Roles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Roles is a name whose history on English soil dates back to the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066. The Roles family lived in Yorkshire. Their name, however, is a reference to Roullours, in Calvados, in the arrondissement of Dieppe, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. [1]

Early Origins of the Roles family

The surname Roles was first found in Yorkshire where they were undertenants in the honor of Richmond being descended from the distinguished Norman family of Rollos of Roullours in Calvados, arrondisement of Dieppe, in Normandy. A century later it appears that William de Rollos, Lord of Bourne in the county of Lincoln to the south, was also a branch of this distinguished family.

Richard Rolle (1290-1349) was an English religious writer, Bible translator, and hermit. He is also known as Richard Rolle of Hampole or de Hampole. He studied at Oxford.

Farther to the south in the parish of Whitstone, Cornwall, "The manor of Nethercot, which has its site in this parish, though it extends into that of Week St. Mary, belonged to the Rolles of Heanton." [2]

Early History of the Roles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Roles research. Another 213 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1792, 1568, 1736, 1633, 1589, 1656, 1647, 1671, 1669, 1735, 1705, 1708, 1630, 1686, 1656, 1664, 1665, 1672, 1673, 1622, 1660, 1654 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Roles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Roles Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Rolls, Rowles, Rolston, Rolleston, Rollesby, Rolles, Rholes and many more.

Early Notables of the Roles family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Robert Rolle (d. 1633) of Heanton Satchville, Devon; and his son, Henry Rolle (1589-1656), an English judge and Chief Justice of the King’s Bench; Sir Samuel Rolle (d. 1647); and his son, Dennis Rolle (d. 1671) of Great Torrington, a lawyer of the Inner Temple; and his son, Samuel Rolle (1669-1735) of Hudscott Manor...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Roles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Roles migration to the United States +

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Roles or a variant listed above:

Roles Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Roles, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [3]
  • Joseph Roles, who arrived in Maryland in 1678 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Roles (post 1700) +

  • Carlton A. Roles (1903-1970), American Thoroughbred horse racing trainer, father of Barbara Roles
  • Barbara Ann Roles (b. 1941), American bronze medalist figure skater at the 1960 Winter Olympics
  • Natalie Joanne Roles (b. 1968), English actress best known for her role as Debbie McAllister in the ITV drama The Bill
  • Albert James "Albie" Roles (1921-2012), English footballer who played from 1938 to 1952
  • Philippa Kate Roles (1978-2017), Welsh discus thrower, bronze medalist at the 1997 European Junior Championships


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  3. ^ 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)


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