Abbe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Abbe is a name that evolved among the descendants of the people of the kingdom of Dalriada in ancient Scotland. It is a name 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Abbe family

The surname Abbe was first found in the county of Angus, in the parish of Abbey and Brechin. The first record was of Douenaldus (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. "Maurice Abbe of Abireloth or Abereloth appears as witness in charters by Gilchrist, earl of Angus and of John de Mountfort between 1201 and 1214. Between 1211 and 1214 Johannes Abbe with the advice and consent of his son Morgund granted to the monks of Abirebroth (Arbroath) permission to take charcoal from 'nemore jaeo de Edale,' now Edzell. The same John Abbe and Morgund his son were present at the perambulation of the boundaries of the lands of the Abbey of Arbroath and the barony of Kynblathmond in 1219. Nicholas Abbe appears as juror on an Inquest in 1250, Simon del Abbeye, Scottish merchant, complained in 1370 of being plundered by English wreckers." [2]

As one would expect the name was scattered throughout ancient England. Ralph le Abbe was found in Devon as was William del Abbay. In Lancashire, Robert del Abbay was listed there in 1332. [3]

William filius Abi was recorded in Buckinghamshire, 1273. Willelmus Abson of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. [3] John Abbys was documented in County Norfolk in the year 1480. [4]

London records list Ralph le Abbe in the Pipe Rolls of 1177 and in Cornwall, John Abby was listed there in 1297. William del Abbay was a Freeman of York in 1283. [5]

Early History of the Abbe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Abbe research. Another 69 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1219 and 1370 are included under the topic Early Abbe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Abbe Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Abbe has been spelled Abbey, Aba, Abbe, Abbie, Abey, Abbeys, Aby and others.

Early Notables of the Abbe family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Abbe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Abbe migration to the United States +

Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to England re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Abbes to arrive on North American shores:

Abbe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Abbe, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [6]
  • John Abbe, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1634 [6]
  • Thomas Abbe, who landed in Virginia in 1649 [6]
  • Soliman Abbe, who landed in Long Island in 1659 [6]
  • Thomas Abbe, who settled in Virginia in 1673
Abbe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Abbe, who arrived in America in 1831 [6]
  • Jacob Abbe, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [6]

Canada Abbe migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Abbe Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Elizth Abbe, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1774

Contemporary Notables of the name Abbe (post 1700) +

  • Cleveland Abbe (1818-1916), American meteorologist
  • Samuel B. Abbe, American politician, Member of Minnesota territorial House of Representatives 5th District, 1857 [7]
  • Joshua G. Abbe, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1868 [7]
  • Horace Lincoln Abbe (b. 1865), American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Enfield, 1902, 1906, 1910 [7]
  • Harold Abbe, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Washington, 2004 [7]
  • Albert N. Abbe, American Republican politician, Alternate delegate to Republican National Convention from Connecticut, 1908 [7]
  • Louis Jean Nicolas Abbé, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [8]
  • Truman Abbe (1873-1955), American surgeon
  • Robert Abbe (1851-1928), American surgeon and radiologist
  • James Abbe (1883-1975), American photographer
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, September 30) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  8. ^ Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, February 11) Louis Abbé. Retrieved from http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/c_frenchgenerals.html


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