Recorded in various spellings including Roblou, Roblow, Robelou, Robelow, Roblow and probably others this is a genuine French Huguenot refugee surname of the 17th century. The Huguenots were protestants whose rights and protection were destroyed by the lifting of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, forcing them to turn Roman Catholic. Those that did not left the country many to the British Isles. This name is one of the many diminutive forms of the ancient personal name and later surname Robert, itself from the much earlier German Hrodbert of the pre 6th century.Robert is recorded in over one hundred variations, and is found in every part of Europe. This surname is from a group that include Robard, Robin, Robel, and Robleau. It is from the latter spelling that the "English" spellings as shown in the first line above, originate. In the past it was the practice for refugees to the British Isles to change their name in some way on their arrival to help assimilate themselves with the native population. In many cases this would be a simple translation as in Blanc to White, or Bois to Wood, or perhaps, as in this case a transposition to attempt to hide the French origin, whilst at the same time retaining the basics of the name. Early examples of surname recordings in the surviving registers of the city of London include examples such as Joseph Roblou. He was a christening witness at Glasshouse Street French Huguenot Church on December 27th 1691, and James Robelow who married Elizabeth Bedggood at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone, on July 10th 1740,
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