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Coat of Arms



        Arms:   Argent,  on a chief or, three ravens sable.
       Crest:   On a crown or, a raven wings elevated proper.
       Motto:  PROBITAS VERUS HONOS.  (Honesty is true honour.)

The family name of CORBIN is English, French, and Irish in origin.  The name is derived from one sho was a dweller at the sign of the raven;  descendant of Coirbin(little chariot).
Variant spellings are:  Corbyn and Corban.
Traditional meanings of heraldic colors:  Argent(white or silver) - peace, serenity;  Or(yellow or gold) - valor;  Sable(black) - repentance.
Traditional meanings of heraldic charges:  Raven(also known as corbie, corby-crow, corbyn, corf) - appears on arms for the sake of the play upon the name;  Crown - victory.

Heralds College, a royal corporation in England, was instituted in 1483 and occupied chiefly with armorial bearings.

On March 24th, 1574, George Corbin witnessed a deed between Thomas Corbyn and Thomas Warings.  Thomas Corbyn used a seal displaying his shield "in chief, three ravnes".  Records are in possession of the Earl of Beauchamp, in England.

In a letter dated 1618, Francis Corbin states:  "Our family is of French extraction and went from Normandy with William the conqueror and was established at Worcesteshire on a large estate.  I was intimately associated with Mr. Fox in England.  Between this nobleman's family, General Washington's and my own, there existed and interwoven connection before the two latter emigrated to Virginia.  If the subject was not too long, I could go on with heraldic proof that half or more of the British peers are novi homines compared to ourselves."

Courtesy of:  Ken Corbin


Family History


    The Danish Vikings raided England, France, Spain, and areas along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.  Their travels covered most of western Europe.
     The Vikings who occupied and gave their name to Normandy in northern France were mostly Danes.  Rollo, or Hrolf, led the Vikings in a long and bitter struggle with Charles the Simple, King of West Franks.  King Charles could not drive the invaders out, and they could not gain ground against the Franks.  In 911 the invaders and the invaded reached an agreement.  King Charles recognized Rollo as duke of Normandy.  Rollo became a Christian, and pledged his loyalty to the king.  He also agreed to defend Normandy and help repel future invaders.  The Danes of Normandy kept in touch with their homeland for a long time.  Scandinavian influences still remain, particularly in the names of places and even in the clothes and customs of the Norman people.
     The Normans were a group of Vikings or Norsemen (Scandinavians), who first settled in France, then spread into England, southern Italy, and Sicily.  In the 800's Norman warriors began their conquests by raiding French coasts and river valleys.  By the early 900's, they had colonized the French territory near the mouth of the Seine River that is now known as Normandy.  In 911 the Norman chief Hrolf, or Rollo (860? - 931?), became a duke in the service of the Frankish king, Charles the Simple.   The Normans became Christians and adopted French customs.  Many of the Normans became famous as administrators, church leaders and crusaders.
     In 1066, Norman warriors under the leadership of Duke William successfully conquered England, and the Norman influence spread throughout the British Isles.
     Normandy is a region in Northwestern France.  It was named after the Norsemen who conquered the area in the 800's.  It lies along the English Channel coast between the regions of Picardy and Brittany.  The famous towns of Normandy include Rouen, the capital of the old province, Le Havre, Harfleur, Caen, Bayeuz, and Cherbourg.
     In A.D. 911, the Carolingian king, Charles the Simple, made Normandy a duchy under the Norman chieftain Hrolf, or Rollo.  One of Rollo's most famous descendants was William the conqueror, who won the English crown after the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  Normandy was united with England during the reign of the English king, Henry I (1100 - 1135).  England and France struggled for control of Normandy during the Hundred Years War.  The English recovered the region twice, but finally lost it in 1449 to Charles VII, king of France.  Joan of Arc became famous as the leader of Franch troops in the fight for Normandy.

