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

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

It was among those Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled over Britain that the name Harbin was formed. The name was derived from the name Rabin or Robin, which are pet forms of the personal name Robert. The name is preceded the Old English prefix har, which means gray. Hence, the surname Harbin literally means gray Rabin or gray Robin.

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Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Harbin include Horrobin, Horrabin, Horobin, Horabin, Harrobin, Harrabin, Harobin, Harbin, Harbine, Harbyn, Harbynn, Horbyn and many more.

First found in Lancashire, where the family held a family seat in early times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harbin research. Another 328 words(23 lines of text) covering the years 1591, 1596, 1612, 1618, 1633, 1696, 1783, and 1790 are included under the topic Early Harbin History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Harbin were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Harbin Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Alexander Harbin, who arrived with his wife in Barbados in 1680

Harbin Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Robert Harbin, who settled in Virginia in 1739

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  • George Harbin (1665-1744), English clergyman, a nonjuror and significant political writer
  • Robert Harbin (1909-1978), British magician and writer noted as the inventor of a number of classic illusions
  • John Harbin (b. 1947), Australian sports coach
  • Lionel Harbin (b. 1976), Australian professional rugby league footballer


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  1. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  6. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Harbin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Harbin 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 17 June 2014 at 13:24.

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