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


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.

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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.

First found in Norfolk 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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Roe research. Another 241 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1581, 1644, 1559, 1592, 1661, 1592, 1607, 1674, 1718, 1715, 1626, 1677, 1654, 1657, 1705, 1640, 1719, 1674, 1737, 1641 and 1717 are included under the topic Early Roe History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 285 words (20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Roe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Roe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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


  • Robert Roe, aged 19, landed in Barbados in 1635
  • Tho Roe, aged 22, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • Hugh Roe, who arrived in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1642
  • Isabella Roe, who landed in Maryland in 1653-1658
  • Anne Roe, who arrived in Virginia in 1653


Roe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Giles Roe, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Hans Jacob Roe, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Tieman Roe, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1709
  • Stephen Roe, who arrived in South Carolina in 1737

Roe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Jason Roe, who landed in New York, NY in 1812
  • Mary Roe, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • Anne Roe settled with her husband and seven children arrived in New York in 1823
  • James Roe, who arrived in America in 1826
  • John Roe, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1845


Roe Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Annie Roe, who landed in Alabama in 1924
  • Elizabeth Mary Roe, who landed in Alabama in 1927

Roe Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Roe arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846
  • Jane Roe arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "David Malcolm" in 1849
  • Margaret Roe arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "David Malcolm" in 1849
  • Eliza Roe arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Inconstant" in 1849
  • J. Roe arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Louisa Baillie" in 1849


Roe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Edward Roe, aged 39, a labourer, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841
  • Amelia Roe, aged 37, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841
  • Emily Roe, aged 14, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841
  • H. M. Roe arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William" in 1853
  • Henry Roe, aged 23, a farm labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rooparell" in 1874


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  • William H. Roe, American Republican politician, Mayor of Kearney, Nebraska, 1903
  • William B. Roe (1856-1932), American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Brookfield, 1901-02
  • Wellington Roe, American politician, Representative from New York 11th District, 1940; American Labor Candidate for New York State Senate 24th District, 1942
  • William Roe, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Arizona, 2008, 2012
  • W. G. Roe, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oklahoma, 1916; Candidate for U.S. Representative from Oklahoma 7th District, 1922, 1932
  • Thomas R. Roe, American Republican politician, Candidate for Oregon State Senate 9th District, 1964
  • Theodore M. Roe, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Sussex County, 1901
  • Robert A. Roe (b. 1924), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from New Jersey 8th District, 1969-93; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1988
  • Robert A. Roe, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Passaic County, 1913
  • Richard L. Roe, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from California 51st District, 1992

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  • 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.
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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.

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  1. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  6. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  7. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  10. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  11. ...

The Roe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Roe 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 23 December 2015 at 09:51.

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