In researching the ancestors
of Robert Roebuck the emigrant of 1674, on location in England,
the relevance of the mysteriously named town of Appleton Roebuck
was checked out (and eliminated).
This small hamlet, mentioned
in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Appulton was still called Appulton
500 years later in 1598. There was a Manor of Appulton as far
back as 1311, part of the vast estate of Byland Abbey. In 1458
one of the major landowners there was a family called Sampson.
Not one single reference or deed was found confirming any Roebuck
connection before 1600.
Even the connection mentioned by George Redmonds in his article on the Roebuck surname was only
to a Richard Rabuk who was taxed at Appleton Roebuck (Appulton)
There are several stories concerning
how Appleton Roebuck got its name, but these have to be viewed
in the light of the detailed research carried out and the discoveries
made. See the
Roebuck Surname origin as established from the evidence uncovered.
A search of the 1379 Poll Tax
actually revealed: a Ricardus Robut and his wife Cecilia at Barnsley
who were taxed 4 pence; Johannes Robut (no wife mentioned), taxed
4 pence; and Ricardus Rabuk and his wife (no name mentioned)
at Appleton (Roebuck), also taxed 4 pence. This was the lower
rate of tax. Tradesmen were taxed 6 pence. Richard's family certainly
weren't the owners of Appleton.
The surname was already well
established even by 1300 AD in Sheffield, Skipton and Netherthong.
All the evidence points to the origin as being Netherthong, probably
before 1200 AD.
The Skipton branch did not survive. The Sheffield branch expanded
East towards Doncaster and the Netherthong branch expanded South
East towards Pontefract via Kirkburton and Darton.
The most likely explanation is that it was the Skipton branch
that moved to Appulton in the early part of 14th century.
Until some actual evidence is uncovered, the popular story that
Appleton was once owned by the Roebuck family, however plausible,
is nothing more than a myth or a legend.
Fact or fiction, the relevance
of Appleton Roebuck to the ancestors of Robert the emigrant has