The history of the Rabay family name begins after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. They lived in Durham
, in the parish of Raby
, from whence their name is derived.
Early Origins of the Rabay family
The surname Rabay was first found in Durham
at Raby, a village that dates back to the Domesday Book
where it was listed as Rabie. The place name literally means "farmstead or village at a boundary." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
At that time, it was in Cheshire
, part of the Willaston Hundred
and was rather small, having land enough for one plough. CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
Today, Raby Castle stands on a 200 acre deer park near Staindrop, Durham
and was originally built by John Neville, 3rd Baron
Neville de Raby in the late 1300s. Since then it has been resold a few times and is today open to the public boasting one to the finest collection of artwork by old masters.
Early History of the Rabay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rabay research.Another 201 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rabay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Rabay Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. When the Normans
became the ruling people of England
in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Raby, Rabey, Rabay and others.
Early Notables of the Rabay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Rabay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Rabay family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England
. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Rabay or a variant listed above were:
Rabay Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- James and Michael Rabay, who arrived in Boston in 1716