Norman Conquest of Ireland 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 surname. Local surnames, such as Roachfort, 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 Roachfort family originally lived in either of the settlements called Rochford in the English counties of Essex and Worcestershire. The surname Roachfort belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The Roachfort family of County Cork was originally surnamed de Ridlesford. Their name became Roachfort through a mistranslation of the Gaelic form of the name.
Early Origins of the Roachfort family
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 of Ireland 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 Roachfort family
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Roachfort Spelling Variations
Early Notables of the Roachfort family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Roachfort family to the New World and Oceana
During the middle of the 19th century, Irish families often experienced extreme poverty and racial discrimination in their own homeland under English rule. Record numbers died of disease and starvation and many others, deciding against such a fate, boarded ships bound for North America. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Unfortunately, many of those Irish that arrived in Canada or the United States still experienced economic and racial discrimination. Although often maligned, these Irish people were essential to the rapid development of these countries because they provided the cheap labor required for the many canals, roads, railways, and other projects required for strong national infrastructures. Eventually the Irish went on to make contributions in the less backbreaking and more intellectual arenas of commerce, education, and the arts. Research early immigration and passenger lists revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Roachfort: Denis Rochford, his wife Mary and two children, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1682; and Peter Rockford, who settled in Philadelphia in 1875.
The Roachfort 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.
Roachfort Family Crest Products