The Roobol family
The name Roobol is quite unknown outside of the Randstad area (Rotterdam - Utrecht - Amsterdam - den Haag), and even within this area the name has only become known to the general public since the 1990's, because a chain of furniture stores advertises the name quite effectively. We have been working on a genealogy of the Roobol family for quite some time now, it looks as if it consists of several branches:
The branches of the family
- The branch from Rhoon and Poortugaal can be traced back to around 1450, and spreads out over the island of IJsselmonde and the Hoekse Waard, to Oud-Beijerland, Pernis, Charlois, and Rhoon. Many of the modern Roobols and Roodbols from the Rotterdam area belong to this branch, but some Canadians and most of the American Roobols belong to this branch also.
- The Roobols from Dordrecht and Noord-Brabant can be traced back to 1630 at least. A connection to the Poortugaal branch is thinkable, but has not been proven yet. Many Roobols from den Helder, den Haag and Amsterdam are connected to this branch of the family. There is a line going to the UK as well.
- The Roobols from Delft en Zoetermeer. A link to Rotterdam is not impossible, but before 1600 there are already well established Roobol families in Delft and Zegwaard. They were millers and farmers, and were members of the local administration. The absence of sources from this period will make proving a connection difficult, if not impossible.
- The Roobols of Amsterdam and Haarlem. Also these Roobols appear in the archives as early as 1620, it is not clear whether the various families are related.
- We also find Roobols as early as the 1580's in Rotterdam, Overschie, Zierikzee and Alkmaar.
Origin of the name
Because I have got ginger hair, it seemed plausible that "Roodbol" (redhead) just was a nickname which became a family name. The spelling "Roijbol" also points to that direction. But on the other hand that might not be true. Maybe my ginger hair comes from the Vikings which undoubtedly are amongst my Danish ancestors!
People with knowledge of old languages make a connection to the germanic "Hroti-baltha" (Roem-bout), with spelling variations Robau, Robaut, Robaux, Robeaux, Rouboud. The names Hrotbald and Rodboldus can be found in the archives, and in 1382 a Willem Robaud surfaces in Ghend (Gent, Belgium). I think that we will never be able to prove the real origin of the family name.
A third explanation would be that Roobol is the name of a plant (quite a nasty weed even). In Dutch, it is better known as heermoes, other nicknames are akkerpaardenstaart, kattenstaart, or kokertjeskruid. The Latin name for this weed is Equisetum arvense.
Other families with (coincidentally?) the same name
- Somewhat apart from all this is an incidental Roijbol family from Werkendam, they start to use this family name around 1600 (before that they used partonymics). Two generations later they choose to call themselves "Visser" because they were fishermen.
- In the USA and in Italy, the name "Robol" is quite abundant (more than 100 entries) in the telephone directory. A connection with the dutch 16th century Robols, is possible, but unlikely, see also the page about the Italian Robol family.
- In Germany and in the USA, one encounters the name "Robold". As yet, we do know whether the Roobols are related to this family.
- The same goes for the Robaux family in Belgium and France.
Variations in spelling
The name has been spelled in many ways in the past five centuries. In the "stone age" there was a lot of variation, like Roobol, Robol, Rhooboll, Roebol, Rooibol, Roodbol, etc. In the 18th century, this reduced essentially to Robol, Roobol and Roodbol only, when the "burgerlijke stand" was established by Napoleon, soon the spelling was "frozen", and only Roobol and Roodbol remained.
Crest of Simon Quirijnsz Robol, commander of a fortress in Zeeland in 1635.
If you are a Roobol, or if you know one, or if you have questions about this family, please send us an e-mail.
Related family lines
See also the family line of Lars Roobol.
See also the family line of Maartje Snel.
See also the family line of Jenneke Lugtenburg.
See also the family line of Cornelia Waardenburg.