Reuben History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Bavaria, Germany is the ancestral home of the Reuben family. The Reuben surname evolved as a local name. It is a name for a family that lived in Bavaria, where the family gained a significant reputation for its contributions to the emerging medieval society.

Early Origins of the Reuben family

The surname Reuben was first found in Bavaria, where the family gained a significant reputation for its contributions to the emerging mediaeval society. The name became prominent as many branches of the family founded separate houses and acquired estates in various regions, always elevating their social status by their great contributions to society. In the Middle Ages, the word "Rubin" referred to a type of gem. Individual bearers of the name first mentioned in ancient chronicles include Richter Rubynus of Bruenn in 1240 and Nicolas Rubein (Rubin) of Munich in 1343. Also, a popular medieval minstrel of Tyrol bore the name Rubin. He was of the minor nobility, had his home in Merano, wrote 22 songs, and participated in the crusade of 1228.

Early History of the Reuben family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reuben research. Another 166 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1752 and 1760 are included under the topic Early Reuben History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Reuben Spelling Variations

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Reuben include Rubin, Rubein, Rubinus, Ruben, Ruebin, Rubinich, Rubinig, Rubinick and many more.

Early Notables of the Reuben family (pre 1700)

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


United States Reuben migration to the United States +

Thousands of German settlers came to North America between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries. The hardships of the long voyage were balanced by the opportunity to escape poverty and religious persecution. The descendents of these settlers still populate the states of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many also live in Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Reuben or a variant listed above:

Reuben Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • W Reuben, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]

Australia Reuben migration to Australia +

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

Reuben Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Carl Reuben, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Steinwaerder" [2]
  • Mr. Reuben Marsh, English convict who was convicted in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Belgravia" on 4th April 1866, arriving in Western Australia [3]

New Zealand Reuben migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Reuben Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Reuben, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Thames" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 29th August 1851 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Reuben (post 1700) +

  • V. L. Reuben, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Mississippi, 1924 [5]
  • Stewart Reuben (b. 1939), British chess player
  • David Reuben, who with his brother Simon, are well known British billionaire businessmen and philanthropists
  • Scott S. Reuben (b. 1958), Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at Baystate Medical Center
  • Mr. Albert Reuben Atkey (1897-1947), British sheriff, held the position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1910 to 1911, he was Lord Mayor in 1928
  • Charles Reuben Riley (1752-1798), or Ryley, an English painter, son of a trooper in the horse-guards, born in London, a student of the Royal Academy, where he obtained a gold medal in 1778 for a painting
  • Charles Reuben Ryley (1752-1798), or Riley, English painter, son of a trooper in the horse-guards, born in London, a student of the Royal Academy, where he obtained a gold medal in 1778 for a painting
  • Edwin Reuben Hawkins (1943-2018), American gospel musician, pianist, choir master, composer, and arranger, best known for his arrangement of "Oh Happy Day"
  • Brigadier-General Donald Reuben Goodrich (1894-1945), American Commanding Officer of the VIII Air Force Service Command (1944-1945) [6]
  • Chadwick Reuben Coombes (b. 1983), New Zealand born association football player


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STEINWARDER 1849 aka STEINWAERDER. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Steinwarder.htm
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/belgravia
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 6) Donald Goodrich. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Goodrich/Donald_Reuben/USA.html


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