Roches History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Non-Gaelic elements made their first appearance in Irish nomenclature after the Strongbow settlers began to arrive on Irish shores. Although the Irish already had an established a system of hereditary surnames, the Anglo- Normans also brought their own traditions with them when they arrived. The two systems were not extremely conflicting, and eventually drew upon one another. Although local surnames, such as Roches, were not entirely unknown to the Irish, this form of surname was much more popular with the Strongbownians. Local names were taken from the names of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born. 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 local names of these Anglo-Norman invaders first referred to places in Normandy, or more typically England, but eventually for those Strongbownians or their descendents that remained in Ireland, the local names really did begin to refer to local places or geographical features of the island. The Roches family appears to have originally lived in a rocky area or near some notable rock. The surname Roches is derived from the Old French word roche, which means rock. The surname Roches belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees. The Gaelic form of the surname Roches is de Róiste.
Early Origins of the Roches family
The surname Roches was first found in County Limerick (Irish: Luimneach) located in Southwestern Ireland, in the province of Munster, where they were granted lands by Strongbow whom they accompanied into Ireland during the Anglo- Norman invasion of 1172.
This was about the time that "the manor of Tregarrick or Tregorrick alias Treroche, belonged, prior to the Norman Conquest, to an ancient British family thence denominated Treroche, and afterwards De Rupe, or De la Roche. Of this family, Ralph de Rupe held in Cornwall by the tenure of knight service, three knight's fees of land in 1189. Another of this family according to tradition, was an officer in the Irish war under John John, Earl of Moreton and Cornwall; and when the latter became king of England, the former was again employed on a similar expedition, in which he acquitted himself so much to the satisfaction of his royal master, that he was rewarded with the forfeited lands of various rebels. This enabled him to build the castle of Roche in that country in 1220, and to become the head of the distinguished family of De Roche in Ireland." 
Early History of the Roches family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Roches research. Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1588, 1929, 1573, 1635, 1600, 1595, 1660, 1624, 1640, 1643, 1576, 1629 and 1594 are included under the topic Early Roches History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Roches Spelling Variations
During an investigation of the origin of each name, it was found that church officials and medieval scribes spelled many surnames as they sounded. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, a name could be spelt numerous ways. Some of the spelling variations for the name Roches include Roche, Roach, Roache, LaRoche, LaRoach, DeLaRoach, Roack, Roch, Roiche, St.Roche, Rocheland, Rochellan and many more.
Early Notables of the Roches family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family up to this time was Blessed John Roche (also known as John Neele or Neale), an Irish Catholic martyr, who died in London, England in 1588, he is the patron of sailors, mariners and boatmen, beatified in 1929.
David Roche (1573-1635), Viscount Fermoy, was son and heir of Maurice, Viscount Fermoy. David succeeded to the title on his father's death in June 1600. During the rebellion of Hugh O'Neill, second earl of Tyrone [q. v.], Roche signalised himself by his loyalty, and...
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Roches Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Roches family
A great number of Irish families left their homeland in the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century, migrating to such far away lands as Australia and North America. The early settlers left after much planning and deliberation. They were generally well off but they desired a tract of land that they could farm solely for themselves. The great mass of immigrants to arrive on North American shores in the 1840s differed greatly from their predecessors because many of them were utterly destitute, selling all they had to gain a passage on a ship or having their way paid by a philanthropic society. These Irish people were trying to escape the aftermath of the Great Potato Famine: poverty, starvation, disease, and, for many, ultimately death. Those that arrived on North American shores were not warmly welcomed by the established population, but they were vital to the rapid development of the industry, agriculture, and infrastructure of the infant nations of the United States and what would become Canada. Early passenger and immigration lists reveal many Irish settlers bearing the name Roches: William Roach settled in Virginia in 1707; Edmund, Frederick, James, John, Margaret, Mary, Michael, Patrick, Richard, Thomas and William Roach all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870.
Related Stories +
The Roches 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: Mon Dieu est ma roche
Motto Translation: My God is my rock.
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print