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Family spelling variants includes Roberds, Robards, Robberts, Robarts, Robberds, Robers

ROBERTS Family History


A name which has many spelling variations, including Robert and Robart, Roberts has pre-7th century Germanic origins. It derives from the same root as the names Rupert, Rubke and Ruppertz of Germany, and Rops and Rubbens of Flanders.

Its roots lie in the male given name 'Hrodbeorht', made up of 'hrod', meaning renown, and 'beorht', bright or famous. This type of personal name,was very popular throughout Europe for many centuries, and remains so today. It was 'adopted' by the Norsemen as they swept through Northern Europe on their march of conquest which took them to Normandy in the 10th century.


Roberts (variants – Robers, Robberds, Robarts, Robberts, Robards, Roberds) is an English, Welsh and Scottish patronymic surname which developed originally from the personal name Robert.

This surname is widespread in the UK and is frequently found in Wales and West Central England.

In England, the surname became common during the time of Edward the Confessor. Only a short twenty years after the Norman Conquest and the Battle of Hastings in 1066, it was first found in Kent in 1086, where a Willelmus filius Roberti was listed in the Domesday Book.

The Domesday Book also includes a reference to a Sheriff of Worcestershire, Robert the Bursar, who held a castle at Tamworth, Staffordshire and had holdings in Gloucester, Leicester, Lincoln and Warwick. The same source states that a Robert (son of Fafiton) had holdings in Bedford, Cambridge, Huntingdon, and Middlesex.

A Scottish connection comes via the 'Roberts of Glassenbury’ family, extinct baronets from Kent who, according to a genealogy in Harl. MSS., were descended from a Scotchman, William Rookherst who settled in Kent in the third year of Henry I. He purchased lands at Goudhurst, which he called after his own name. He later changed the name to Roobertes and then Roberts. Although the term herst is scarcely known in Scotland, it makes many appearances in Kent where the surname was first found. 

In Wales the Roberts surname is patronymic in origin and would originally have referred back to a male ancestor who had the given name Robert. This personal name would have developed into a settled, hereditary surname between the 16th and 19th centuries, depending on where in Wales the family lived (families in certain parts of the country adopted fixed surnames later than others).

A Cornish example of the surname comes in the form of a convict, a William John Roberts (b. 1756), who, aged 31, was on 14 August 1786 found guilty in Bodmin, Cornwall of stealing yarn valued at 9 shillings. He was transported to New South Wales, Australia aboard the ship 'Scarborough' on 13 May 1787.

In 1891, the frequency of the surname throughout the whole of England and Wales was 112,694, with fewer occurrences in Scotland at 1,377. In 1881, in Kent there were 1,963 occurrences of the surname. At this time, the top jobs for individuals named Roberts in the UK included farmer (8% reported), labourer and coal miner, while there were fewer agricultural labourers .

The occupational term ‘Bobbies’ was derived from a personal name – Sir Robert Peel, who founded the London's Metropolitan police force in 1829. Constables were first called the ‘Peelers’ until Sir Robert became Chief Secretary in Ireland, when the term 'Bobbies' was adopted and which is still sometimes used today.


1881, 1891 Census

1881 Census in Kent

Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016

1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain

1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain



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    Scott Roberts

    My Roberts family hails from Ferns county Wexford Ireland. The first born son for generation after generation was named William. (I and my father are exceptions).  The names Richard and John also dominate
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    Lady Jane Roberts born approx 1797 father John Roberts Married Andrew Guthrie in 1823 in Quebec, Canada Died in 1840 Quebec
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    Jeff Roberts

    Seeking info on Peter Roberts in Necton, Norfolk, England circa 1700’s
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    Seeking departure dates and information of Roberts family immigration to Virginia colony--or any American colony if not Virginia specifically. Earliest known family member Joseph Roberts (1733-1788) in Virginia, possibly Spotsylvania area. Would like to know what part of Ireland this family originated.
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    I am trying to find answers to my ancestors. My 4th grandfather was Bird jr Roberts 1778 -1888 South Carolina his father was William Roberts whose father Bird sr,
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    James Lazos

    According to our DNA tests (they change every few months with more info) Roberts is from Donegal, Ireland, and towns on the border of N. Ire. and Ireland. But it also shows Scottish. Pretty cool, this whole time I thought I was predominately Greek, but I'm a mutt from my mother's side and apparently we are not half greek, we have a lot of Balkan and E. European in us on my dad's (greek) side, my mother's side is the Roberts side, and anyway, it's interesting all the stuff on here but I think we can all agree on one thing, the name is broadly the UK. You cant nail it down to one town, that's just moronic, that's like trying to nail SMITH down to one location.
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    Charles louis roberts born 1919 died 1987
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    George William Thomas Rob

    Im trying to find out weather my family originated in Wales or Ireland
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    Douglas McElroy

    Looking for info about Lorenzo W Roberts. Born 1800 New York.
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    Rachael Bliss

    Interested in finding Robertses who immigrated from Wales to County Longford in Ireland, thosestill there or ones who settled in USA.
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    Roberts (Roberson)

    Although it is more probable that Robert's in Ireland are actually from Scotland, and arrived during the Plantation of Ulster. According to my DNA Scotland is were my paternal side came from. We are basically Robertson's.
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    Roberts (Roberson)

    Being born Welsh and having Welsh blood on my maternal side, this is not correct for all Roberts families. Fixed surnames in Wales is a late development for the majority. The patronymic system meant that the son often took the first name of the father as last name of the son. So it was only from when Henry VIII decreed that fixed names should be used in Wales did fixed names started to became the norm. This took quite some time. Thus not all Roberts's even in Wales are related. Roberts is not only a Welsh name, but English Sottish and Irish. In England it's first recorded in the Doomsday book recorded in Latin as Filius Roberti (son of Robert) Of Oxford. Roberts's in Ireland were descended from Clan Colla. (O'Heart). In Sc
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    Anthony Barrett

    (Part 1 of 3) The Roberts name has a long history in Wales, but now DNA and some recorded history says their origin is from the Emerald Island. The Roberts story [dominated by DNA tribal marker R1b-L513, Subgroup B2] can trace their origins to the Finn Valley in Donegal, Ireland from 50 BCE. Perhaps the journey begins with the Clanna Dedad; Deda, son of Sen or Deda Mac Sin. The Roberts surname origin is from Clan Domnaill [DNA Tribe R1b-L513, Subgroup B1] and relations who remain in Ireland take the modern surname (O’)Donnelly, McDonald and Donohue in Ireland.
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    Anthony Barrett

    (Part 2 of 3) According to research, the Domnaill name is also found in Brittany, France. It is a very old name which appears in the 5th century Roman inscriptions as Dumnovellaunos in Brittany meaning “Deep Valour” equivalent to Irish Domhnaill. But how could this be? Recent discoveries from DNA testing are unlocking the migration patterns of Celtic tribes as late as 800 CE to 1200 CE. The Roberts story begins in pre-history Ireland then moves to Wales where the family can be traced back to their Welsh tribe Cydifor Fawr. Many of his kin will then move to Brittany, France during the Dark Ages.
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    Anthony Barrett

    (Part 3 of 3) Discover their newly found untold story and how forgotten texts bring their story back to life. From the ebook, “The Tribe Within” learn how DNA unfolds this amazing tale and if you look in the right places, how history narrates this evidence. There is another written account of their story, but it is camouflaged in smoke and myth – it will become the tales of King Arthur. Come follow in the footsteps of Deda Mac Sin and visit https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/401207
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