Roe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Roe comes from the ancient Norman culture that was established in Britain after the Conquest of 1066. It was a name for a person with red hair. Looking back even further, we found the name was originally derived from the Old French nickname le rous, meaning redhead. [1] Further to the north in Scotland, the name has a different meaning, specifically "row, signifies a low, small, narrow peninsula." [2]

Early Origins of the Roe family

The surname Roe was first found in Norfolk where Turchil le Roux was granted lands by King William after his attendance upon him at Hastings. His son Ralph the Red (Roux) went with King Henry to the Crusades and held the Castle of Pont-echanfre near Bernai in Vexin Normandy. He died in the wreck of the "Blanche Neuf" with the King's two sons and their estates became divided. [3]

In Somerset, "Leighland, in the parish of Old Cleeve, was the property of the Poyntz family. From them it descended to the Rowes, in the reign of William III. John Rowe, as I learn from the parish register of Arlington, married Ursula Chi chester, on 25th November, 1697, yet left no issue ; but to him William Widdicombe, Esq., devised his estate of Bickham, adjoining. Robert Rowe, the nephew of the said John, married Prudence Chichester, 15th August, 1706, and had several children ; one of them, Elizabeth, became the wife of John Needham, of Hilston, county Monmouth." [4]

Early History of the Roe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Roe research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1368, 1426, 1441, 1477, 1581, 1747, 1581, 1644, 1559, 1592, 1661, 1592, 1607, 1674, 1718, 1715, 1626, 1677, 1654, 1657, 1705, 1640, 1719, 1674, 1737, 1641, 1717, 1525, 1580, 1525, 1580, 1595, 1672, 1641, 1717 and are included under the topic Early Roe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Roe Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Rowe, Roe, Row and others.

Early Notables of the Roe family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Thomas Roe (c. 1581-1644), an English diplomat, chancellor of the Order of the Garter; Sir Thomas Rowe, Lord Mayor of London in 1559; Owen Rowe, (c. 1592-1661), English haberdasher in London, one of the regicides of King Charles I; Sir William Rowe, Lord Mayor of London in 1592; Sir Henry Rowe, Lord Mayor of London in 1607; Nicholas Rowe (1674-1718), English poet and miscellaneous writer, appointed Poet Laureate in 1715; John Rowe (1626-1677), an English clergyman, lecturer to Westminster Abbey (1654); and his son, Thomas Rowe (1657-1705), an English nonconformist minister, tutor...
Another 126 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Roe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Roe Ranking

In the United States, the name Roe is the 1,230th most popular surname with an estimated 24,870 people with that name. [5] However, in the United Kingdom, the name Roe is ranked the 774th most popular surname with an estimated 8,713 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Roe family to Ireland

Some of the Roe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Roe migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Roe or a variant listed above were:

Roe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Hugh Roe, who arrived in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1642 [7]
  • Isabella Roe, who landed in Maryland in 1653-1658 [7]
  • Charles Roe, who settled in Virginia in 1653
  • Anne Roe, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [7]
  • Charles Roe, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Roe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Giles Roe, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [7]
  • Hans Jacob Roe, who landed in New York in 1709 [7]
  • Tieman Roe, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1709 [7]
  • Stephen Roe, who arrived in South Carolina in 1737 [7]
Roe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mary Roe, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812 [7]
  • Jason Roe, who landed in New York, NY in 1812 [7]
  • Anne Roe settled with her husband and seven children arrived in New York in 1823
  • James Roe, who arrived in America in 1826 [7]
  • John Roe, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1845 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Roe Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Annie Roe, who landed in Alabama in 1924 [7]
  • Elizabeth Mary Roe, who landed in Alabama in 1927 [7]

Australia Roe migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Roe Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Roe, British Convict who was convicted in Staffordshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Earl Spencer" in May 1813, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Edward Roe who was convicted in Southwark, London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" on 3rd October 1831, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • Mr. Charles Roe, English convict who was convicted in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 27th August 1836, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • Mr. James Roe, (b. 1809), aged 29, Irish farm labourer who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Elphinstone" on 29th December 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Mr. John Roe, Cornish labourer who immigrated to New South Wales, Australia aboard the ship "J. Pattison" in 1857 convicted at HP Barracks, Sydney Gaol on 18th December 1838 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Roe migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Roe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Edward Roe, aged 39, a labourer, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841 [13]
  • Amelia Roe, aged 37, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841 [13]
  • Emily Roe, aged 14, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841 [13]
  • H. M. Roe, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William" in 1853
  • Mr. H. Roe, American settler travelling from San Francisco aboard the ship "William" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 2nd April 1853 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Roe migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [15]
Roe Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Robert Roe, aged 19, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [7]
  • Tho Roe, aged 22, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [7]
  • Mr. Robert Roe, (b. 1616), aged 19, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Peter Bonaventure" arriving in Barbados and St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [16]
  • Mr. Thomas Roe, (b. 1613), aged 22, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Alexander" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [17]
  • Christopher Roe, who settled in Barbados in 1685 along with Richard and Thomas

Contemporary Notables of the name Roe (post 1700) +

  • Alexander B. Roe, American politician, Delegate to Ohio Convention to ratify 21st Amendment, 1933
  • Robert A. "Bob" Roe (1924-2014), American Democratic Party politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey (1969-1993)
  • Admiral Francis Asbury Roe (1823-1901), United States Navy officer who served during the American Civil War
  • Edward Rayson Roe (1838-1888), American novelist
  • Mrs. E. B. Roe, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Montana, 1936 [18]
  • Dudley George Roe (1881-1970), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates, 1908; Member of Maryland State Senate, 1924-33, 1939-41; U.S. Representative from Maryland 1st District, 1945-47 [18]
  • David K. Roe, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 1984 [18]
  • David Roe, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 1960, 1964 [18]
  • C. S. Roe, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Ohio 5th District, 1910 [18]
  • B. O. Roe, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 29th District, 1891-92 [18]
  • ... (Another 43 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Donovan C Roe (b. 1892), English Commander (S) serving for the Royal Navy from Bideford, Devonshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [19]


The Roe 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: Innocens non timidus
Motto Translation: Innocent but not fearful.


Suggested Readings for the name Roe +

  • Some Descendants of Hugh Roe, an Immigrant to the Massachusetts Bay Colony from England, ca 1642 by Frank Chapmna Roe.
  • A Supplement of Roe/Rowe Additions and Correction to the 1972 Record of Some Descendants of Hugh Roe by Frank Chapman Roe.

  1. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. ^ Oliver, George, Collections Illustrating the History of the Catholic Religion in the Counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wilts, and Gloucester London: Charles Dolman, 61, New Bond Street, 1857. Print
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-spencer
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/eden
  11. ^ Convict Records Australia (Retrieved on 18th March 2022, (retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elphinstone)
  12. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_gaol_admissions.pdf
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 12th December 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  16. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 23rd September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  17. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 28th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  18. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  19. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm


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