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

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

Rabbit is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. Rabbit comes from the given name Robert, which is adapted from the Norman personal name Radbode. This latter name is composed of the Germanic elements rad, meaning counsel or advice, and bodo, meaning message or tidings.

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Rabbit include Rabbit, Rabett, Rabit, Rabbitt and others.

First found in Suffolk where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rabbit research. Another 217 words(16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rabbit History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Rabbits to arrive on North American shores:

Rabbit Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Michael Rabbit who settled in Philadelphia in 1851
  • John Rabbit, who arrived in Indiana sometime between 1853 and 1855

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  1. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  7. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  11. ...

The Rabbit Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rabbit 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 27 October 2010 at 13:55.

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