An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change, including many immigrants with new names. Among these were the ancestors of the Rabbets family, whose name comes from the given name Robert, which is adapted from the Norman personal name Radbode. This latter name is composed of the Germanic elements rad, meaning counsel or advice, and bodo, meaning message or tidings.
The surname Rabbets was first found in Suffolk where "this ancient family who have resided at Bramfield for several centuries, claim a Norman descent."  Following the Norman descent deeper, we found "Hugh Rabace in Normandy 1180-95 and Gerard Rabes there in 1198."  However, the family was clearly in England about the same time: "Robert Rabaz gave Kenilworth or Chillingworth Church, Northamptonshire to De la Pré Abbey, which gift was confirmed by Henry II. [his reign: 5 March 1133-6 July 1189]"  St. Andrew's Church, Bramfield is a 13th century church which has ledger slabs of members of the Rabett and Nelson families.
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 Rabbit, Rabett, Rabit, Rabbitt and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rabbets research. Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1298, 1313, 1316 and 1467 are included under the topic Early Rabbets History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rabbets Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. 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 Rabbets or a variant listed above: Thomas Rabbetts, a bonded passenger who came to America in 1753; Michael Rabbit who settled in Philadelphia in 1851; and John Rabbit, who arrived in Indiana sometime between 1853 and 1855..
The Rabbets Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rabbets Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 10 February 2016 at 07:54.