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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: French, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Abbey family come from? What is the Scottish Abbey family crest and coat of arms? When did the Abbey family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Abbey family history?

The story of the name Abbey reaches back through Scottish history to the kingdom of Dalriada. The name evolved for a person who worked as a person who was a lay-abbot of a monastery. In the Middle Ages, this was the title held usually by the leading family of the village.

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Spelling variations are the result of the medieval practice of spelling according to sound and repeated translation between Gaelic and English. Many spelling variations of Abbey have been recorded over the years, including Abbey, Aba, Abbe, Abbie, Abey, Abbeys, Aby and others.

First found in the county of Angus, in the parish of Abbey, and Brechin, and the first record was of Donald Abbe of Brechin in 1178, who witnessed a charter with Turpin, Bishop of Brechin, and later he gifted the lands of Balegillegrand to the Abbey of Arbroath, which grant was confirmed by King William the Lion.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Abbey research. Another 137 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1219 and 1370 are included under the topic Early Abbey History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Abbey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Abbeys to arrive in North America:

Abbey Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Abbey, who arrived in Virginia in 1608
  • John Abbey, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1634
  • Sarah Abbey who settled in Barbados in 1679

Abbey Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • William D Abbey, who landed in Arkansas in 1880

Abbey Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Albert Abbey, aged 4, who emigrated to the United States from London, in 1906
  • Constantine Abbey, aged 35, who emigrated to America from Leeds, England, in 1914
  • Allan Abbey, aged 36, who landed in America, in 1918
  • Ann Abbey, aged 26, who settled in America from Essex, England, in 1919
  • Alban Abbey, aged 37, who landed in America, in 1919


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  • Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911), American illustrator and muralist who moved to England and became famous for his graceful depictions of 17th and 18th century England
  • Edward Abbey (1927-1989), American writer and environmentalist
  • Bert Wood Abbey (1869-1962), American Major League baseball pitcher
  • George William Samuel Abbey (b. 1932), American former director of the Johnson Space Center (JSC)
  • Henry Abbey (1842-1911), American poet, best known for his poem "What do we plant when we plant a tree?"
  • Leon Abbey (1900-1975), American jazz violinist and bandleader
  • Henry Eugene Abbey (1846-1896), American theatre manager and producer, the first manager of New York's Metropolitan Opera Company
  • Lynn Abbey (b. 1948), American author
  • Nathanael Nathan Abbey (b. 1978), English football goalkeeper
  • Zema Abbey (b. 1977), English footballer

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  1. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  7. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  8. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  9. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Abbey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Abbey Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 23 December 2013 at 12:57.

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