Rockey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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 Rockey, 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 Rockey family appears to have originally lived in a rocky area or near some notable rock. The surname Rockey is derived from the Old French word roche, which means rock. The surname Rockey 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 Rockey is de Róiste.
Early Origins of the Rockey family
The surname Rockey 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 Rockey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rockey 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 Rockey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Rockey Spelling Variations
Medieval scribes and church officials spelled the names as they sounded, so a name was often spelled many different ways during the lifetime of a single person. The investigation of the origin of the name Rockey revealed many spelling variations including Roche, Roach, Roache, LaRoche, LaRoach, DeLaRoach, Roack, Roch, Roiche, St.Roche, Rocheland, Rochellan and many more.
Early Notables of the Rockey 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 Rockey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Rockey migration to the United States +
The Irish emigration during the late 18th and 19th century contributed to the melting pot of nationalities in North America, and the building of a whole new era of industry and commerce in what was seen as a rich, new land. Ireland's Great Potato Famine resulted in the worst economic and social conditions in the island's history. And in response to the hunger, disease, and poverty, during this decade the total number of emigrants to leave for North America rivaled all the previous years combined. Those from this decade 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. Research into early immigration and passenger lists has shown many people bearing the name Rockey:
Rockey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Andrew Rockey, who landed in Mississippi in 1840 
Contemporary Notables of the name Rockey (post 1700) +
- Lieutenant General Keller Emrick Rockey (1888-1970), commander of the Fifth Marine Division in the battle of Iwo Jima in World War II and the Third Amphibious Corps during the occupation of North China following the war. For outstanding services with the Third Amphibious Corps, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (Army) 
- Brian Rockey, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Texas, 2012
- Bennett H. Rockey, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Indiana 5th District, 1944
- Rockey Felker (b. 1953), former American quarterback and head football coach
Related Stories +
The Rockey 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
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
- ^ Keller Rockey. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Keller Rockey. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keller_E._Rockey