HISTORY OF THE ROBOTTOM NAME (Source www.surnamedb.com)

This well-known northern English surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is either a topographical name from residence in an overgrown valley, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "ruh", rough, overgrown, with "botham", valley, or a locational name from some minor, unrecorded, or now "lost" place believed to have been situated in the Staffordshire/Lancashire area because of the high incidence of early surname recordings from that region.

Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognizable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The prime cause of medieval village "disappearance" was the enforced clearing of rural settlements to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade from the 14th Century on, along with natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished.

The surname is variously spelt Robottham, Rowbotham, Ro(w)bottom, Roebottom and Rewbottom, in English Church Registers. On October 25th 1620, Richard Rowbottom and Allice Barlow were married at Bury, Lancashire. A Coat of Arms granted to the Rowbottom family is a shield divided per fess silver and black with a chief embattled between three roebucks counterchanged, the Crest being a gold eagle, pellettee, preying on a silver wing, vulned red.

The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Robottham, which was dated July 26th 1540, a christening witness at Betley, Staffordshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Our Robottom family including Whitaker & Silk

Small numbers by a name refer to personal number in listing eg JOHN 2 ROBOTTOM ~ see 2


1.      ~ ~ ~ WILLIAM ROBOTTOM was born about 1747. William married MARY BOSWORTH on 29 April 1767 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England.

William and Mary had twelve sons born from 1768 to 1779 (Joseph, William, John, Thomas, Samuel, George, James, Benjamin, Robert, Michael, Henry and Charles) Their only daughter Mary was born around 1780 and was their youngest child.

Children of WILLIAM ROBOTTOM and MARY BOSWORTH included:

*              JOHN 2 ROBOTTOM, born around 1770.

William died in 1799 and Probate was granted at Lichfield, Staffordshire to his widow Mary on 30 July 1799.


2. ~ ~ ~ JOHN ROBOTTOM (WILLIAM) was born around 1770 and was the third son of WILLIAM ROBOTTOM and MARY BOSWORTH. John married SUSANNAH MORETON.

Children of JOHN ROBOTTOM and SUSANNAH MORETON included:

*              WILLIAM 3 ROBOTTOM, born 28 March 1792.


3. ~ ~ ~ WILLIAM ROBOTTOM (WILLIAM > JOHN) was born on 28 March 1792 and was baptized on 24 March 1793 at Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England. William was the son of JOHN ROBOTTOM and SUSANNAH MORETON. William married ANN (surname unknown). Ann was born on 1 April 1798.

On the 1841 Census William and Ann are recorded as the Resident Master and Resident Matron of Wandsworth & Clapham Union Workhouse. From 1855 until his death in 1861 William was Keeper of the Newington Sessions House.

Children of WILLIAM ROBOTTOM and ANN (ROBOTTOM) included:

*              WILLIAM 4 ROBOTTOM, born around 1815.

*              JOHN 5 ROBOTTOM, born 6 July 1821 in Weedon, Northamptonshire.

William died on 31 May 1861 in London and was buried at West Norwood Cemetery, London (7581 Area Grave). Ann died on 26 March 1870 in London, England. She was buried at West Norwood Cemetery, London (Square 102, Grave 7581).

Hawkes Bay Herald 9 August 1862:

DEATH NOTICE: William Robottom

At London, on the 31st May, after an illness of some duration, Mr William Robottom, keeper of the Newington Sessions House, age 69. The deceased (says the Daily Telegraph) who had been in the Army, and had seen 30 years service in the East and West indies and Africa, was appointed as the hall keeper by the Surrey Magistrates 15 years ago; and during the period that has since elapsed, he has enjoyed the respect and confidence, not only of those who appointed him, but of the gentlemen of the bar and others who were accustomed to attend the sessions for the transactions of business. His remains were interred in the Norwood Cemetery on the morning of the 6th June; the service was impressively performed by the Rev. J Willis, M.A. The deceased was the father to Mr John Robottom of this town.

Daily Southern Cross, 6 July 1870:


On March 26, at her residence, Grove Road, Acton, Middlesex, Ann, relict of the late William Robottom, of Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Aged 72.


4. ~ ~ ~ WILLIAM ROBOTTOM (WILLIAM > JOHN > WILLIAM) was born around 1815 and was the son of WILLIAM ROBOTTOM and ANN (ROBOTTOM). He married SARAH (surname unknown) who was born around 1820.

