Brobson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The background history of the name Brobson starts in ancient Scotland among the Pictish people. The name Brobson is derived from the personal name Robert. This name is composed of the old English elements hroth, which means fame, and berht, which means bright. Although this Clan had the early appearance of being English, the Robsons were one of the four principal Clans of the North Tyne area just south of the Scottish Border in the sixteenth century. Their progenitor was Robert, the second son of George Gunn, the Crowner of Scotland. The Gunn Clan territories were in northern Scotland and they were of Norse origin together with their overlords, the Sinclairs.

Early Origins of the Brobson family

The surname Brobson was first found in Northumberland, where the name was quite distinct from both Robinson and Robertson, although in early records of the Clan the Robson name was frequently spelled Robison, literally Robi's son.

"Northumberland is the great home of the Robsons, particularly the district of North Tyne, where they have been established since the 12th or 13th century (C.). They formed one of the four principal clans of North Tyne in the 16th century, and were the hereditary foes of the Armstrongs of Liddesdale on the Scottish side of the border. Though scattered over Northumberland, the Robsons are still numerous in North Tyne; and in the parish of Falstone, where as 'lairds' they have held property for some 400 years, they are yet well represented. The name has obtained but little hold across the border, but it has extended southward in force into the county of Durham; it reaches Yorkshire in diminished numbers, and dies out in Lincolnshire." [1]

In Scotland, the name first appears soon after the death of George Gunn in the 15th century: Patrick Robson was recorded in 1436, Donald Robson in 1446 and Wyllie Robyson witnessed a feud in 1476. From this point the Clan flourished on both sides of the border, with the Chiefly branch on the Scottish side. It is not altogether surprising that with this Clan straddling the England-Scotland border a John and Edward Robison were charged with defrauding the king's customs in 1524. [2]

"The English Robsons formed one of the four principal clans of North Tyne in the sixteenth century. In Bullein's Dialogue they are described as 'a wight riding sirname, good honest men and true, saving a little shifting for their living.' " [2]

Early History of the Brobson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brobson research. Another 331 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1567, 1550, 1600, 1587, 1590, 1597, 1604, 1633, 1654, 1650, 1598, 1638, 1598, 1613, 1615, 1616, 1619, 1629, 1620, 1623 and are included under the topic Early Brobson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brobson Spelling Variations

Prior to the invention of the printing press in the last hundred years, documents were basically unique. Names were written according to sound, and often appeared differently each time they were recorded. Spelling variations of the name Brobson include Robson, Robison, Robeson, Robisonn and others.

Early Notables of the Brobson family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Charles Robson (1598-1638), English divine, first chaplain at Aleppo, of Cumberland parentage, the son of Thomas Robson, master of the Free School of Carlisle. "Born in 1598, having entered Queen's College, Oxford, as batler at Easter 1613, he matriculated thence on 5 May 1615, aged 17. He graduated B.A...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brobson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Brobson family to Ireland

Some of the Brobson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Brobson 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:

Brobson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Helen Brobson, aged 23, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jessie Readman" in 1872 [3]
  • Miss Helen M. Brobson, (b. 1849), aged 23, Cornish housekeeper departing on 20th September 1872 aboard the ship "Jessie Readman" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 15th December 1872 [4]
  • Miss Helen Brobson, (b. 1849), aged 23, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Jessie Readman" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 14th December 1872 [3]
  • Miss Anna M. Brobson, (b. 1856), aged 17, Cornish dressmaker departing on 8th September 1873 aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 28th December 1873 [4]
  • Anna M. Brobson, aged 17, a dressmaker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873


The Brobson 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: Justus esto et non metue
Motto Translation: Be just and fear not


  1. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. 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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Wellington 1872-1880 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nz_wellington.pdf    


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