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


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.

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The surname Rockwell was 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.

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.


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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.

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

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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

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  • 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


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  • 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. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. 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.
  6. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. 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.
  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 18 May 2016 at 20:38.

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