Courtesy of:  Ken Corbin


     William I, the Conqueror (1027? - 1087), was the first Norman King of England.  He was born at Falaise, France.  He was the son of Robert I, duke of Normandy and inherited Normandy at about the age of 8 in 1035.  During his youth, there were many disorders.  In 1047, William put down a great rebellion at the battle of Vales-dunes, which he won with the aid of his lord, King Henry of France.  From that time on, William ruled Normandy with an iron hand.
     In 1051, King Edward, the Confessor of England, promised William succession  to the English throne as his nearest adult heir.  Edward probably sent the promise to William through an English archbishop who passed through Normandy on his way to Rome.  In 1064, Edward's brother-in-law, Harold, was shipwrecked on the Norman coast and taken prisoner.  Harold promised to support William's claim to the throne in return for freedom.  But Harold won the throne through a deathbed grant by Edward and election by the nobles.
     William immediately invaded England.  His expedition had the pope's blessing because William was expected to depose the Anglo-Saxon Archbishop of Canterbury and introduce ecclesiastical reforms.  Before William could sail, the king of Norway invaded northern England.  King Harold hurried north and defeated the Norwegian invaders at Stamford Bridge.  William landed before Harold could return to defend the coast.  The Normans destroyed the Anglo-Saxon army and killed Harold at the Battle of Hastings.
     On Christmas Day, 1066, William was crowned king.  William then suppressed local rebellions.  He took lands from those who resisted him,  and gave them to his followers to hold in return for their military service to him.  to emphasize the legitimacy of his crown,  William confirmed the laws of Edward the Confessors and retained all the powers of the Anglo-Saxon monarch.  He levied Danegeld, the only national tax on landed property in all of Europe at that time.  At Salisbury in 1086, he made all the landholders, even the vassals of his barons, swear allegiance directly to him as king.
     William was devout, firm in purpose, and unchanging in gaining his ends.  His greatest monument is  the Domesday Book, an exhaustive survey of the land, the principal landholders, the farm population, and the material and financial resources of his realm.
     The descendants of the Normans became the ruling class in England.  for a time, they kept themselves aloof from the Anglo-Saxons and treated them as conquered people.  But as the years went by the Normans and the Anglo-Saxons intermarried.  The two races, which even in the beginning were similar, blended into one.
     The Normans were a race of conquerors, with a genius for law and government, and they ruled England with great ability.  In addition, English language, literature, and architecture owe much to the Normans.  At first the Normans spoke French.  Later the Norman French blended with the Germanic tongue of the Anglo-Saxons and became English.

Courtesy of:  Ken Corbin



     A list of those who served with William of Normandy, more popularly known as William I, the Conqueror during his invasion of England during the year 1066.   This list includes the following four Corbin surnames:
                            Philip Corbin                            Nicholas Corbin
                            Robert Corbin                         Margaret Corbin

