Robins family of Cornwall
Earliest known Robins ancestor
Parish records indicate that our earliest known Robins ancestor is probably a Thomas Robins born circa 1535 in or near the picturesque fishing village of Mevagissey in Cornwall, where our Robins ancestors appear to have resided for hundreds of years.  The earliest well-documented ancestor is William Robins 1778-1844, whose headstone still stands in the graveyard of the Parish Church of St Peter in Mevagissey.

The Irish connection
Many of our Robins ancestors and relatives in Mevagissey were rope makers, mariners, naval seamen or coastguards including Charles Robins, born 1827 in Mevagissey.  He was stationed in Queenstown, County Cork Ireland in the early 1860's with his family while serving on the HMS Sans Pareil.  Charles later moved to Bullsmouth  coastguard station in 1861 and then Achillbeg coastguard station in 1864, both on Achill Island in County Mayo, Ireland. 
Mevagissey harbour
Robins, Thomas (c1535, Cornwall) descendants chart, PDF

                         Robins Ancestry Chart
13-Thomas Robins (1535-          )
2-Charles Richard Robins (1860-1935)
8-William Jago (1675-          )
5-William Lewis (1751-         )
Origin of the Robins surname
The Robins surname is a patronynomic form of the personal name Robin, which is a diminutive of Robert and means "fame-bright" from the old German "Hrodebert".  One source claims that the surname first appears in 1279 in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridge for a Margaret Robines.  Without standardized English dictionaries at that time, names were spelt phonetically and so many other spelling variants have evolved.
Headstone of William Robins 1778-1844
in the Churchyard of St. Peter, Mevagissey

Other Robins (and Robbins) Genealogy Resources

Robins surname forum at Rootsweb

Robins surname forum at Genforum

Mevagissey parish records

Robbins surname forum at Rootsweb

Robbins surname forum at Genforum

Robbins/Robins Y-DNA Project

His son, Charles Richard Robins (1860-1935) was born in Queenstown, County Cork, was married in Ballina, County Mayo, and eventually became Commander of the Coastguard Station at Dunmore East, County Waterford.  When he retired in 1921, at the time of the civil unrest and Irish Independence, Charles initially moved to the tiny mining village of Minions on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, England where his Aunt Susan Robins (1835-1937) and other Robins relatives were living.  His daughter, Florence, and her young family came with her parents, but most of his family stayed in Ireland.

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