Thursday, November 05, 2009


New England Families; Robinson Heritage

I had a list of 39 Robinsons that I found at our college library in a book called DIRECTORY OF ANCESTRAL HEADS OF NEW ENGLAND FAMILIES FROM 1620 to 1700.

It is claimed that the Robinsons were Saxon Thanes before William the Conqueror from 1027 to 1087. It is something to trace as it is America's 22nd most popular surname. It was William the Conqueror who brought the custom of family names from Normandy. By the end of the 13th century, peasants were using family names. By 1413, Henry V wanted a surname on papers. By 1538 they were used in parish registers.

The Saxons were Saxons before 1027. They were a Teutonic people and were mentioned by Ptolemy in the middle of the 2nd Century. They were from the Cimbric Peninsula (province of Schleswig Pirates in the North Sea in the year 286). In the 5th century they raided the north coast of Gaul and the S.E. coast of Britain. They conquered NW Germany. They conflicted with the Franks who were supreme. They were heathens and a sea-faring people. In the 7th century was the Saxon conquest in Wales. Robin Hood, our possible namesake, was the last of the Saxons. He held out against the Norman conquerors at the end of the 12th Century.

Wales was the land of the Celts, the Brythons. They crossed the channel. Celts originally were in the western and central part of Europe. The Scandinavians merged with the natives there.
In the18th and 19th Century in England and Wales, it was the custom that the eldest son was named for the father's father. The second son was named for the mother's father. The 3rd son was named for the father. the 4th son was named for the father's eldest brother. A daughter was named for the mother's mother.

One problem is the book never mentions the men coming from Wales. It did use Wales for another name I researched. For the Robinsons, it mentioned England or nothing.
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