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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Where did the Scottish Robison family come from? What is the Scottish Robison family crest and coat of arms? When did the Robison family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Robison family history?

The saga of the Robison family name begins among the people of an ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. The Robison name is derived from the personal name Robert. This name is composed of the old English elements hroth, which means fame, and berht, which means bright. Although this Clan had the early appearance of being English, the Robsons were one of the four principal Clans of the North Tyne area just south of the Scottish Border in the sixteenth century. Their progenitor was Robert, the second son of George Gunn, the Crowner of Scotland. The Gunn Clan territories were in northern Scotland and they were of Norse origin together with their overlords, the Sinclairs.


Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. Robison has appeared Robson, Robison, Robeson, Robisonn and others.

First found in Northumberland, where the name was quite distinct from both Robinson and Robertson, although in early records of the Clan the Robson name was frequently spelled Robison, literally Robi's son. The name first appears soon after the death of George Gunn in the 15th century: Patrick Robson was recorded in 1436, Donald Robson in 1446 and Wyllie Robyson witnessed a feud in 1476. From this point the Clan flourished on both sides of the border, with the Chiefly branch on the Scottish side. It is not altogether surprising that with this Clan straddling the England- Scotland border a John and Edward Robison were charged with defrauding the king's customs in 1524.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Robison research. Another 386 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1550, 1567, 1587, 1590, 1597, 1600, 1604, 1633, 1650, 1654, and 1852 are included under the topic Early Robison History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Robison Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Robison family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many Scottish families suffered enormous hardships and were compelled to leave their country of birth. They traveled to Ireland and Australia, but mostly to the colonies of North America, where many found the freedom and opportunity they sought. It was not without a fight, though, as many were forced to stand up and defend their freedom in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of these Scots abroad have rediscovered their heritage in the last century through the Clan societies and other organizations that have sprung up across North America. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Robison:

Robison Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Giles Robison, who arrived in Virginia in 1656
  • Richard Robison, who landed in Virginia in 1656
  • Jane Robison settled in Nevis in 1663
  • Penelope Robison, who arrived in Maryland in 1679
  • Joseph Robison, who arrived in Maryland in 1680

Robison Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Nathaniel Robison, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746

Robison Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Robison, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Andrew Robison, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • William Robison, aged 19, landed in New York, NY in 1812-1813
  • George Robison, who landed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1845
  • D N Robison, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

Robison Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Chas. H. Robison, aged 51, who settled in America from London, in 1900
  • Jack Robison, who landed in America, in 1903
  • Ann J. Robison, who landed in America, in 1903
  • Robert Robison, aged 23, who settled in America, in 1903
  • Virginia Susan Robison, aged 48, who emigrated to America, in 1905

Robison Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • David Robison, aged 26, a carpenter, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Highlander" in 1834
  • Ann Robison, aged 24, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Highlander" in 1834

Robison Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Hugh Robison, aged 24, arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1850
  • Hugh Robison, aged 28, a merchant, arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1850


  • Stephanie Robison (b. 1976), born Stephanie Robison Baggs, American artist
  • Willard Robison (1894-1968), American composer
  • Admiral Samuel Shelburne Robison (1867-1952), American Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy
  • Paula Robison, American flutist
  • Mary Robison (b. 1949), American short story writer and novelist
  • Olin Clyde Robison (b. 1936), American academic, president of Middlebury College
  • Sarah Louisa Yates Robison (1866-1946), American 7th President of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1928 to 1939)
  • John Elder Robison (b. 1957), American author
  • James Robison (b. 1943), American televangelist
  • James Robison (b. 1946), American novelist, short story writer, poet and screenwriter



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: Justus esto et non metue
Motto Translation: Be just and fear not


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  2. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  5. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  6. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  7. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  10. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  11. ...

The Robison Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Robison Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 11 November 2015 at 08:53.

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