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

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

The Root family's name is derived from the ancient Norman culture that was established in Britain following the Norman Conquest of island in 1066. Their name originated with an early member who was a happy or cheerful person. The surname Root was originally derived from the Old English word rot, which meant glad or pleased.


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Root include Root, Rouet, Rout, Roots, Roote, Rootes and others.

First found in Kent 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Root research. Another 193 words(14 lines of text) covering the year 1086 is included under the topic Early Root History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Root Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Roots to arrive on North American shores:

Root Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Josia Root, who came to Salem in 1630
  • Thomas, Richard, Mary, and Ralph Root, who all arrived in Boston in 1635
  • Joshua Root, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1637
  • Richard Root, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1637
  • Thomas Root, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1637

Root Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Hans Dirk Root, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1728
  • Margrita Root, aged 30, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733
  • Daniel Root, aged 30, landed in Pennsylvania in 1733

Root Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Elizabeth Root, aged 7, arrived in New York, NY in 1847
  • Frederick Root, aged 11, landed in New York, NY in 1847
  • Gustave Root, aged 31, arrived in New York, NY in 1847
  • Anna Root, aged 30, arrived in New York, NY in 1847
  • Anton Root, aged 16, landed in New York, NY in 1847


  • John Wellborn Root (1850-1891), American architect
  • George Frederick Root (1820-1895), American composer
  • Elihu Root (1845-1937), American politician, U.S. Secretary of State (1905-1909), U.S. Senator from New York (1909-1915), awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1912
  • Stephen Root (b. 1951), American actor
  • Charles Henry Root (1899-1970), American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball
  • Martha Louise Root (1872-1939), prominent traveling teacher of the Bahá'í Faith
  • Jane Root (b. 1957), American creative executive in the media industry
  • Amos Ives Root (1839-1923), American who developed innovative beekeeping techniques in the United States during the mid-19th century
  • Eleazer Root (1802-1887), American educator and Episcopalian priest
  • Bonnie Root (b. 1975), American actress



  • Pioneers of Vernon, Oneida County, New York, and the Root Family by Ferne Kitson Patterson.
  • The Root Family of Bolivar, New York by William A. Paquette.

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  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  8. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  9. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  10. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  11. ...

The Root Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Root 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 6 August 2013 at 07:59.

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