Robinson Name Meaning and Origin

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The most likely origin of this surname is "son of Robin," although it may also derive from the Polish word "rabin," meaning rabbi.

Robinson is the 27th most popular surname in the United States according to data from the 2000 census.

  • Surname Origin: English, Jewish
  • Alternate Surname Spellings: Robeson, Robison, Robins

Famous Robinsons:

  • Jackie Robinson - first African American Major League Baseball player
  • Joan Robinson - British economist
  • Smokey Robinson - American singer, songwriter, producer

Genealogy Resources

If you're interested in learning more about the surname or connecting with others who share the last name, the following resources can help:

  • Robinson DNA Surname Project: This DNA study tested the DNA of numerous Robinson family lines in the hopes of making genealogical connections.
  • Robinson Family Genealogy Forum: Search this popular genealogy forum for the Robinson surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Robinson query.
  • FamilySearch: Find records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Robinson surname and its variations.
  • Robinson Surname and Family Mailing Lists: RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Robinson surname.


  • Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.
  • Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.
  • Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.
  • Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.
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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "Robinson Name Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). Robinson Name Meaning and Origin. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "Robinson Name Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 9, 2023).