Robson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the first family to use the name Robson lived among the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. The name Robson comes 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.

Early Origins of the Robson family

The surname Robson was 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.

" Northumberland is the great home of the Robsons, particularly the district of North Tyne, where they have been established since the 12th or 13th century (C.). They formed one of the four principal clans of North Tyne in the 16th century, and were the hereditary foes of the Armstrongs of Liddesdale on the Scottish side of the border. Though scattered over Northumberland, the Robsons are still numerous in North Tyne; and in the parish of Falstone, where as 'lairds' they have held property for some 400 years, they are yet well represented. The name has obtained but little hold across the border, but it has extended southward in force into the county of Durham; it reaches Yorkshire in diminished numbers, and dies out in Lincolnshire." [1]

In Scotland, 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. [2]

"The English Robsons formed one of the four principal clans of North Tyne in the sixteenth century. In Bullein's Dialogue they are described as 'a wight riding sirname, good honest men and true, saving a little shifting for their living.' " [2]

Early History of the Robson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Robson research. Another 331 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1567, 1550, 1600, 1587, 1590, 1597, 1604, 1633, 1654, 1650, 1598, 1638, 1598, 1613, 1615, 1616, 1619, 1629, 1620, 1623 and are included under the topic Early Robson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Robson Spelling Variations

In medieval Scotland, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations were the result. Over the years, the name Robson has been spelled Robson, Robison, Robeson, Robisonn and others.

Early Notables of the Robson family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Charles Robson (1598-1638), English divine, first chaplain at Aleppo, of Cumberland parentage, the son of Thomas Robson, master of the Free School of Carlisle. "Born in 1598, having entered Queen's College, Oxford, as batler at Easter 1613, he matriculated thence on 5 May 1615, aged 17. He graduated B.A...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Robson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Robson family to Ireland

Some of the Robson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Robson migration to the United States +

In such difficult times, Ireland, Australia, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of Robson:

Robson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Robson, who landed in Maryland in 1662 [3]
  • Anne Robson, who landed in Maryland in 1679 [3]
Robson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Rowland Robson, who settled in Virginia in 1716
  • Rowland Robson, who arrived in Maryland in 1716 [3]
  • Robert Robson and Jane settled in Georgia with three children in 1775
Robson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Gowen Robson, aged 19, who landed in New York in 1812 [3]
  • Robert Robson, aged 17, who landed in New York in 1812 [3]
  • Reuben Robson, who landed in New York in 1822 [3]
  • Margaret Robson, who arrived in New York in 1829 [3]
  • Isaac Robson, who arrived in New York in 1837 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Robson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Robson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Richard Robson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
Robson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Robson, who landed in Canada in 1816

Australia Robson migration to Australia +

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

Robson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Blakely Robson, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838 [4]
  • Eliza Robson, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838 [4]
  • Francken Robson, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838 [4]
  • Mary Robson, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838 [4]
  • Robert Moss Robson, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Robson 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:

Robson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. H. Robson, British settler travelling from England aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 14th November 1840 [5]
  • Mrs. Robson, British settler travelling from England aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 14th November 1840 [5]
  • Samuel Robson, aged 25, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Seringapatam" in 1856
  • Miss Isabella Robson, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [5]
  • Mr. George Robson, (b. 1823), aged 35, British carpenter travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Robson (post 1700) +

  • Stuart Robson (1836-1903), American comedic stage actor
  • Morton S. Robson, American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, 1961
  • Judy Robson, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Wisconsin, 1996
  • John W. Robson, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Louisiana, 1916
  • John Robson, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Ontario County 1st District, 1879
  • John Robson, American Republican politician, Mayor of Lansing, Michigan, 1871, 1881; Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1896
  • James A. Robson, American politician, Justice of New York Supreme Court 7th District, 1910-13
  • J. E. Robson, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kansas, 1916
  • C. Robson, American politician, Candidate for Circuit Judge in Michigan 5th Circuit, 1917
  • Anne L. Robson, American politician, Mayor of Abilene, Kansas, 1982-83, 1986-87
  • ... (Another 31 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. George Lisle Robson (1873-1914), English Third Class Passenger from Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [6]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. S Robson, British Signalman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [7]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. John Robson, "Jack" British Signalman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [8]
  • Mr. James Robson, British Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [8]
  • Mr. George Robson, British Leading Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [8]
  • Mr. John Robson, British Leading Seaman Able Bodied, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [8]
  • Mr. Ralph Stobart Robson (b. 1918), British Signalman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [8]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Kenneth Hamilton Stewart Robson, American 2nd Class passenger from Mount Vernon, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [9]
  • Miss Annie Robson, American 2nd Class passenger from Mount Vernon, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [9]


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


  1. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CANTON 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838Canton.htm
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  7. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  8. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  9. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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