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Family spelling variants includes Robertson, Robinshaw, Robeson, Robbinson, Robison

ROBINSON Family History

The surnames Robinson and Robertson have often in some areas been used interchangeably, Robin being a derivative of Robert. It is a patronymic surname for it literally means 'the son of Robin' or 'the son of Robert'.

Variants of the name include Robison, Robbinson, Robeson, and Robinshaw. Robin was originally a diminutive of the French name Robert, and was popular in Normandy. It thus became evident in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Its origins ultimately however come from the Old German name of Rodbert, derived from ‘hroth’ which means ‘fame’ and ‘berht’ meaning ‘bright’.

The earliest appearance of Robinson in the records is of a John Robynson who was listed in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefied for 1324. Another early bearer of the surname was Katerina Robinson in 1540 (Sutterton, Lincolnshire). A carver and gilder named Wolf Robinson who lived in Boston, Lincolnshire, was listed in the 1893 UK Jewish Directory.

In 1881, farming was the most common occupation amongst Robinson family members, followed by  coal mining and agricultural labouring as the top 3 reported jobs worked by Robinson.

In 1891, the surname was widespread across England and Wales with 103,211 occurrences and a further 1,000 in Scotland. Lincolnshire was a top county with 3,965 occurrences in particular in the districts of Anderby and Alkborough. Further south, in the county of Kent, there were 1,798 occurrences.

Notable people

David Robinson OBE (1927-2017), A British journalist, author and teacher. He had a degree in Geography and an MSc in which he wrote a thesis on the coastal evolution of northeast Lincolnshire. David went on to become resident tutor of the University of Nottinghamshire for North Lincolnshire. He also served editorial roles with ‘Lincolnshire Life’ and ‘Natural World’ magazine. He was awarded an OBE for services to journalism and the community of Lincolnshire. In 2007 with a collection of papers on historical and geographical themes, titled “All Things Lincolnshire: An Anthology in Honour of David Robinson”.


1881, 1891 Census

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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    Jackie Robinson 1919-1972, first African American to play Major League Baseball;
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    samantha robinson

    I would like to know where I came from.
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    Tom Robinson

    My Great-grandfather, Thomas Robinson, born in 1878, Bangor, County Down emigrated to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada died 1924, Toronto, Ontario. His wife was Maggie Magowan, born 1882 Bangor, died 1915, Toronto, Ontario. They had 2 children, both born in Bangor, Thomas Joseph Robinson, born 1905 , died in Hamilton, Ontario 1991 and Maud Theresa Robinson, born in 1907, died in Hamilton, Ontario 1997.
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    SIR JB Robinson
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    Laurie Larson

    Hello members. I am trying to locate family members in Ireland, or at least figure out who they are. My paternal grandfather, William John Robinson, emigrated to Canada from Ireland in 1928. He was born to Irish parents in 1897 while they were visiting (?) in Scotland. He was raised in Ireland. As an adult he was apprenticing as a tailor and worked at his uncle's store in Fivemiletown. He worked as a tailor in Regina, SK, Cda until his retirement. He died in Regina in 1967. He came to Canada with 2 siblings (that I know of) Betty and Joe. I know he had other siblings in Ireland but I do not know their names or his parents names so it is proving very challenging to do any research into his family. If anyone has any leads I would be th
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    Anthony Barrett

    (Part 1 of 3) The Robinson name has a long history in the British Isles, but now DNA and some recorded history says its origin is from the south-west region of the Emerald Island. The Robinson story [dominated by DNA tribal marker R1b-L513, Subgroup O2] can trace their beginnings to what is now County Kerry from 50 BCE. Perhaps the journey begins with the Clanna Dedad; Deda, son of Sen or Deda Mac Sin. The Robinson surname origin is possibly a branch of what will become the Dáirine [R1b-L513] who are found in south Ireland around 300 CE.
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    Anthony Barrett

    (Part 2 of 3) According to research, the Dáirine will join with the Dál Riata of north-east Ireland and invade Scotland around 500 CE. 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 Robinson story begins in pre-history Ireland but many of his descendants will then move to Kintyre, Scotland where they and other R1b-L513 members will form the Dalriada. This line and many of his kin will then travel 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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