England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname Roalph derives from the Middle English personal (pre-surname) name Rolf. It is thought that the earliest origins of the name are Nordic, and that the name reached England in both pre-Norman Nordic invasion, and with the Normans.
Early Origins of the Roalph family
Norfolk where they held a family seat from early times, soon after the Norman Conquest by Duke William of Normandy in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Roalph family
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Roalph Spelling Variations
spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Roffe, Rolfe, Rolph, Rolphe, Roalph and others.
Early Notables of the Roalph family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Roalph family to the New World and Oceana
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Roalph name or one of its variants: James Rolfe and his wife Elizabeth Rolfe, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 with their son; Barbary Rofe who settled in New England in 1635; William Rofe, who arrived in Barbados in 1635.
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