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.
Robins, Thomas (c1535, Cornwall) descendants chart, PDF
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
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