Courtesy of:  Ken Corbin



     The coat of arms illustrated with the ravens for a charge, gives a clue to the derivation of the name Corbin.  It may reasonably be supposed to be from the French word "corbeau", a raven.  It has been suggested, however, that Corbis or Corbilo, towns of France, may have been responsible for the name.  Corbilo, now St. Hazaire, was founded by the Thoenicans, and it was in its harbor that Crassus, by Caesar's order, built the fleet by which , in 56 B.C., Brutus routed the Venetians.  At the close of the fourth century Corbilo was occupied by the Saxons.
     Variants of the name are many, as witness the following:  Corbyn, Corbynne, Corbinne, Corban, Corben, Corbins, Corbis, Corby, Corbe, Corbee, Corbison.
     Battle Abbey Roll, which gives the names of those who were with William the conqueror at the Battle of Hastings, mentions the Corbin name four times.  The family were undertenants until about 1154, when they became possessed of large estates through marriage.  There are many Corbins in France at the present time, which helps us out with the theory that the family is of French origin.
     Henry Corbin, a Virginia colonist about 1654, was a burgess from Lancaster County, and in 1663 he was one of the "gentlemen of the council to devise a means of redress for the excessive planting of tobacco in Virginia."  The conference between this commission and a similar one, appointed by Calvert from Maryland met on May 12, 1663, at Maj. Isaac Allerton's Wicomico. 
     Henry Corbin married before he left England, and at the early age of 16, Alice Eltonhead, who was probably younger than her bridegroom.  Alice was a sister of the dashing cavalier, William Eltonhead.
     Gavin Corbin, son of Henry and Alice, was a Burgess and president of the council.  He married Katherine, daughter of Ralph Warmely of Middlesex, Va., whose widow, Agatha, married Sir Henry Chicheley.  Warmeley's Creek was familiar to the continental troops at the siege of Yorktown.
     Richard, son of Gavin, used his influenced to procure George Washington, in 1752, a commission as lieutenant colonel in the malitia.
     Henry Corbin, colonist, was a son of Thomas and Winifred Corbin of Warwick.  Winifred was daughter of Gavin Grosvenor, also of Warwick.  Henry settled in Stratton Major, King and Queen County, afterward purchasing land in Lancaster, Westmoreland and Middlesex Counties.
     The New England forebear and the first Corbin to come to America, was Clement Corbin, who in 1656, bought land in Boston.  He married Doreas Buckminister, and they had eight children.  One son, Jabez, has the title "lieutenant".  Another son, John, was a soldier in King Phillip's war in 1675.  His brother James, called a man of tremendous energy and great ability, was one of the founders of Woodstock, Conn.
     Moses Corbin was another early colonist.  Born in England, he was living at Whitehall, New York before the revolution.  His son, Moses Jr., married Polly Cook of Hartford, New York.
     Asabel Corbin, great-grandson of Clement Corbin, was in the "Lexington Alarm".  He married Jerusha Morse of Sturbridge, Mass.  James Corbin of the fifth generation from Clement was also a soldier in the Continental Army, and of the Mass. branch.  In 1790 he moved to Newport, NH.  He married Lois Kibbe, daughter of Capt. Charles Kibbe.
     In the Rhode Island Historical Society is a record of those who took part in the expedition against Canada in 1746.  Among the names are those of Isaac, Jabez, and Stephen Corbin.
     In New York City is a historic site preserved to the memory of Margaret Corbin, who followed her husband, John Corbin, up from Bucks County Pennsylvania, and fought by his side.  When he fell before the fire of the British, she seized the cannon rammer and continued to fire the gun until she was wounded.
          The Kentucky pioneer was Rawley Corbin, born in Virginia.  Rawley was the son of Thomas Corbin, born about 1729.  Thomas was married about 1750 to Elizabeth Scott.

Courtesy of:  Ken Corbin


Time Table of John Corbin I

21 Sept. 1652        John Peade was granted land for transporting five persons to  Virginia, one of whom
                              was John Corbyn.

21 Feb. 1692         Richard Shippie, of St. Mary's Parish, Richmond County, and Eleanor, his wife,
                              conveyed unto John Corbin of the aforesaid Parish and county, a certain tract of land
                              containing 160 acres, part of 640 acres formerly belonging to John and George Motts.

