SURNAMES as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became general practice amongst all people. Well over half the ROBINSON families in Ireland are in Ulster where Robinsons arrived from Scotland and England with the 17th century settlement of the province. Settlers of the name also came in lesser numbers to other parts of Ireland from England where Robinson is one of the twenty commonest surnames. Early records of the name mention John Robynson, 1324, Yorkshire. Roger Robynson of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William Robinson was baptised at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in the year 1606. Francis McGowan married Elizabeth Robinson at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1801. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. The name was early in Scotland, and John Robynson in Irvine is mentioned in 1426, and another John Robynsone was bailie of Glasgow in 1477. Andrew Robersoun witnessed the sale of a tenement in Arbroath in 1450. The name was common in Glasgow in the sixteenth century. The fact that Robin was considered a diminutive of Robert is shown by an entry in 1483 where the same individual is referred to as Robyne of Hall and Robert of Hall. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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