Raffan is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England
with the Norman Conquest
of 1066. Raffan is a name that comes from the Old English given name Raven.
This name is a variation of the Old English word Hroefn,
which indicated the large black bird we now call the raven,
and was sometimes used as a nickname
for someone with very dark hair.
Early Origins of the Raffan family
The surname Raffan was first found in Leicestershire
where they held a family seat
from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy
, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Raffan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Raffan research.Another 200 words (14 lines of text) covering the year 1086 is included under the topic Early Raffan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Raffan 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 Raven, Ravens and others.
Early Notables of the Raffan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Raffan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Raffan 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 Raffan or a variant listed above were: Peter Raven, who settled in Virginia in 1648; Mary Raven, who settled in Barbados in 1664; John and Jane Raven, and their four daughters, who settled in Maryland in 1672.
Contemporary Notables of the name Raffan (post 1700)
- Richard Raffan (b. 1943), English-born, Australian woodturner, author, and instructor
- Peter Wilson Raffan (1863-1940), Welsh-born, British Liberal politician, Member of Parliament for Leigh (1910-1922)
- Keith William Twort Raffan (b. 1949), Scottish politician, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Mid Scotland and Fife (1999-2005)