Show ContentsArbour History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Arbour has been recorded in British history since the time when the Anglo-Saxons ruled over the region. The name is assumed to have been given to someone who was a person who ran a lodging house. This surname is a metonymic form of the surname Harberer, and is derived from the Old English word herebeorg, which means shelter or lodging. [1]

Early Origins of the Arbour family

The surname Arbour was first found in Cambridgeshire where the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Geoffrey Herbour and John Herbour as holding lands there at that time. [2]

Two early London records show William le Herber in the Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum in Turri Londinesi; and Richard le Hareber in the Munimenta Gildhallæ Londoniensis. [1]

Early History of the Arbour family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Arbour research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1596, 1679, 1676, 1785, 1635, 1692, 1689, 1690, 1572 and 1575 are included under the topic Early Arbour History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Arbour Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Arbour has been spelled many different ways, including Arbour, Arbor, Harbord, Harbard, Hardboard, Harboard, Harber, Harbot and many more.

Early Notables of the Arbour family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Harbord (1635-1692), of Grafton Park, an English diplomat and politician, Privy Counsellor and Paymaster of the Forces in Ireland in 1689, Vice-Treasurer of Ireland in 1690. He was the first English ambassador to Turkey...
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Arbour Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Arbour Ranking

In the United States, the name Arbour is the 15,936th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3] However, in Quebec, Canada, the name Arbour is ranked the 644th most popular surname. [4]

United States Arbour migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Arbours to arrive in North America:

Arbour Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Arbour, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1786

Canada Arbour migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Arbour Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Marie-Madeleine-Ursu Arbour married in Pointe-aux-Trembles in 1696
Arbour Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Elisabeth Arbour married in Quebec in 1718
  • Angélique Arbour married in Pointe-aux-Trembles in 1724
  • Marie-Geneviève Arbour married in Beauceville, Quebec in 1745

Contemporary Notables of the name Arbour (post 1700) +

  • John Gilbert Arbour (b. 1945), retired Canadian professional NHL and WHA ice hockey player who played from 1965 to 1977
  • Nicole Arbour, Canadian comedian, recording artist, actor, writer, choreographer and producer
  • Anthony Francis "Tony" Arbour JP (b. 1945), British Conservative Party politician, Member of the London Assembly for South West (2000-)
  • John Albert "Jack" Arbour (1899-1973), Canadian NHL ice hockey defenceman, younger brother of Ty Arbour
  • Joseph Merille Ernest "Ty" Arbour (1896-1979), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey player who played from 1922 to 1926
  • Alger Joseph "Radar" Arbour (1932-2015), Canadian National Hockey League player, coach, and executive, second only to Scotty Bowman for the most wins and games coached in league history, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996
  • Joseph Hermas "Amos, Butch" Arbour (1895-1943), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey player who played from 1915 to 1924
  • Pierre Arbour, Canadian business executive in Montreal
  • Hon. Louise Arbour (b. 1947), Canadian UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and a former Supreme Court of Canada Justice

The Arbour 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: Equanimiter
Motto Translation: With equanimity.

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. "The first 1,000 family names by rank, Quebec (in French only)" Institut de la statistique du Quebec, on Facebook