Show ContentsMonroe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Monroe family

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.

Early History of the Monroe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Monroe research. Another 419 words (30 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.

Monroe Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Monroe family (pre 1700)

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), a famous Scottish General, from the Clan Munro of Ross-shire; Sir George Munro, 1st Baronet of Newmore (1602-1693), Scottish soldier and Member of Parliament; Sir John Munro, 4th Baronet of Foulis (died 1697), 22nd Baron and 25th chief of the Clan Munro; Sir Robert Munro, 5th Baronet of Foulis (died...
Another 120 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Monroe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Monroe Ranking

In the United States, the name Monroe is the 523rd most popular surname with an estimated 54,714 people with that name. [1]

United States Monroe migration to the United States +

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 [2]
  • Daniel Monroe, who landed in New England in 1651-1652 [2]
Monroe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Alexander Monroe, who landed in Georgia in 1736 [2]
  • William Monroe, who arrived in Virginia in 1749 [2]
Monroe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Monroe, who landed in Ohio in 1802 [2]
  • John William Thomas Monroe, who arrived in Mississippi in 1837 [2]
  • Charles Monroe, aged 33, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1840 [2]

New Zealand Monroe migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Monroe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Peter Monroe, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ida Zeigler" in 1863
  • Mary Monroe, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1866

West Indies Monroe migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [3]
Monroe Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Hector Monroe, who settled in Barbados in 1745

Contemporary Notables of the name Monroe (post 1700) +

  • Bryan Monroe (1965-2021), American journalist and educator, editor of (2011–2015)
  • Haskell Moorman Monroe Jr. (1931-2017), American educator and university administrator, President of the University of Texas at El Paso (1980–1987) and the University of Missouri (1987–1993)
  • Rodrick Rochelle "Rod" Monroe (1976-2017), American football tight end who played with the Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns (1998-2003)
  • 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
  • President James Monroe (1758-1831), fifth President of the United States, the last Founding Father of the United States
  • ... (Another 65 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Donald Monroe, American Mess Attendant Second Class from Missouri, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [4]

Suggested Readings for the name Monroe +

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

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from on Facebook