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

Where did the English Roe family come from? What is the English Roe family crest and coat of arms? When did the Roe family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Roe family history?

The name Roe comes from the ancient Norman culture that was established in Britain after the Conquest of 1066. It was a name for a person with red hair. Looking back even further, we found the name was originally derived from the Old French nickname le rous, meaning redhead.

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Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Rowe, Roe, Row and others.

First found in Norfolk 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 Roe research. Another 241 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1581, 1644, 1559, 1592, 1661, 1592, 1607, 1674, 1718, 1715, 1626, 1677, 1654, 1657, 1705, 1640, 1719, 1674, 1737, 1641, 1717 and are included under the topic Early Roe History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 285 words(20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Roe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Roe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 123 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Roe or a variant listed above were:

Roe Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Robert Roe, aged 19, landed in Barbados in 1635
  • Tho Roe, aged 22, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • Hugh Roe, who arrived in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1642
  • Isabella Roe, who landed in Maryland in 1653-1658
  • Anne Roe, who arrived in Virginia in 1653


Roe Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Giles Roe, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Hans Jacob Roe, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Tieman Roe, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1709
  • Stephen Roe, who arrived in South Carolina in 1737

Roe Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Jason Roe, who landed in New York, NY in 1812
  • Mary Roe, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • Anne Roe settled with her husband and seven children arrived in New York in 1823
  • James Roe, who arrived in America in 1826
  • John Roe, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1845


Roe Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Annie Roe, who landed in Alabama in 1924
  • Elizabeth Mary Roe, who landed in Alabama in 1927

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  • Edward Rayson Roe (1838-1888), American novelist
  • Admiral Francis Asbury Roe (1823-1901), United States Navy officer who served during the American Civil War
  • Sir Edwin Alliot Verdon Roe (1877-1958), British pilot and aircraft manufacturer, founder of the Avro company
  • Sir Thomas Roe (1580-1644), British businessman and Liberal politician
  • David Roe (b. 1965), English professional snooker player
  • Charles Roe (1715-1781), English industrialist
  • John Septimus Roe (1797-1878), first Surveyor-General of Western Australia
  • Dame Marion Audrey Roe DBE (b. 1936), Conservative politician in the United Kingdom
  • Reginald Heber Roe (1850-1926), first vice-chancellor of the University of Queensland
  • Dame Raigh Edith Roe DBE (b. 1922), World President of the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW), Australian of the Year in 1977

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  • Some Descendants of Hugh Roe, an Immigrant to the Massachusetts Bay Colony from England, ca 1642 by Frank Chapmna Roe.
  • A Supplement of Roe/Rowe Additions and Correction to the 1972 Record of Some Descendants of Hugh Roe by Frank Chapman Roe.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Innocens non timidus
Motto Translation: Innocent but not fearful.

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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  3. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  4. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Roe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Roe Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 19 February 2014 at 07:45.

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