10 Aug. 1696         Know all men by these presents that I, Robert Waight, do for me my heirs Exes. and
                               Admes. for a valuable consideration in hand already received give grant bargaine and
                               sell unto John Corbin and Elizabeth Corbin his wife, of Richmond County their heirs
                               Exes. Admes & Assignes for ever a parcell of land lying and being in the above said
                               County containing, one hundred Acres bounded as followeth:  On the maine Run of
                               Golden Vale Creek beginning at a red oak near the same, and extending thence into
                               the woods S 30  W 106 perches to a stake near two red oaks, thence N 78  W 160
                               perches to a hickory, thence N 30  E 106 perches to a small willow by the said Maine
                               Run Side, thence down the said main Run its S everall  courses to the first mentioned
                               Station, which said land was given by my deceased father John Waight to my sister
                               Elizabeth Vickers, and by her sold to William Smith father of the above said Elizabeth
                               Corbin.  To have and to hold the above said one hundred acres of land with all woods,
                               underwoods, waies, water, water courses, and all other appurtenances from me the
                               said Robert Waight my heirs Exes & Admes or Assignes to them  ye above said John
                               Corbin & Elizabeth his wife their heirs Exercts Admes & Assignes for ever warranting
                               the same from me my heirs Exes. Admes. & Assignes to them ye said John Corbin &
                               Elizabeth his wife their heirs Exes. Admes & Assignes for ever in witness whereof I
                               have hereunto set my hand and seale this tenth day of August Ano. Dom. 1696.
                                                                                                                            Robert Waight (Seale)
                               Signed, Sealed, & Delivered in presence of us
                                    John Batle
                                    Richard R. Long
                                        Now Recordath
                                Acknowledged at a court held for Essex County ye 10th day of August 1696

Dec. 1721               King George County Court Order Book page 28:  The Grand Jury presents John Corbin
                                for common swearing within six months past.

Mar. 1721/2            King George County Court Order Book page 46:  Case against John Corbin for common
                                swearing was dismissed.

Aug. 1723                King George County Court Order Book 1721-1734 page 132:  John Corbin has suit
                                 against John White dismissed.

1 Nov. 1723             King George County Court Order Book page 139:  Samuel Ridgway had warrant
                                  issued against him by William Thornton (Justice) for having gotten with child
                                 Elizabeth Corbin of this county & Parrish of Hanover, and several scandalous words and
                                 threats to the said Elizabeth.  Page 140:  Elizabeth Corbin ordered to next court.
                                 (This Elizabeth Corbin is John Corbin's daughter.)

8 Feb. 1724               King George County Court Order Book page 155:  Sheriff of this county ordered to
                                   take the body of Samuel Ridgway into his custody for sundry threatening of Elizabeth
                                  Corbin and for his getting said Elizabeth with child.

Mar. 1724                   King George County Court Order Book page 151, Elizabeth Corbin being presented by
                                   the Grand Jury for having a bastard child and the sheriff being ordered to summon her
                                   to appear at next court and failing to appear and answer the same judgment is therefore
                                   granted unto the Church Wardens of Hanover Parrish against the said Elizabeth Corbin
                                   for the sum of five hundred pounds of tobacco which is ordered to be paid.

4 Nov. 1726               King George County Court Order Book page 337:  The Grand Jury presents Elizabeth
                                   Corbin for having a bastard born child in the month of October past.

4 Feb. 1727                King George County Court Order Book page 352:  Judgment granted to the Church
                                   Wardens of Hanover Parrish agt Elizabeth Corbin for the sum of five hundred pounds
                                   of tobacco it being for the offense of bringing a bastard which is ordered to be paid.

10 Jun. 1728                John Corbin purchased a parcel of land on the North side of the Rappahannock River
                                    and on the Great Run of the Watery Mountain from the Proprietors of the Northern
                                    Neck.  The Great Run of the Watery Mountains, as shown upon the Warrenton Sheet
                                    of the United States Geographical Survey, rises some four or five miles North easterly
                                    from Warrenton in Fauquire County, and flows South until it reaches the
                                    Rappahannock River a few miles South of Fauquire White Sulphur Springs.

3 Oct. 1729                King George County Court Order Book page 465:  On the motion of Richard Elkins,
                                    John Corbin, John Settles Sr., John McNamara, and Robert Jones, it is ordered that
                                    they be free from paying their county levy for the future.

1 Jun. 1733                 King George County:  William Corbin, who has died intestate has administration on
                                    his estate granted to John Corbin, County Order Book 1, page 639,  Bond by John
                                    Grant, Bond book 1, page 32.  Inventory of this estate dated 3 & 9 Aug. 1733,
                                    Inventory Book 1, page 162, Deed Book 1-A page 274 for estate account.

