Origins Available: English
The surname Roelf is a name of ancient Norman origin, arriving in England
with the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The surname Roelf derives from the Middle English personal (pre-surname) name Rolf. It is thought that the earliest origins of the name are Nordic, and that the name reached England
in both pre-Norman Nordic invasion, and with the Normans.
Early Origins of the Roelf family
The surname Roelf was first found in Norfolk
where they held a family seat
from early times, soon after the Norman Conquest
by Duke William of Normandy
in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Roelf family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Roelf research.Another 295 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1297, 1332, 1585, 1622, 1615, 1680, 1655 and 1676 are included under the topic Early Roelf History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Roelf Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Roffe, Rolfe, Rolph, Rolphe, Roalph and others.
Early Notables of the Roelf family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Rolfe (c.1585-1622), an early English settler of North America, credited with the first successful cultivation of tobacco in Virginia, perhaps best known as the... Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Roelf Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Roelf family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Roelf or a variant listed above: James Rolfe and his wife Elizabeth Rolfe, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 with their son; Barbary Rofe who settled in New England
in 1635; William Rofe, who arrived in Barbados in 1635.