Abby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Abby was first used centuries ago in the region that was once the Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. It was a name for 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 Abby family

The surname Abby 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 Abby family

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

Abby Spelling Variations

Spelling in the medieval era was a highly imprecise process. Translation, particularly from Gaelic to English, was little better. For these reasons, early Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. In various documents Abby has been spelled Abbey, Aba, Abbe, Abbie, Abey, Abbeys, Aby and others.

Early Notables of the Abby family (pre 1700)

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


United States Abby migration to the United States +

These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The Abby were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Abby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jo Abby, who arrived in Virginia in 1634 [6]
  • Jo Abby, aged 22, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [6]
  • Jon Abby, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [6]
  • Jonathan Abby, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [6]
Abby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jane Abby, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Abby (post 1700) +

  • Abby Lynn Crumpton (b. 1981), American soccer forward/defender, member of the United States U-21 National Team
  • Abby Stubbert (b. 1988), Canadian gold and silver medalist Paralympic wheelchair basketball player
  • Abby Kelley Foster (1811-1887), American abolitionist and radical social reformer
  • Abby Leigh Huffstetler, American actress
  • Abby Folsom (d. 1867), American feminist and abolitionist
  • Abby Denson, American artist, comic s creator, illustrator and musician
  • Abby Whiteside (1881-1956), American founder of the piano method The Whiteside Technique
  • Abby Travis (b. 1969), American bassist
  • Abby L. Wilder, American politician, Delegate to New Hampshire convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933 [7]


  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, November 20) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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