Crabb History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. The Crabb history starts with such a migration. As the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames refers either directly or indirectly to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, physical appearance, habits, or character, among other attributes. Flemish names of this type frequently feature the prefixes lile, which meant the. The surname Crabb is a nickname for a cross-grained, ill-tempered, or fractious person. The surname Crabb may have been applied as a nickname for some who was crabby. Checking further we found the name was derived from the Old English word crabba, which means crab, or from the Old English word crabbe, which means wild apple. This latter reference implies that the origin may lie as a habitation name "one who lives near the wild apple trees." [1]

Early Origins of the Crabb family

The surname Crabb was first found in Cambridge but the Crail variant may have come from much farther north in Fife, Scotland where the former royal burgh so named was derived from the Pictish word "caer" which meant fort. Today Crail is the home to the oldest golf club in the world, instituted in February 1786.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Henry Crabbe, Cambridgeshire; Robert Crabbe, Somerset; and Richard Crabbe, Norfolk. [1]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had two listings of the family: Matilda Crab; and Johannes Crabbe. [1]

Further to the north in Scotland, "the first of the name of prominence was Paul Crab, in Aberdeen, 1310." [2]

One of the most famous early family members was John Crabbe (fl.1305-1352), a Flemish merchant, pirate and soldier. He defended Berwick Castle for the Scots against English forces in 1318, but after being captured by the English in 1332, he then assisted the English when they again besieged at Berwick in 1333.

As an engineer, he was in charge of the siege machine, causing "sore problems" for the English defenders of the Castle. In that year, the Count of Flanders committed to the King that if he caught John Crabb he would hang him for 'murder'. However, this same John Crabb was a much sought after commander, and King Robert the Bruce rewarded him with lands in Auchmolen, Auchterrony, and Prescoby, for his services with his siege machine. In 1332, John Crabb also assisted Bruce in the siege of Perth.

The same person became high on the political scale of the Scottish nation, and his sept branched into many directions. He treated with the English for the release of Earl David of Huntingdon, and ultimately obtained his release for him to become King David of Scotland. The name flourished for the next few centuries on their many estates. [2]

Early History of the Crabb family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crabb research. Another 146 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1754, 1832, 1945, 1362, 1384, 1398, 1401, 1331, 1332, 1621, 1680, 1641 and 1642 are included under the topic Early Crabb History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Crabb Spelling Variations

Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Crabb, Crabbe, Crab, Crabe and others.

Early Notables of the Crabb family (pre 1700)

Prominent in the family at this time was John Crabb of Auchmolen; and Roger Crab (1621-1680), an English soldier, haberdasher, herbal doctor and writer from Buckinghamshire who some believe was the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's The Mad Hatter. Another source claims he was a hermit, a native of Buckinghamshire. "About 1641 he began to restrict himself to a vegetarian diet, avoiding even butter and cheese. From roots he got to a regimen of broth thickened with bran, and pudding made of bran and turnip leaves chopped together, and finally resorted to...
Another 90 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Crabb Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Crabb migration to the United States +

Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Crabb family to immigrate North America:

Crabb Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Crabb who settled in Boston in 1630
  • John Crabb, who arrived in New England in 1630 [3]
  • John Crabb, who settled in Dorchester in 1630 who arrived on the sailing ship "Mary and John". He moved to Connecticut in 1632
  • Jon Crabb, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [3]
  • Richard Crabb was a representative in 1639 from Wethersfield, Massachusetts
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Crabb Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Crabb, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [3]
  • Mary Crabb, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [3]
Crabb Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Crabb, who landed in Cincinnati, Oh in 1852 [3]
  • H A Crabb, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855 [3]
Crabb Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Charles Hendry Crabb, who settled in Kansas in 1920

Canada Crabb migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Crabb Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Crabb Sr., U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [4]
  • Mr. John Crabb U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [4]

Australia Crabb migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Crabb Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Crabb, a cabinet-maker, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Richard Crabb, aged 24, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Samuel Boddington" [5]
  • John Crabb, aged 24, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Velocity"
  • Mr. William J. Crabb, (b. 1863), aged 22, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "New Guinea" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 17th August 1885 [6]

New Zealand Crabb 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:

Crabb Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Eli Crabb, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Surge" in 1855
  • Maria Crabb, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
  • Miss Catherine Crabb, (b. 1859), aged 24, Cornish general servant departing on 26th April 1883 aboard the ship "Oxford" going to Napier, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand arriving in port on 23rd July 1883 [7]
  • Mr. Sampson Thomas Crabb, (b. 1839), aged 44, Cornish miner departing on 26th April 1883 aboard the ship "Oxford" going to Napier, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand arriving in port on 23rd July 1883 [7]
  • Miss Amelia Crabb, (b. 1865), aged 18, Cornish general servant departing on 26th April 1883 aboard the ship "Oxford" going to Napier, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand arriving in port on 23rd July 1883 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Crabb (post 1700) +

  • William A. Crabb, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 1st District, 1843-57 [8]
  • Richard J. Crabb, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Annapolis, Maryland, 1834-42 [8]
  • Juanita M. Crabb, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1984, 1988 [8]
  • John C. Crabb, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Rochester, Minnesota, 1911-15 [8]
  • Jeremiah Crabb (1760-1800), American Democrat politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates, 1788-93; State Court Judge in Maryland, 1791-92; U.S. Representative from Maryland 3rd District, 1795-96 [8]
  • Joe Crabb, American Republican politician, Member of Texas State House of Representatives 127th District; Elected 1992, 1994; Elected unopposed 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002; Elected 2004, 2006, 2008 [8]
  • Henry A. Crabb, American politician, Member of California State Assembly 7th District, 1852-53 [8]
  • Henry Crabb, American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, 1818-27 [8]
  • Helen Margaret Crabb (b. 1916), American Democrat politician, Member of Iowa State House of Representatives from Guthrie County; Elected 1950 [8]
  • George Whitfield Crabb (1804-1846), American politician, Member of Alabama State Legislature; U.S. Representative from Alabama 3rd District, 1838-41 [8]
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Joseph Crabb, British from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [9]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Henry James Crabb (d. 1912), aged 23, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [10]


  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. ^ 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. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SAMUEL BODDINGTON 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849SamuelBoddington.htm
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_queensland.pdf
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 27) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  10. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate