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Robinson Family History
The surnames Robinson and Robertson have often in some areas been used interchangeably, Robin being a derivative of Robert. It is a patronymic surname for it literally means 'the son of Robin' or 'the son of Robert'.
Variants of the name include Robison, Robbinson, Robeson, and Robinshaw. Robin was originally a diminutive of the French name Robert, and was popular in Normandy. It thus became evident in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Its origins ultimately however come from the Old German name of Rodbert, derived from ‘hroth’ which means ‘fame’ and ‘berht’ meaning ‘bright’.
The earliest appearance of Robinson in the records is of a John Robynson who was listed in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefied for 1324. Another early bearer of the surname was Katerina Robinson in 1540 (Sutterton, Lincolnshire). A carver and gilder named Wolf Robinson who lived in Boston, Lincolnshire, was listed in the 1893 UK Jewish Directory.
In 1881, farming was the most common occupation amongst Robinson family members, followed by coal mining and agricultural labouring as the top 3 reported jobs worked by Robinson.
In 1891, the surname was widespread across England and Wales with 103,211 occurrences and a further 1,000 in Scotland. Lincolnshire was a top county with 3,965 occurrences in particular in the districts of Anderby and Alkborough. Further south, in the county of Kent, there were 1,798 occurrences.
David Robinson OBE (1927-2017), A British journalist, author and teacher. He had a degree in Geography and an MSc in which he wrote a thesis on the coastal evolution of northeast Lincolnshire. David went on to become resident tutor of the University of Nottinghamshire for North Lincolnshire. He also served editorial roles with ‘Lincolnshire Life’ and ‘Natural World’ magazine. He was awarded an OBE for services to journalism and the community of Lincolnshire. In 2007 with a collection of papers on historical and geographical themes, titled “All Things Lincolnshire: An Anthology in Honour of David Robinson”.
1881, 1891 Census
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
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