Rolls History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Rolls is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Rolls 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 Rolls family

The surname Rolls 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 Rolls family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rolls 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 Rolls History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rolls Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Rolls family name include Rolls, Rowles, Rolston, Rolleston, Rollesby, Rolles, Rholes and many more.

Early Notables of the Rolls 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 Rolls Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Rolls migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Rolls family to immigrate North America:

Rolls Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Benedict Rolls, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Benedict Rolls, aged 16, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [3]
  • Fran Rolls, who landed in Virginia in 1657 [3]
  • Robert Rolls, who arrived in Maryland in 1665 [3]
  • Matt Rolls, who landed in Maryland in 1676 [3]
Rolls Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Rolls, aged 18, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1803 [3]
  • James Rolls, who settled in Baltimore in 1803

Canada Rolls migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rolls Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Rolls from Poole, in Dorset, settled in Bay de Verde, Newfoundland in 1788 [4]

Australia Rolls migration to Australia +

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

Rolls Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Charles Rolls, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. James Rolls, English convict who was convicted in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 27 September 1834, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • John Gardner Rolls, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Stebonheath" in 1850 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Rolls (post 1700) +

  • John Allan Rolls DL (1837-1912), 1st Baron Llangattock, English landowner, politician, socialite, local benefactor and agriculturalist, son of John Etherington Welch Rolls
  • Charles Stewart Rolls (1877-1910), English motoring and aviation pioneer, co-founder of the Rolls-Royce car manufacturing firm in 1906, third son of the 1st Baron Llangattock
  • John Rolls (1735-1801), English High Sheriff of Monmouthshire, Justice of the Peace
  • John Rolls of The Hendre (1776-1837), English Justice of the Peace, and Lieutenant Colonel of the Loyal Southwark Volunteer Infantry
  • John Etherington Welch Rolls (1807-1870), Welsh High Sheriff of Monmouthshire, art collector, Deputy Lieutenant and Justice of the Peace
  • John Maclean Rolls (1870-1916), 2nd Baron Llangattock, British barrister and army Major
  • Thomas Rolls Warrington PC, QC (1851-1937), 1st Baron Warrington of Clyffe, British lawyer and judge

HMS Cornwall
  • George Percy William Rolls (d. 1942), British Stoker 1st Class aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [8]


  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)
  4. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/augusta-jessie
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The STEBONHEATH 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Stebonheath.htm
  8. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A


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