Rabee History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Rabee is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Rabee family lived in Durham, in the parish of Raby, from whence their name is derived.

Early Origins of the Rabee family

The surname Rabee 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." [1] At that time, it was in Cheshire, part of the Willaston Hundred and was rather small, having land enough for one plough. [2] 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 Rabee family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rabee research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rabee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rabee Spelling Variations

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 Raby, Rabey, Rabay and others.

Early Notables of the Rabee family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Rabee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Rabee family

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 Rabee or a variant listed above: John Raby on record in New England in 1630; Robert Raby, who arrived in Virginia in 1635; John and Thomas Raby, who came to Jamaica in 1685; as well as James and Michael Rabay, who arrived in Boston in 1716..

  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

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