Raffles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Raffles family

The surname Raffles was first found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhùn Phris), a Southern area, bordering on England that today forms part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Arthur J. Raffles is a British fictional character (a cricketer and gentleman thief) created by E. W. Hornung, who appeared in 26 short stories, two plays and a novel between 1898 and 1909.

Early History of the Raffles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Raffles research. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1215 and 1361 are included under the topic Early Raffles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Raffles Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Raffle, Raffles, Rayffles, Rayfles, Raveles, Rafvles, Raiffles and many more.

Early Notables of the Raffles family (pre 1700)

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


United States Raffles migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Raffles Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Benjamin Raffles, who arrived in Antigua in 1755

West Indies Raffles migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [1]
Raffles Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Raffles, who settled in Jamaica in 1754

Contemporary Notables of the name Raffles (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles (1781-1826), English colonial governor, member of the British East India Company, known as the founder of Singapore and eponym of the famous Raffles Hotel, a colonial-style luxury hotel in Singapore founded in the 1830s
  • Thomas Raffles (1788-1863), English independent minister from London, only son of William Raffles (d. 9 Nov. 1825), first cousin of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles
  • Hugh Raffles, English anthropologist whose work explores relationships among people, animals, and things


The Raffles 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: In cruce triumphans
Motto Translation: Triumphing in the cross.




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