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

Origins Available: English, Welsh

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

The Roberts surname is derived from the personal name Robert. This name was originally came from the Old German words "hrod" and "behrt," which mean "fame" and "bright." It was introduced to Britain by the Normans during the time of Edward the Confessor, and became very popular. A large number of diminutives and pet-forms were derived from this name in early times.

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Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Roberts have included Roberts, Robert, Robartes, Robarts and others.

First found in the county of Denbighshire (Welsh: Sir Ddinbych), a historic county, created in 1536 at the Act of Union with England, and located in Northeast Wales, where they were descended from Einion Efell, Lord of Cynllateh, through Howell ap Iolyn of Llangedwyn, and were directly descended from Rhodri Mawr, King of Wales.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Roberts research. Another 209 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1585, 1665, 1679, 1648, 1657, 1606, 1685, 1649, 1718, 1682, 1722, 1719, 1722 and are included under the topic Early Roberts History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 309 words(22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Roberts Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Roberts family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 133 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Roberts:

Roberts Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Elias Roberts, who landed in Virginia in 1624
  • Blanch Roberts, aged 20, arrived in Bermuda in 1635
  • John Roberts settled in Virginia in 1638
  • Edward Roberts settled in Virginia in 1639
  • Ewen Roberts, who arrived in Virginia in 1643


Roberts Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Ellis Roberts, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1703
  • Alexander Roberts, who arrived in Jamaica in 1780
  • Bennet Roberts, who landed in Mississippi in 1799

Roberts Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Edmond Roberts, who landed in New York in 1802
  • Brice Roberts, who arrived in New York in 1822
  • David Roberts, who landed in New York in 1831
  • Amelia Roberts, aged 20, landed in Key West, Fla in 1838
  • Francis Roberts, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1841


Roberts Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Evelyn Ashley Roberts, who arrived in Alabama in 1919

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  • Doris Roberts (b. 1929), American actress
  • Julia Roberts (b. 1967), Academy Award-winning American film actress and former fashion model
  • Anita Roberts (1942-2006), American molecular biologist
  • Edwin A. Roberts Jr., American reporter who won the 1974 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary
  • Howard Roberts (1929-1992), American jazz guitarist, educator and session musician
  • Corporal Harold W. Roberts (1895-1918), United States Army soldier awarded the Medal of Honor
  • Tanya Roberts (b. 1955), American actress best known for her role in Charlie's Angels
  • Kate Roberts (1891-1985), Welsh novelist
  • Ieuan Wyn Pritchard Roberts PC Kt (1930-2013), Baron Roberts of Conwy, a Welsh Conservative politician. Member of Parliament for Conwy (1970-1997)
  • Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts (1860-1943), Canadian writer

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  • Roberts-Allen Families by Merritt E. Roberts
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ewch ymlaen
Motto Translation: Go forward.

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  1. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  6. Rowlands, John, John Rowlands and Sheila Rowlands. Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1999. Print. (ISBN 080631620).
  7. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-005-8).
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Roberts Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Roberts 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 7 May 2014 at 12:07.

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