6 Jul. 1733                   King George County, William Corbin estate inventory admitted and recorded, page 645

4 Jan. 1734                   King George County,  John Corbin produced the amount of his administration of the
                                     estate of William Corbin deceased and made oath thereunto, page 661

5 Jul. 1734                    King George County,  The petition brought by Richard Bryan against John Corbin is
                                     continued, page 674

2 Aug. 1734                  King George County,  John Corbin loses suit and had to pay 328 pounds of tobacco,
                                      no cost.

28 Feb. 1737                King George County,  in regards to the deed dated 21 Feb. 1692,  The certificate of
                                     Eleanor Shippie's acknowledgment to the foregoing deed was not in conformity with
                                     law; and, to cure the defect, she executed another deed for the same property on this
                                     date, describing John Corbin as then of Brunswick Parrish, King George County, and
                                     the land as that whereon the said Corbin now lives.

2 Mar. 1737                   John Corbin conveyed the foregoing land to John Grant, excepting some fifty acres
                                      thereof which he conveyed unto his son John Corbin Jr. by the following deed:

4 May 1738                   To all Christian People to whom these presents shall come, I, John Corbin Senior or the
                                      Parrish of Brunswick and County of King George send Greeting, in our Lord God
                                      everlasting now know ye that I, the aforesaid John Corbin Senior, for and in regard of
                                      the natural affection I bear to my well beloved son John Corbin Jr. and also for diverse
                                      other good causes and considerations me hereunto moving, have given, granted
                                      aliened and confirmed and do by these presents give, grant alieve and confirm unto the
                                      aforesaid John Corbin Junior, his heirs and assigns forever a certain parcel of land
                                      lying and being in Brunswick Parrish in the aforesaid County of King George, fifty acres
                                      of land more or less, and boundeth as followeth:  beginning at a Chestnut White Oak
                                      thence running to a corner in Stephen Hansford line to two Marked Hickorys from
                                      thence along the said line to a marked Hickory being the division I made between John
                                      Grant and my son John Corbin Jr., and thence to a white oak standing upon a ridge by
                                      the side of the Routing Road betwixt Potomack and Rappahannock thence down to a
                                      branch of Lambs Creek to a marked White Oak and thence up the north east Run to the
                                      beginning it being the run which runs from Richard Bryan to Lamb's  Creek.
                                      To have and to hold all and singular the said demised premises to him his heirs and
                                      assigns forever in as large and ample manner as the same is granted to him by Patent
                                      without any molestation eviction expulsion of me or any person or persons whatsoever
                                      claiming in by from under them.
                                      In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seale this fourth day of May, 1738.

                                                                                                                            John Corbin Senior (seale)

                                      Signed Sealed and delivered in the presence
                                         John Coburn
                                            Sacheveral X Norman
                                                    his mark
                                            Bridget Coburn  

25 Jul. 1748                    John Corbin Jr., by deed this date, recorded in Prince William County, conveyed, unto
                                       William Pickett the land which had been conveyed unto his father, John Corbin Sr., by the
                                       proprietors of the Northern Neck by grant of 10 June 1728, reserving 100 acres thereof
                                       which he, John Corbin Jr., had previously conveyed unhto his son, John Corbin III.  The
                                       deed to John Corbin III, is dated 3 July 1748, and recorded in Prince William County.
                                       It recited that John Corbin Jr., of Brunswick Parrish, King George County, in consideration
                                       of love and affection, granted unto his beloved son John Corbin III, one third of a parcel of
                                       land, being the plantation whereon my father, John Corbin Sr., lived, which came to me by
                                       his death, situate in Hamilton Parrish, Prince William County, on the north side of the
                                       Rappahannock River.

Courtesy of:  Ken Corbin