The Anglo- Norman Conquest
lead by Strongbow
introduced the first non-Gaelic elements into Irish nomenclature. These Anglo- Normans
brought some traditions to Ireland
that were not readily found within Gaelic system of hereditary surnames
. One of the best examples of this is the local
surnames, such as Rockfearde, were taken from the name of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born. These surnames were very common in England
, but were almost non-existent within Ireland
previous to the conquest. The earliest surnames of this type came from Normandy
, but as the Normans
moved, they often created names in reference to where they actually resided. Therefore, some settlers eventually took names from Irish places. Originally, these place names were prefixed by de, which means from in French. This type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname, if the place name began with a vowel, or was eliminated entirely. The Rockfearde family originally lived in either of the settlements called Rochford in the English counties of Essex
. The surname Rockfearde belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The Rockfearde family of County Cork
was originally surnamed de Ridlesford. Their name became Rockfearde through a mistranslation of the Gaelic form of the name.
Early Origins of the Rockfearde family
The surname Rockfearde was first found in counties Meath and Kilkenny
(Irish: Cill Chainnigh), the former Kingdom of Osraige (Ossory), located in Southeastern Ireland
in the province of Leinster
, where they had been granted lands by Strongbow
, Earl of Pembroke, during the Anglo- Norman invasion
in 1172. "The Irish family settled in that country at, or soon after, the Anglo- Norman invasion
. Their name was Latinized De Rupe Forti, 'of the strong rock,' which is doubtless its true meaning." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Early History of the Rockfearde family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rockfearde research.Another 189 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1224, 1652, 1727 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Rockfearde History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Rockfearde Spelling Variations
During the Middle Ages, a single person often had their name recorded by church officials and scribes many different ways. Names were typically spelt as they sounded, which resulted in many different spelling variations
. The many versions of the name Rockfearde to have been recorded over the years include: Rockford, Rockfort, Rochfort, Rochefort, Roakfort, Roakford, Rochford, Rocheford, Roachford, Roachfort, Rockfurd, Rockfurt, Ruckford, Ruckfort, Rucford and many more.
Early Notables of the Rockfearde family (pre 1700)
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rockfearde Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Rockfearde family to the New World and Oceana
Ireland's Great Potato Famine
left the country's inhabitants in extreme poverty and starvation. Many families left their homeland for North America for the promise of work, freedom and land ownership. Although the Irish were not free of economic and racial discrimination in North America, they did contribute greatly to the rapid development of bridges, canals, roads, and railways. Eventually, they would be accepted in other areas such as commerce, education, and the arts. An examination of immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Rockfearde: Denis Rochford, his wife Mary and two children, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1682; and Peter Rockford, who settled in Philadelphia in 1875.
The Rockfearde Motto
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: Candor dat viribus alas
Motto Translation: Truth gives wings to strength.