Show ContentsAbbot History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxons of Britain first developed the name Abbot. It was a name given to someone who was a superior of a monastery, an Abbot. The name Abbot may also be a nickname applied to someone who played the part of an abbot in a medieval pageant, or to a person thought to be particularly pious and devout. [1]

Early Origins of the Abbot family

The surname Abbot was first found in the counties of Oxfordshire, Huntingdon, Bedfordshire and Cambridge from very ancient times. The family was in this area before the Norman Conquest of England by William, Duke of Normandy in 1066 AD.

Alfwoldus Abbas (1111-1117) is one such example of a man who was a holder of the monasterial office of Abbot. It is also assumed that the name may have been a source of several more surnames at a later date. Walter Abbott was recorded in the year 1200, in the City of London. [1]

Walter Abat was recorded in The Assize Rolls for Yorkshire in 1219. Peter le Abbot (the Abbot) of Essex is documented in the records of the Hornchurch priory, and is also mention of Ralph Abbod in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1272. [2]

The Abbotson and Abotson variants date back to 1200 when Walter Abbottson was recorded in London at that time. [2]

Early History of the Abbot family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Abbot research. Another 98 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1306, 1379, 1560, 1562, 1565, 1577, 1588, 1603, 1612, 1617, 1623, 1633, 1642, 1648, 1662, 1720 and 1912 are included under the topic Early Abbot History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Abbot Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Abbot have been found, including Abbott, Abbot, Abbotts, Abbett, Abbet, Abott and others.

Early Notables of the Abbot family

Notables of this surname at this time include:

  • Sir Maurice or Morris Abbot (1565-1642), was an eminent merchant, Governor of the East India Company, and Lord Mayor of London, the fifth and youngest son of Maurice Abbot, a clothworker of Guildford
  • George Abbot (1562-1633), Archbishop of Canterbury, the fourth Chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin, between 1612 and 1633. He was one of the translators of the Bible. "His father, Maurice Abbot, was...
  • Robert Abbot (1560-1617), was Bishop of Salisbury, elder brother of George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, was born at Guildford in Surrey
  • Another George Abbot (1603-1648), was an English religious writer, has been persistently mistaken for other George Abbots. "He is invariably described as a clergyman, which he never was, and as son of...
  • Robert Abbot (1588?-1662?), was an English divine, who has been strangely confused with others, e.g. with Robert Abbot, Bishop of Salisbury. Ironically both brothers, George and Robert ave "twin" entr...
  • John Abbott (fl. 1623), was an English poet who received his education at Sidney College, Cambridge

Ireland Migration of the Abbot family to Ireland

Some of the Abbot family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Abbot migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Abbot, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were:

Abbot Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jeffrey Abbot, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607 [3]
  • Arthur Abbot, who arrived in Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1630 [3]
  • George Abbot, who landed in New England in 1630 [3]
  • Daniel Abbot, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1634 [3]
  • Robert Abbot, who arrived in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1634 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Abbot Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Frederick Abbot, who landed in Virginia in 1716 [3]
  • William Abbot, who arrived in Georgia in 1735 [3]
  • Mary Abbot, who landed in America in 1760 [3]
  • Samuel Abbot, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1764 [3]
  • Samuel Abbot, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1789 [3]
Abbot Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Abbot, who landed in Norfolk, Va in 1819 [3]
  • Thomas Abbot, aged 34, who landed in Key West, Fla in 1842 [3]
  • Simeon Abbot, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [3]
  • Francisco Abbot, aged 27, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1858 [3]
  • J Abbot, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1867 [3]

Canada Abbot migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Abbot Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Abbot, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Mr. Joseph Abbot U.E., United Empire Loyalist who settled in Western District, Southwestern Ontario c. 1783 [4]
Abbot Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Jeremiah Abbot, aged 25, who landed in Canada in 1823

New Zealand Abbot migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Abbot Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Abbot, American settler travelling from California aboard the ship "Titan" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 12th February 1852 [5]
  • Mr. Charles Abbot, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Sevilla" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1859 [5]
  • Mrs. Abbot, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Sevilla" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1859 [5]
  • Miss Abbot, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Sevilla" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1859 [5]
  • Miss Jane Abbot, (b. 1844), aged 19, British needlewoman travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Abbot (post 1700) +

  • Ezra Abbot (1819-1894), American biblical scholar
  • Charles Greely Abbot (1872-1973), American astrophysicist
  • Willis John Abbot (1863-1934), American Democratic Party politician [7]
  • Joel Abbot (1776-1826), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Georgia State House of Representatives, 1799, 1802-04, 1808, 1811 [7]
  • Alois Bahlmann Abbot (1885-1951), American Democratic Party politician, Member of West Virginia State Senate 9th District, 1927-34 [7]
  • Alexander Abbot (1893-1966), American politician, Burgess of Darby, Pennsylvania, 1953-60 [7]
  • William Abbot (1789-1843), English actor and dramatist, born at Chelsea and made his first essay on the stage at Bath in 1806 [8]
  • George Abbot (1562-1633), English prelate
  • Charles Abbot (1757-1829), 1st Baron Colchester, British statesman, born 14 Oct. 1767, at Abingdon, Berkshire, Speaker of the House of Commons (1802-1817) [8]
  • Bec Abbot, Canadian singer
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Robert Abbot, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [9]

The Abbot Motto +

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: Deo patria amicis
Motto Translation: A friend to God and my country.

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. 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)
  4. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  6. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, September 30) . Retrieved from
  8. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 17 Apr. 2019
  9. HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook