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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Rowand family come from? When did the Rowand family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Rowand family history?

The illustrious surname Rowand is classified as a habitation surname, which was originally derived from a place-name, and is one form of surname belonging to a broader group called hereditary surnames. Habitation names were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Topographic names, form the other broad category of surnames that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.

Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. Rowand is a place-name from in Rouen, the capital of Normandy. The surname was derived from the Viscountcy of Rohan, in Brittany, in France. As a local name, it could also have been derived from the local at the rowan which referred to a residence beside a rowan-tree. Habitation names were derived from the name of the town, village or hamlet where the person originally lived.

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Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. The spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. Therefore, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Roan, Rohan, Roohan, Rome, Rowan and others.

First found in Durham where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rowand research. Another 163 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 169 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Rowand History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 41 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rowand Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Rowand family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 211 words(15 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Rowand, or a variant listed above:

Rowand Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • John Rowand, who arrived in America in 1811
  • Mrs. Rowand, aged 27, who landed in America, in 1895

Rowand Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Alexr Rowand, aged 18, who landed in America from Paisley, Scotland, in 1902
  • William Rowand, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Alexander Rowand, aged 28, who emigrated to the United States from Paisley, Scotland, in 1911
  • Andrew Rowand, aged 23, who settled in America from Bishopton, Scotland, in 1912
  • Margaret Rowand, aged 60, who emigrated to the United States from Redhill, England, in 1922


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  • Aaron Ryan Rowand (b. 1977), American Major League Baseball outfielder
  • John Rowand (1787-1854), Canadian fur trader for the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company, Chief Factor at Fort Edmonton
  • James Rowand (1830-1897), Scottish-born, Canadian farmer and politician in Ontario who represented Bruce West in the Canadian House of Commons from 1887 to 1896


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  1. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  2. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 17 July 2013 at 14:29.

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