Rabbit History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Rabbit family

The surname Rabbit was 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] St. Andrew's Church, Bramfield is a 13th century church which has ledger slabs of members of the Rabett and Nelson families.

Early History of the Rabbit family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rabbit research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1298, 1313, 1316 and 1467 are included under the topic Early Rabbit History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rabbit Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Rabbit family (pre 1700)

Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rabbit Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Rabbit migration to the United States +

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

Australia Rabbit migration to Australia +

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

Rabbit Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Peter Rabbit, (Rabbitt, Rabbet), (b. 1808), aged 32, Irish ploughman who was convicted in Monaghan, Ireland for 7 years for assault, transported aboard the "British Sovereign" on 16th December 1840, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1887 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Rabbit (post 1700) +

  • Thomas C. Rabbit, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Washington, 1944 [4]
  • Roy Rabbit, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Idaho 1st District, 1924 [4]

  1. ^ Lower, 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)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/british-sovereign
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html

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