Children of WILLIAM ROBOTTOM and SARAH (ROBOTTOM) included:

*              JULIA ELIZABETH ROBOTTOM, who died on 14 May 1858 aged 16 years.

*              ANN ELIZA ROBOTTOM, who died on 9 March 1894.

William died on 18 March 1879 and Sarah died on 24 July 1889. William and Sarah and the two girls were all buried at West Norwood Cemetery, London (Square 113 Grave 5939).

5. ~ ~ ~ JOHN ROBOTTOM (WILLIAM > JOHN > WILLIAM) was born on 6 July 1821 in Weedon, Northamptonshire, England and was the son of WILLIAM ROBOTTOM and ANN (ROBOTTOM). John married CATHERINE BRITTAIN on 10 May 1844 at St Marys, Chatham, Kent, England. Catherine was born around 1820 and her father JOHN BRITTAIN was a Gardner.

John was a Private in the 58th Light Infantry Regiment. He and Catherine travelled from London to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia in 1844 on the Pestonjee Bomanjee. John later travelled with his Regiment to New Zealand arriving on 22 April 1845. Catherine had remained in New South Wales, where their first child Elizabeth Hannah was born.

After leaving the army John worked at Boot & Shoe Warehouse in High Street, Auckland, was later a Shoemaker, and in 1857 was the owner of the Thistle Tavern in Queen St, Auckland. In 1861 he was the owner of the Prince of Wales Tavern in Napier.


29 November 1853:
Advert for Grand vocal and Instrumental Concert
Programme: 3 Solo flute, "Fantasia" J. Robottom, Nicholson.

29 August 1854:
Concert Programme: Solo Flute, aria con variazione, Mr. Robottom, Nicholson.

11 March 1856:
Important Notice for the Boot and Shoe Warehouse.
The undersigned begs respectfully to inform the public, that he is Selling Off the whole of his Stock in Trade, at cost Prices.

15 July 1856::
J. Robottom begs to inform his numerous friends and customers that by particular request he will continue keeping on his business in Auckland, to be conducted by Mr Barrell, with the anxious hope of meeting the same handsome patronage as heretofore.


*              ELIZABETH HANNAH 6 ROBOTTOM, born 2 August 1845 in Paramatta, New South Wales, Australia.

*              JULIA ROBOTTOM, born 29 December 1847 and baptized 23 January 1848 at St Barnabas Anglican Church, Auckland. Julia married WILLIAM WAITE on 10 January 1877 in Napier. Julia died on 5 September 1926 in Napier, who died on 9 March 1894.

*              JOHN ROBOTTOM, born 6 August 1849 in Auckland and baptized on 5 September 1849 at St Barnabas Anglican Church, Auckland. John died around 1878 as the result of an accident on Napier Railway.

*              WILLIAM ROBOTTOM, born 6 February 1851 in Auckland and baptized on 5 March 1851 at St Barnabas Anglican Church, Auckland. In 1880 William was a Cook and was resident in Princes Street, Auckland.

*              CATHERINE ROBOTTOM, born 17 March 1855 and baptized on 6 May 1855 at St Barnabas Anglican Church, Auckland. Catherine married PETER GLEN around 1876.

*              EMILY DORCAS ROBOTTOM, born Abt. 1861 in Napier. Emily was a School Teacher in 1893 and was resident at Shakespeare Terrace in Napier. She married in 1896 (spouse unknown)

6. ~ ~ ~ ELIZABETH HANNAH ROBOTTOM (WILLIAM > JOHN > WILLIAM > JOHN) was born on 2 August 1845 and was baptized on 21 September 1845 in Paramatta, New South Wales, Australia. She came to New Zealand with her mother Catherine when she was three years old. Elizabeth married GEORGE WHITAKER on 12 May 1871 in Christchurch (or Lyttleton), New Zealand. George was born in 1848 in Rotherhithe, Surrey, England and was the second son of WILLIAM LANGDON WHITAKER and MARIA SILK. He had arrived in New Zealand on 14 July 1864 on the ship Queen of India disembarking at Port Chalmers.

> Refer to the WHITAKER family for more information about the family of George and the children of Elizabeth and George.

> Refer to the SILK family for more information about the family of Maria.

Please note that in keeping to genealogy publishing protocol I have not included information about later generations including living persons. If you have a family connection please contact me for further information.

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