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

Origins Available: Dutch, English


The name Roel is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when a family lived in Rothwell, a place-name found in the counties of Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, and the West Riding of Yorkshire. The place-name Rothwell is derived from the Old English words roth, which means forest clearing, and wella, which means spring or stream. The place-name as a whole translates as "spring or stream in the summer clearing. In the Domesday Book, [1] compiled in 1086, each of those places was rendered as Rodewelle.

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The surname Roel was first found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Roel were recorded, including Rothwell, Rathwell, Rosswell, Rosewell and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Roel research. Another 173 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Roel History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Roel family emigrate to North America:

Roel Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Niklaas Roel, who arrived in America in 1709
  • Nicholas Roel, who came to America sometime between 1709 and 1710
  • Nicolaus Roel, who settled in America sometime between 1709 and 1717
  • Anna Dorothea Roel, who came to America sometime between 1709 and 1717
  • Maria Katrina Roel, who arrived in New York in 1709


Roel Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Joh Bern Roel, who came to America in 1847
  • Joh Bern Roel, who landed in America in 1847
  • Angel Roel, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1867
  • Manuel Roel, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1873

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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  6. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Roel Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Roel 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 2 February 2016 at 15:46.

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