Show ContentsRegister History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Register date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Register family lived in the region of Rochester in Kent. Register is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties.

Early Origins of the Register family

The surname Register was first found in Kent where the name was first recorded by Bede (c. 730) under the names of Dorubrevi and Hrofoecoestre. The first reference refers to the Briton name that was derived from "duro" meaning "fortress" or "bridge" while the second reference is derived from the Old English word for "roof" [1].

Solomon de Rochester (died 1294) was an English "judge, was a native of Rochester, whence he took his name. His brother Gilbert held the living of Tong in Kent. Solomon took orders, and was apparently employed by Henry III in a legal capacity. In 1274 he was appointed justice in eyre for Middlesex, and in the following year for Worcestershire." [2]

Today Rochester is a town in Kent which dates back to before 43 AD, named Durobrivae by the Romans. Rochester Castle stands on grounds that have been fortified since the Roman arrival. The Norman keep that was built in 1127 still stands majestically today. Rochester is also a small village in Northumberland and Staffordshire. "This parish, anciently called Rocetter, or Roucestre, comprises about 2370 acres." [3]

Early History of the Register family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Register research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1557, 1494 and 1557 are included under the topic Early Register History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Register Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Register are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Register include: Rochester, Roccester, Wrocester, Wrochester and others.

Early Notables of the Register family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Robert Rochester (c. 1494-1557), English comptroller of the household to Queen Mary, eldest of the three sons of John Rochester, by his wife...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Register Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Register Ranking

In the United States, the name Register is the 3,537th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [4]

United States Register migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Register or a variant listed above:

Register Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • J. Layton Register, aged 51, who landed in America, in 1893
Register Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Register, aged 58, who landed in America, in 1903
  • Laytoa Bartol Register, aged 22, who immigrated to America, in 1904
  • Edward Register, aged 50, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Mr. H. C. Register, aged 62, who settled in America, in 1906
  • H. Register, aged 57, who settled in America, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Register migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Register Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Daniel Register U.E. born in Pennsylvania, USA who settled in Pennfield, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Register (post 1700) +

  • Cheri Register (b. 1945), American author and teacher
  • Sam Register, American Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs, at Warner Bros
  • Paul J. Register (1899-1941), United States Navy officer killed in action at Pearl Harbor, namesake of USS Register (DE-308), USS Register (DE-233) and the USS Register (APD-92)
  • John Register (1936-1996), American realist painter
  • Samuel M. Register, American politician, Member of Minnesota territorial House of Representatives 1st District, 1855 [6]
  • Howell Register, American Democratic Party politician, Chair of Houston County Democratic Party, 2003 [6]
  • Duane Register, American Democratic Party politician, Chair of Anderson County Democratic Party, 2011 [6]
  • B. F. Register, American politician, Mayor of Columbus, Georgia, 1951-52, 1957-59 [6]

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Paul James Register, American Lieutenant Commander from North Dakota, 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 [7]

Suggested Readings for the name Register +

  • The Registers and our Kin by J. Lamar Wells.

  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from
  7. Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from on Facebook