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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The annals of Scottish history reveal that Monroe was first used as a name by ancestors of the Pictish tribe of ancient Scotland. The Monroe family lived near the foot of the river Roe in the Irish county of Derry. The Gaelic form of the name is Rothach, which means a man of Ro or a man from Ro.


The surname Monroe was first found in Cromartyshire, where they were descended from Donadl O'Kane and his Irish sept, who left their homeland at the mouth of the river Roe, in Ireland and settler in Ferrindonald in Cromarty, in the 11th century. Other historians suggest the name was originally Monrosse, because they were Mountaineers of Ross. In this case, their traditional origin is from the Siol O'Cain, an ancient Pictish tribe descended from Anselan O'Cain in North Moray, which also produced the Buchanans and the MacMillans.

Before the first dictionaries appeared in the last few hundred years, scribes spelled according to sound. spelling variations are common among Scottish names. Monroe has been spelled Monroe, Monro, Monrow, Munroe, Munro, Munrow and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Monroe research. Another 839 words (60 lines of text) covering the years 1210, 1230, 1476, 1651, 1505, 1680, 1602, 1693, 1697, 1729 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Monroe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Sir William Munro of Foulis (died 1505), a Scottish Knight and Scottish Clan chief of the highland Clan Munro, by tradition the 12th Baron of Foulis and 15th overall chief of the clan; Robert Monro of the Munro of Obsdale family (died 1680)...

Another 170 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Monroe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


In those unstable times, many had no choice but to leave their beloved homelands. Sickness and poverty hounded travelers to North America, but those who made it were welcomed with land and opportunity. These settlers gave the young nations of Canada and the United States a strong backbone as they stood up for their beliefs as United Empire Loyalists and in the American War of Independence. In this century, the ancestors of these brave Scots have begun to recover their illustrious heritage through Clan societies and other heritage organizations. Early passenger and immigration lists reveal many Scottish settlers bearing the name Monroe:

Monroe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Andrew Monroe, who arrived in Virginia in 1650
  • Daniel Monroe, who landed in New England in 1651-1652

Monroe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Alexander Monroe, who landed in Georgia in 1736
  • Hector Monroe settled in Barbados in 1745
  • William Monroe, who arrived in Virginia in 1749

Monroe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Monroe, who landed in Ohio in 1802
  • John William Thomas Monroe, who arrived in Mississippi in 1837
  • Charles Monroe, aged 33, arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1840

Monroe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Peter Monroe arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ida Zeigler" in 1863
  • Mary Monroe arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1866

  • Elizabeth Kortright Monroe (1768-1830), American First Lady, wife of American President Monroe
  • Vaughn Wilton Monroe (1911-1973), American baritone singer, trumpeter and big band leader, has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Vernon Earl Monroe (b. 1944), American former professional NBA basketball player
  • Craig "C-Mo" Keystone Monroe (b. 1977), American Major League Baseball outfielder
  • William "Bill" Smith Monroe (1911-1996), American musician, creator of the style "bluegrass"
  • Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962), born Norma Jeane Mortenson, American Golden Globe Award and BAFTA Film Award nominated Hollywood actress
  • Alexander Simmons Monroe (b. 1893), American Democrat politician, Member of North Carolina State Senate 18th District, 1959
  • A. J. Monroe, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Iowa, 1876
  • A. Monroe, American politician, Mayor of Salem, Oregon, 1873
  • Aline Monroe, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oklahoma, 1956
  • ...

  • Munro Family by Ronald G. Munro.
  • History and Genealogy of the Lexington, Massachusetts Munroes by Richard S. Munroe.

Monroe Clan Badge
Monroe Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...



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    Other References

    1. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
    2. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
    3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    4. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
    5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
    6. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
    7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
    8. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
    9. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
    10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    11. ...

    The Monroe Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Monroe 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 July 2016 at 11:49.

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