Crabtree History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Crabtree surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in the county of Yorkshire. Their name, however, indicates that the original bearer lived near a prominent crabtree. [1]

Early Origins of the Crabtree family

The surname Crabtree was first found in Yorkshire where "this is a great Yorkshire surname. It is odd to think that by dwelling beside a particular crab-tree, the descendants of a particular pair should so increase that a perceptibly large number of people in the county of York should now be familiarly known by the name." [2]

The predominance of the name in Yorkshire is of little doubt. However, not all sources agree. Another source claims: "Crabtree is also a Lancashire name" [3] and yet another notes that the name was derived from "a location name in Devon." [4]

Early census records may help in this search. "Depositions from York Castle" noted that John Crabtre and William Crabtree as residing there, but no dates were given. John atte Crabbetrywe was listed in Essex in 1301. [1]

Early History of the Crabtree family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crabtree research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1563, 1667, 1610, 1644, 1639, 1881, 1685, 1968, 1620 and 1706 are included under the topic Early Crabtree History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Crabtree Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Crabtree include Crabtree, Crabbtree, Craybtree, Crabbetree and many more.

Early Notables of the Crabtree family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Crabtree (1610-1644), English astronomer, mathematician, one of only two people to observe the first recorded transit of Venus in 1639. Born in the hamlet of Broughton Spout, Lancashire, he was also a mathematician and merchant. He is celebrated in one of the Manchester Murals in the Great Hall of Manchester Town Hall, painted by Ford Madox Brown in 1881. Henry Crabtree or Krabtree ( fl. 1685), was an English "astrologer, would scarcely deserve mention here but for the fact that he has sometimes...
Another 88 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Crabtree Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Crabtree migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Crabtree Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Crabbtree (Crabtree), aged 20, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [5]
  • John Crabtree who was working as a carpenter in Boston in 1639
  • John Crabtree, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1639 [5]
  • John Crabtree, who landed in Maryland in 1674 [5]
Crabtree Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Crabtree, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [5]
Crabtree Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Crabtree, aged 41, who arrived in New York in 1812 [5]
  • James Crabtree, aged 48, who arrived in New York in 1812 [5]
  • J A Crabtree, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • Benjamin Crabtree who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1855
  • Samuel Crabtree, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1857 [5]

New Zealand Crabtree 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:

Crabtree Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Crabtree, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Roman Emperor" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th March 1863 [6]
  • Mr. Andrew Crabtree, (b. 1850), aged 25, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Helen Denny" arriving in Hawkes Bay, Napier, North Island, New Zealand on 20th September 1875 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Crabtree (post 1700) +

  • William Riley Crabtree, American politician, Mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1907-09; Speaker of the Tennessee State Senate, 1917-19 [8]
  • Samuel R. Crabtree, American Republican politician, Member of Maine State House of Representatives from Aroostook County, 1919-22 [8]
  • Paul L. Crabtree (1929-1999), American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Conventions [8]
  • Mark Crabtree Sr., American politician, Candidate for Mayor of North Las Vegas, Nevada, 2001 [8]
  • Jon Crabtree, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Iowa, 2000 [8]
  • Jerry Crabtree, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Alabama, 1972 [8]
  • Jacqueline Crabtree, American politician, Candidate for Governor of Maryland, 1998 [8]
  • Herbert Crabtree, American politician, Socialist Labor Candidate for Presidential Elector for Massachusetts, 1956 [8]
  • H. G. Crabtree, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1924 [8]
  • Fay Crabtree, American politician, Mayor of East Ridge, Tennessee, 1955 [8]
  • ... (Another 25 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Miss. Mary Alison Crabtree (d. 1979), New Zealander passenger, from Takapuna, North Island, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; she died in the crash [9]
  • Mr. Norman David Crabtree (1907-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Takapuna, North Island, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [9]


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 27) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx


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