Show ContentsCabbot History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Soon after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, the name Cabbot was recognized on the island as a name for a person with a large head. The surname Cabbot was originally derived from the Old French word cabot and was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form Capoceus.

Early Origins of the Cabbot family

The surname Cabbot was first found in Jersey in the Channel Islands where "it is of frequent occurrence. It appears to be derived from the little fish known by us as the 'bullhead,' but on the shores of Normandy and the Channel Islands, where it abounds, as the chabot or cabot." [1] The same reference continues on: "Sebastian Cabot, the discoverer of Newfoundland (born at Bristol in 1477) is generally believed to be of Venetian extraction, but there is much reason to believe that his father was a native of Jersey." [1]

Another source sheds more light on his heritage: "He was the second son of John Cabot, a Venetian pilot, who afterwards settled in Bristol as a merchant, probably as early as 1472. A confusion between himself and his father on the part of many of his recent biographers has been the main cause of their perplexity. " [2]

Early History of the Cabbot family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cabbot research. Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1455, 1498, 1497, 1483 and 1557 are included under the topic Early Cabbot History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cabbot Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Cabot, Cabott, Chabot and others.

Early Notables of the Cabbot family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Cabbot family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World 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 stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Cabbot or a variant listed above: Sebastien Cabot who settled in Maine in 1498; Antoine Cabot arrived in Louisiana in 1756; Stephen Cabot arrived in Philadelphia in 1821.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook