About the Project

The Lobban One-Name Study as registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies in 2018, is a continuation by myself (Christopher Simon Lobban) of studies conducted in the 1980s by my late uncle Alan (Lobban) Rudge (ms A History of Lobban full-text pdf), and is being developed in collaboration with Malcolm Lobban, whose book The Scottish Surname Lobban (2008) (full text pdf) is available on this site; Sydney Lobban, who accumulated  26 descendants trees of Scottish Lobban or Loban families, now all uploaded to MyHeritage.com with a catalog and indexes here;  Gordon Lobban, who contributed several data sets; Stephanie Logan Falls, a leader of The Logan DNA Project, whose ancestors were Lobans, and who compiled an all-Scotland list of Lobban/Loban baptisms and marriages from microfilm copies of parish records; and John Sloan, a co-leader of the R-U198 DNA project, who is instrumental in analysizing the Y-DNA samples from the family. See article in Aberdeen & NE Scotland Family History Society Journal.  See Contributors page.

I have taken as my starting point Alan Rudge’s set of hypotheses about the origin of the name in North East Scotland, i.e., that (1) The Loban/Lobban families in NE Scotland (an area occupying parts of Banffshire, Morayshire and Aberdeenshire  — see map below) are a single genetic branch, (2) unrelated to the Lobans of Inverness, but (3) derived from a man from the Continent who arrived in Scotland about 1534 and “Scottished” his name to Loban. We are accumulating Y-DNA data to test these hypotheses, working with the R1b-U198 haplogroup research experts associated with Family Tree DNA. I have also collected Lobban family trees, and have attached those for NE Scotland Lobbans to my own via “placeholder” people,*  in keeping with working hypothesis (1) that we are all related. I will gradually add summaries of these under the Genealogies page. This will take a long time, so if you have any questions about the families involved, please contact me.

Click on pictures to magnify. Historical parishes of N.E. Scotland, from Aberdeen & N.E. Scotland Family History Society, colored to show numbers of Lobban/Loban baptisms and marriages from parish records.

The study thus includes the NE Scotland and Inverness Lobbans/Lobans from their origin(s)/earliest records along with families within the tree with variant name spellings and other father lines through adoption, etc.

Variant names

The registered variant names are Loban,  Laban and Lobbin. We know that the spellings of Loban and Lobban were used indiscriminately in the 17th and 18th Centuries and there were some other similar spellings before that. We know that the Dutch Laban line originated from a Loban in the 1620’s. We also know of two Loban family names that were changed to Logan; probably there are others. While I include the latter as genetic family, we are not researching Logan as a name, since most Logans are unrelated. Stephanie Falls is co-leader of a DNA Logan study group associated with Family Tree DNA, and they also maintain a Pre1800sLogans Yahoo Groups page. People interested in Logan should seek information there.

Name origin

19th C. histories suggest that the name Loban arose in the Inverness area in the 14th C., near Drumderfit, and that these Lobans populated the Black Isle area of Ross-shire and neighboring Inverness (see Origin and history page). These are the people I have mentioned as “Inverness” Lobbans.  As noted above, we are testing the hypothesis that the Lobans of NE Scotland are all derived from a 16th C. progenitor who picked up the Scots name. The null hypotheses are that we are all one genetic family — or that there are multiple genetic lines.


Several factors caused large numbers of Scots to migrate, first toward other, especially urban areas in Scotland and later to England and overseas. These factors include the successions of poor harvests during the depths of the “Little Ice Age,” ca. 1675–1715, when landlords often had to waive some or all of the rents due from the people (reference); Lowland Clearances of the late 1700s; and the mechanization of agriculture and weaving in the 1800s.  And, as Malcolm Lobban notes in his book (p. 21), in feudal times when the common people were considered part of a landowner’s property, if a feudal superior obtained a grant of new lands, it would have been in his interest to transplant several of his own trusted vassals in key positions among the indigenous “nayffs” (natives) on the new property to make his presence felt.  We hope eventually to understand the Lobban diaspora against this historical background.


There have been several major changes in political boundaries that complicate stating the geographic extent of a group of families. In this web site, I use the old Church of Scotland parish names and the “traditional”  shire boundaries as set in 1891, as this is how records are presented in the official archive at Scotland’sPeople.

The parishes were described in detail in the [Old] Statistical Account of Scotland,  (1797) and the New Statistical Account (1845), full texts online.


Webmaster with two Lobban memorials, Rothiemay
* Effective 5 Dec. 2018 I have made my main site at Ancestry.com, private and taken down the mirror site at MyHeritage because there are too many errors in the peripheral branches. We now have a reliable set of trees in the Syd Lobban Collection at MyHeritage.com. Please use those. I have kept open my two small trees, Miramichi Lobbans and Inverness Lobbans.
  • This site contributes to and is supported by the Guild of One-Name Studies.
Page by Chris Lobban, last edited 22 Nov. 2018

2 Replies to “About the Project”

  1. Hello,
    First of all, great site, really stuning. My name is Jordi Bosman, as you see no Loban. But I am a descendant from the William Loban, who went to Holland. And funny, but on the Island of Tholen, the name Laban is really almost everywhere. After al those years still on the Isle. And I can only say that I am justly proud to be a descendant from William. I am going to read every thing. But I got one question: William Loban, the soldere who came to Holland, is he a NE Loban or a Inverness Loban?
    I am really happy with this site. Wonderfull.

    Kind regards
    Jordi Bosman

    1. Even though we have not yet been able to document his birthplace, genetically he is in the NE Scotland haplogroup, as shown in the chart on the “Y-DNA Results, Aug. 2018” page. We now have one donor with roots in Inverness; analysis is still underway but genetically very different.

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