What is the origin of the last name Robinson?

The last name Robinson originated as a patronymic surname meaning "son of Robin," derived from the medieval given name Robin or Robert, typical among the English and Scottish. It signifies descent from an ancestor named Robin or Robert and can be traced back to the early Middle Ages in Britain. The name Robin itself comes from the Germanic name Hrōth-beraht, composed of the elements "hroth" meaning "fame" and "beraht" meaning "bright." As such, the name Robinson can be seen as a blending of Germanic and British naming traditions, reflecting the historical influences on the development of surnames.

Countries of origin for the last name Robinson

The last name “Robinson” is a patronymic surname, meaning it is derived from the personal name of an ancestor. In this case, the surname is derived from the masculine given name “Robin,” which itself originates from the medieval diminutive form of the name “Robert.” The name “Robert” can be traced back to the Germanic elements “hrod” meaning “fame” and “berht” meaning “bright” or “famous.” This suggests that those who bore the surname “Robinson” may have had ancestors who were known for their fame or brightness.

The surname “Robinson” is of English origin. It is a fairly common surname, ranking as the 45th most common surname in the United States, according to the 2000 Census. It is particularly prevalent in England, Scotland, Ireland, and the United States. The distribution of the surname across different regions suggests that it has had a significant presence in these areas for many generations and has likely spread through migration and settlement.

Historically, the name “Robinson” is associated with occupations such as son of a Robert or farm worker. It is important to note that surnames often evolved from occupational descriptions or even physical characteristics, but it is not possible to determine the specific occupation or characteristic associated with each individual who bore the surname.

The surname “Robinson” has been recorded in various forms throughout history, including “Robynson,” “Robenson,” and “Robbinson,” among others. This variation in spelling can be attributed to factors such as regional dialects, illiteracy, or changes made during the process of record-keeping. The use of standardized spelling in more recent times has helped to establish “Robinson” as the most common spelling of the surname.

The surname “Robinson” has been adopted by individuals from diverse backgrounds and nationalities. This is evident from the fact that notable individuals with the surname “Robinson” can be found in various fields, including literature (e.g., the famous English author and poet Mary Robinson), sports (e.g., the American baseball player Brooks Robinson), and politics (e.g., the American civil rights activist and politician Jo Ann Robinson).

The meaning behind the last name “Robinson” offers a glimpse into the lineage and heritage of those who bear the name. However, it is essential to remember that surnames are markers of identity rather than definitive indicators of ancestry. While the surname “Robinson” provides a connection to a shared history, it does not encompass the entirety of an individual’s background or story.

Interesting facts about the last name Robinson

  • The surname Robinson originated in England and Scotland.
  • It is derived from the given name Robert, which means “bright fame” or “fame shining.”
  • The name has been traced back to the medieval period, as early as the 13th century.
  • Robinson is one of the most common surnames in the English-speaking world.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Robinson include Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball, and Mary Robinson, the first female President of Ireland.
  • The name Robinson has variants in different languages, such as Robertson in Scotland and Robins in Wales.
  • Robinson was originally a patronymic surname, meaning “son of Robert.” Over time, it became a hereditary surname passed down through generations.

Name Rank


There are around 529821 people with the last name Robinson in the US

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