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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Where did the English Rockwell family come from? What is the English Rockwell family crest and coat of arms? When did the Rockwell family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Rockwell family history?

The history of the Rockwell family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in either of two locations, one in Buckinghamshire, and one in Somerset. The places were originally called Rockholt, from the elements hroc, meaning rock, and holt meaning wood.


Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of 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 Rockwell, Rokelle, Rockewell, Rokele, Rokewell and others.

First found in Essex where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rockwell research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1300 and 1324 are included under the topic Early Rockwell History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Rockwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


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 Rockwell name or one of its variants:

Rockwell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • William, Susannah, Ruth and John Rockwell settled in Nantasket in 1630
  • William Rockwell, who arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Thomas Rockwell settled in Virginia in 1637 along with Mary
  • Robert Rockwell, who landed in Virginia in 1638

Rockwell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John Rockwell, who arrived in Virginia in 1719

Rockwell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • C. W. Rockwell arrived in New York in 1823
  • Edward S Rockwell, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Edward Rockwell arrived in San Francisco in 1850
  • George Rockwell, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

Rockwell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Asahel Rockwell, who landed in Canada in 1828


  • Orrin Porter "Old Port" Rockwell (1813-1815), American Wild West law man in the Utah Territory, bodyguard and personal friend of Joseph Smith
  • Llewellyn Harrison "Lew" Rockwell Jr. (b. 1944), American libertarian political commentator, activist, CEO of the Ludwig von Mises Institute
  • Richard "Dick" Waring Rockwell (1920-2006), American comic strip and comic book artist, nephew of Norman Rockwell
  • Sam Rockwell (b. 1968), American Hollywood Film Award winning actor
  • Norman Percevel Rockwell (1894-1978), famed American Artist and Painter, most famous for the cover illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post for more over 40 years, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Francis Warren Rockwell (1886-1979), Vice Admiral in the United States Navy
  • Commander Dean Rockwell (1912-2005), American sailor who received both the Navy Cross and the French Croix de Guerre avec Paume
  • Stewart Rockwell, American Diplomat
  • Willard Rockwell Sr. (1888-1978), American founder of Rockwell International


  • 1150 Years of Continuous Rockwell Families Descent A.D. 827 to 1977 by Ross Robert Rockwell.
  • A History and Genealogy of the Rockwell and Thayer Families by Willard Frederick Rockwell.
  • Rockwell Families from the Beginning of Time and Forever by RossRobert Rockwell.

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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  11. ...

The Rockwell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rockwell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 28 November 2015 at 14:01.

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