Abtay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Abtay family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living in or near an abbey. More specifically, the surname Abtay was originally derived from the settlement of Abdy, a family estate in Yorkshire. The surname also has an occupational origin, and signifies one who was employed at an abbey.

Early Origins of the Abtay family

The surname Abtay was first found in Yorkshire, where Robert and Johannes del Abdy were registered in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [1] Further north, Abdie is a parish, in the district of Cupar, Fifeshire. [2] "The parish, anciently called Lindores, was formerly of much greater extent than at present, including the lands of the parish of Newburgh." [3] Stapleford Abbot's in Essex was home to another branch of the family. "The fine old mansion of Albyns, the residence of the Abdy family, built by Inigo Jones, is situated here. In the church are also monuments to the family of Abdy; to John, Lord Fortescue, one of the justices of the court of common pleas; and his son Dormer, the last lord." [4]

Early History of the Abtay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Abtay research. Another 185 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1577, 1583, 1600, 1730, 1776, 1791, 1846, 1579, 1640, 1630, 1631, 1612, 1686, 1655, 1704, 1688, 1733, 1689, 1750, 1615, 1670, 1643, 1691, 1688, 1748, 1727, 1748, 1620 and 1662 are included under the topic Early Abtay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Abtay Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Abtay include Abdy, Abdie, Abde, Abdey, Abdee, Abdye, Abbdy, Abbdey and many more.

Early Notables of the Abtay family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Anthony Abdy (1579-1640), East India merchant of London, Sheriff of London (1630-1631); Sir Thomas Abdy, 1st Baronet (1612-1686), an English lawyer and landowner; Sir Anthony Abdy, 2nd Baronet (1655-1704), an English landowner; Sir Anthony Thomas Abdy, 3rd Baronet (1688-1733), English lawyer and landowner; Sir...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Abtay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Abtay family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Abtay or a variant listed above: Mathew Abdy, who sailed to Virginia in 1635; Nicholas Abdey to Virginia in 1637; Roger Abdy to America in 1640; and John Abdee to Maryland in 1670. Samuel and George Abdy were living in Bruce County, Ontario in 1867..



The Abtay 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: Tenax et fidelis
Motto Translation: Persevering and faithful.


  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. ^ 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. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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