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 Roakfort, 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 Roakfort family originally lived in either of the settlements called Rochford in the English counties of Essex
. The surname Roakfort belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The Roakfort family of County Cork
was originally surnamed de Ridlesford. Their name became Roakfort through a mistranslation of the Gaelic form of the name.
Early Origins of the Roakfort family
The surname Roakfort 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 Roakfort family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Roakfort research.Another 189 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1224, 1652, 1727 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Roakfort History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Roakfort Spelling Variations
A single person's name was often spelt simply as it sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. An investigation into the specific origins the name Roakfort has revealed that such a practice has resulted in many spelling variations
over the years. A few of its variants include: Rockford, Rockfort, Rochfort, Rochefort, Roakfort, Roakford, Rochford, Rocheford, Roachford, Roachfort, Rockfurd, Rockfurt, Ruckford, Ruckfort, Rucford and many more.
Early Notables of the Roakfort family (pre 1700)
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Roakfort Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Roakfort family to the New World and Oceana
In the 1840s, Ireland
experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine
. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Roakfort: Denis Rochford, his wife Mary and two children, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1682; and Peter Rockford, who settled in Philadelphia in 1875.
The Roakfort 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.