboard the Asia in 1822, living in New South Wales (then a penal colony). A one Richard Robbins was born in St. Botolph Bishopgate, London, England in 1777 and he had a son named James W. Robbins who born in Ernestown, Ontario, Canada in around 1802, having a son named Benjamin Milton Robbins (MD). Abihail (or Abiel) Robbins, son of James I, was born in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1759. He married Mary Saunders and had a son with her named William. A one William Robbins was born in 1859 and he married Louisa Alice Smith in Hope, New Zealand in 1899, having two sons with her: Oscar William and Reginald Edward Bismark.
Early Americans Bearing the Robbins Family Crest
Crozier’s General Armory (1904) contains one entry for this name: Richard Robbins of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1652. Gules, two fleur-de-lis; each divided paleways and fastened to the side of the escutcheon, the points following each other. Crest: A talbot’s head or.
Matthew’s American Armoury and Bluebook (1907) mentions one bearer: John Robbins of Theddingworth, Leicestershire, England, who settled in Weathersfield, Connecticut, in colonial America. He died around 1660 AD. Arms: Per pale sable and argent, two flaunches and three fleur-de-lis in fesse all counterchanged. Crest: Between two dolphins haurient respecting each other or a fleur-de-lis per pale argent and sable.
Charles Bolton’s American Armory (1927) does not contain an entry for this surname.
I have identified two Robbins family mottoes:
1) Deus nobis quis contra (God for us, who shall be against us?)
2) Vivit post funera virtus (Virtue outlives death)
We have 7 coats of arms for the Robbins surname depicted here. These 7 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it.
There are hundreds of notable people with the Robbins surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) Austin Dion Robbins (1971) who was a lineman in the NFL who played for four different teams from 1994-2000, born in Washington, D.C., 2) Asher Robbins (1761-1845) who was an US Senator from Rhode Island from 1825-1839 who was born in Wethersfield, Connecticut, 3) Barbara Annette Robbins (1943-1965) who was an American secretary employed by the CIA who was the first American female killed in the Vietname War, born in South Dakota, 4) Anthony “Tony” Robbins who is a famous life coach and author from North Hollywood, California who is known for his motivational speaking, 5) William McKendree Robbins (1828-1905) who was a member of the US House of Representatives from North Carolina who was born in Trinity, 6) William Dullam Robbins (1874-1952) who was the 45th Mayor of Toronto, Canada from 1936-1937, born in Downend, Gloucester, England, 7) Timothy Francis Robbins (1958) who is a famous American actor, director, and screenwriter born in West Covina, California known for memorable roles in movies such as Bull Durham, The Player, Mystic River, and Jacob’s Ladder, 8) Colonel Obedience Robbins (1600-1662) was a six time Burgess in colonial Virginia during the 1600s, born in Long Buckby, Northamptonshire, England, 9) Edward Everett Robbins (1860-1919) who was a Republican member of the US House of Representatives from Pennsylvania who served from 1897-1899 and from 1917-1919, having been a Major of Voluneers in the Spanish American War, and 10) Gilbert F. Robbins (1838-1889) who was the 14th Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island from 1886 to 1889.
believed to be Constantce and Emily Robin, daughters of Rev. Philip Raulin Robin
credit: Sarah Jowett at wikitree.com
Reverend Philip Raulin Robin (1814-1897), son of John Robin Esq. of West Kirby
Gracia Maria Robin (1736-1798), daughter of DR. Jean Baptiste Robin
Captain Charles Robin (1743-1834)
Reverend Brian Percival Robin (1887-1969), The Lord Bishop of Adelaide
credit: State Library of South Australia [B 11126]
Barbara A. Robbins
Sir Alfred F. Robbins (1856–1931), journalist & freemason
credit: Launceston Town Council
Sir Edmund Robbins (1847-1922), newspaper manager
credit: National Portrait Gallery, London