Humanities › History & Culture Robinson Name Meaning and Origin Share Flipboard Email Print Robert Nicholas/OJO Images/Getty Images History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated May 24, 2019 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, JewishAlternate Surname Spellings: Robeson, Robison, Robins Famous Robinsons: Jackie Robinson - first African American Major League Baseball playerJoan Robinson - British economistSmokey 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. Sources 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.