Rabson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The roots of the name Rabson are found among the Pictish clans of ancient Scotland. The name comes from the personal name Robert. This name is composed of the old English elements hroth, which means fame, and berht, which means bright. Although this Clan had the early appearance of being English, the Robsons were one of the four principal Clans of the North Tyne area just south of the Scottish Border in the sixteenth century. Their progenitor was Robert, the second son of George Gunn, the Crowner of Scotland. The Gunn Clan territories were in northern Scotland and they were of Norse origin together with their overlords, the Sinclairs.

Early Origins of the Rabson family

The surname Rabson was first found in Northumberland, where the name was quite distinct from both Robinson and Robertson, although in early records of the Clan the Robson name was frequently spelled Robison, literally Robi's son.

"Northumberland is the great home of the Robsons, particularly the district of North Tyne, where they have been established since the 12th or 13th century (C.). They formed one of the four principal clans of North Tyne in the 16th century, and were the hereditary foes of the Armstrongs of Liddesdale on the Scottish side of the border. Though scattered over Northumberland, the Robsons are still numerous in North Tyne; and in the parish of Falstone, where as 'lairds' they have held property for some 400 years, they are yet well represented. The name has obtained but little hold across the border, but it has extended southward in force into the county of Durham; it reaches Yorkshire in diminished numbers, and dies out in Lincolnshire." [1]

In Scotland, the name first appears soon after the death of George Gunn in the 15th century: Patrick Robson was recorded in 1436, Donald Robson in 1446 and Wyllie Robyson witnessed a feud in 1476. From this point the Clan flourished on both sides of the border, with the Chiefly branch on the Scottish side. It is not altogether surprising that with this Clan straddling the England-Scotland border a John and Edward Robison were charged with defrauding the king's customs in 1524. [2]

"The English Robsons formed one of the four principal clans of North Tyne in the sixteenth century. In Bullein's Dialogue they are described as 'a wight riding sirname, good honest men and true, saving a little shifting for their living.' " [2]

Early History of the Rabson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rabson research. Another 331 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1567, 1550, 1600, 1587, 1590, 1597, 1604, 1633, 1654, 1650, 1598, 1638, 1598, 1613, 1615, 1616, 1619, 1629, 1620, 1623 and are included under the topic Early Rabson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rabson Spelling Variations

Although Medieval Scotland lacked a basic set of spelling rules, which meant that scribes recorded names according to their sounds it was not uncommon for the names of a father and son to be recorded differently. As a result, there are many spelling variations of Scottish single names. Rabson has been written Robson, Robison, Robeson, Robisonn and others.

Early Notables of the Rabson family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Charles Robson (1598-1638), English divine, first chaplain at Aleppo, of Cumberland parentage, the son of Thomas Robson, master of the Free School of Carlisle. "Born in 1598, having entered Queen's College, Oxford, as batler at Easter 1613, he matriculated thence on 5 May 1615, aged 17. He graduated B.A...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rabson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Rabson family to Ireland

Some of the Rabson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Rabson family

Thousands of Scots left their home country to travel to Ireland or Australia, or to cross the Atlantic for the North American colonies. The difficult crossing was an enormous hurdle, but those who survived found freedom and opportunity in ample measure. Some Scots even fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence. This century, their ancestors have become aware of the illustrious history of the Scots in North America and at home through Clan societies and other organizations. Passenger and immigration lists show many early and influential immigrants bearing the name Rabson: Robert Robson and Jane settled in Georgia with three children in 1775; Rowland Robson settled in Virginia in 1716; Charles, James, John, Mathew, Robert, Thomas Robson all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870.


Contemporary Notables of the name Rabson (post 1700) +

  • Jan Rabson (1954-2022), American voice actor, born in East Meadow, New York, known for Akira (1988), Toy Story 3 (2010) and Pet Sematary (1989)


The Rabson Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Justus esto et non metue
Motto Translation: Be just and fear not


  1. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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