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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Rabbit family come from? What is the English Rabbit family crest and coat of arms? When did the Rabbit family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Rabbit family history?

Rabbit is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. Rabbit 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.

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Rabbit include Rabbit, Rabett, Rabit, Rabbitt and others.

First found in Suffolk where "this ancient family who have resided at Bramfield for several centuries, claim a Norman descent." [1] Following the Norman descent deeper, we found "Hugh Rabace in Normandy 1180-95 and Gerard Rabes there in 1198." [2] 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]" [2]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rabbit research. Another 173 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1298, 1313 and 1316 are included under the topic Early Rabbit History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 55 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rabbit Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Rabbits to arrive on North American shores:

Rabbit Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Michael Rabbit who settled in Philadelphia in 1851
  • John Rabbit, who arrived in Indiana sometime between 1853 and 1855

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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)

Other References

  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  6. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Rabbit Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rabbit 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 18 June 2015 at 16:36.

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