Robay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Among the clans of the Scottish/English Borderlands, the Strathclyde Britons were the first to use the name Robay. It is derived from the personal name Robert, which is composed of the elements hrod, meaning famous, and berht, meaning bright. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Robay family

The surname Robay was first found in Stirlingshire, but we must look to Aberdeen to find one of the more interesting entries, that of Beatriux and Issobell Robie (Robye) who were listed as witches in 1597 which was not that unusual of the religious conflicts of that time. [3]

Jok Robb was a voter in Monkland in 1519 and Nicholas Rob was a witness in Dumfriesshire in 1542. John Rob was a witness in Glasgow in 1551 and 1554. [3]

While the name is traditionally Scottish, to the south in England early records were also found. Richard Robbe, Robe was found in the Pipe Rolls for Sussex in 1177-1178 and Richard Robbe was found in Somerset in 1212. Later, Simon Robes was listed in 1319 and Adam Robbes was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1327. [4]

Early History of the Robay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Robay research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1542, 1551, 1554, 1646, 1688, 1753, 1709, 1713, 1740 and are included under the topic Early Robay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Robay Spelling Variations

The origin of rules governing the spelling of names and even words is a very recent innovation. Before that, words and names were spelled according to sound, and, therefore, often appeared under several different spelling variations in a single document. Robay has been spelled Robb, Robbie, Roby, Robe, MacRobbie, MacRobb and others.

Early Notables of the Robay family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was James Robe (1688-1753), Scottish Presbyterian divine, son of Michael Robe, minister of Cumbernauld. He studied at Glasgow University, and was licensed by the presbytery of Linlithgow in 1709. In 1713...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Robay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Robay family to Ireland

Some of the Robay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 70 words (5 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 Robay family

The persecution faced in their homeland left many Scots with little to do but sail for the colonies of North America. There they found land, freedom, opportunity, and nations in the making. They fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence, or traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In both cases, they made enormous contributions to the formation of those great nations. Among them: Alexander Robb arrived in New York State in 1804; James Robb arrived in South Carolina in 1716; Thomas Robb settled in Virginia in 1635; Alexander, James, John, Michael, Thomas and William Robb all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870.



  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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