Robb History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Strathclyde clans of the Scottish/English Borderlands were the first people to use the name Robb. 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 Robb family

The surname Robb 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 Robb family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Robb 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 Robb History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Robb Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were hardly exact sciences in Medieval Scotland. Sound, rather than any set of rules, was the basis for spellings, so one name was often spelled different ways even within a single document. Spelling variations are thus an extremely common occurrence in Medieval Scottish names. Robb has been spelled Robb, Robbie, Roby, Robe, MacRobbie, MacRobb and others.

Early Notables of the Robb 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 Robb Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Robb family to Ireland

Some of the Robb 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.


United States Robb migration to the United States +

Such hard times forced many to leave their homeland in search of opportunity across the Atlantic. Many of these families settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. The ancestors of many of these families have rediscovered their roots in the 20th century through the establishment of Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. Among them:

Robb Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Robb, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Ellinn Robb, aged 27, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [5]
  • Thomas Robb, who landed in Virginia in 1655 [5]
Robb Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Robb, who arrived in South Carolina in 1716
  • Michael Robb, aged 16, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738 [5]
  • Hugh Robb, aged 39, who landed in New York, NY in 1774 [5]
  • Peter Robb, who landed in New York in 1795 [5]
Robb Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Robb, who arrived in New York State in 1804
  • Alexander Robb, aged 53, who landed in New York in 1812 [5]
  • Joseph Robb, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812 [5]
  • Charles Robb, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [5]
  • James Robb, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1828 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Robb migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Robb Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Robb U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [6]
Robb Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Eliza Robb, aged 12 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Rose" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle on 15th June 1847 [7]
  • Mr. Alexander Robb, aged 7 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Tamarac" departing 26th May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 11th July 1847 but he died on board [8]
  • Miss. Catherine Robb, aged 3 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Lady Flora Hastings" departing 11th May 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 26th June 1847 but she died on board [8]
  • Miss. Eliza Robb, aged 12 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Rose" departing 19th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 1st July 1847 but she died on board [8]
  • Miss. Eliza Robb, aged 9 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Tamarac" departing 26th May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 11th July 1847 but she died on board [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Robb migration to Australia +

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

Robb Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Robb, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [10]
  • John Robb, aged 20, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Bucephalus"

New Zealand Robb 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:

Robb Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Robb, aged 26, a blacksmith, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "New Zealand" in 1842
  • Helen Robb, aged 24, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "New Zealand" in 1842
  • Alexander Robb, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Avalanche" in 1858
  • Miss Jessie Robb, (b. 1841), aged 21, Scottish dairymaid, from Forfarshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Queen of Mersey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 20th October 1862 [11]
  • Mr. Robert Robb, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Robert Henderson" arriving in Bluff, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 18th November 1863 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Robb (post 1700) +

  • John Donald Robb (1892-1989), American composer, Hispanic folk-song collector and preservationist
  • James H. Robb (1918-1993), American professor of philosophy at Marquette University
  • James Hampden Robb (1846-1911), American politician, New York State Assembly in 1882 and New York State Senator (1884-1885)
  • Isabel Adams Hampton Robb (1860-1910), American nurse theorist, author, nursing school administrator
  • Ed Robb (1942-2011), American academic and politician, Member of the Missouri House of Representatives in 2004
  • Douglas Robb, American major general in the United States Air Force
  • Candace Robb (b. 1950), American historical novelist, with works set in medieval England
  • Bruce Robb (b. 1954), American musician, record producer, engineer, and music supervisor, founding member of “The Robbs”
  • AnnaSophia Robb (b. 1993), American actress, best known for her starring roles in Because of Winn-Dixie and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Charles Spittal "Chuck" Robb (b. 1939), American lawyer, Governor of Virginia (1982-1986), United States Senator (1989-2001), and Professor of Law at George Mason University (2001-)
  • ... (Another 45 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Lady Helen Robb (1906-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Remuera, North Island, New Zealand, wife of Sir George Douglas Robb, aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; she died in the crash [12]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. James G Robb (b. 1919), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Brighton, Sussex, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [13]
HMS Prince of Wales
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. William Henry Robb, British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [15]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Joseph Robb, (Huston), English Able-Bodied Seaman from Bootle, Lancashire, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [16]


Suggested Readings for the name Robb +

  • 2354 Robb Miscellanea by Ruth Flesher Robb.

  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)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 53)
  8. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 93)
  9. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 94)
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 151 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1823
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  13. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  14. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  15. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  16. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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