Rolston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's generation of the Rolston family inherits a name that was first used by the Scottish tribe known as the Picts. The first family to use the name Rolston lived in the lands or barony of Ralston, which are near Paisley in the county of Renfrew (now part of the Strathclyde region).

Early Origins of the Rolston family

The surname Rolston was first found in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Friù), a historic county of Scotland, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland, at Ralston, (Gaelic: Baile Raghnaill) a small suburban settlement bordering onto the eastern edge of the town of Paisley. It is generally believed the place name Ralston takes its name from the ancient feudal estates of Ralphistoun (Ralph's town), named after the younger son of the Earl of Fife, and dates back to the early 12th century.

Later and further to the south, Rowlston was a hamlet in the parish of Mappleton, union of Skirlaugh, N. division of the wapentake of Holderness in the East Riding of Yorkshire. "This place, in Domesday Book called Roolfestone, belonged in the 15th century to a family of the local name, and, after passing through several other families." [1] This hamlet is now been formally amalgamated into the village and civil parish of Mappleton. Rowlstone is a parish and village in Herefordshire.

Early History of the Rolston family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rolston research. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1448, 1705, 1452, 1447, 1452 and are included under the topic Early Rolston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rolston Spelling Variations

Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. Rolston has appeared Ralston, Ralstoun, Rowlston, Rowlstone and others.

Early Notables of the Rolston family (pre 1700)

Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rolston Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rolston Ranking

In the United States, the name Rolston is the 13,939th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Rolston family to Ireland

Some of the Rolston family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Rolston migration to the United States +

Many Scottish families suffered enormous hardships and were compelled to leave their country of birth. They traveled to Ireland and Australia, but mostly to the colonies of North America, where many found the freedom and opportunity they sought. It was not without a fight, though, as many were forced to stand up and defend their freedom in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of these Scots abroad have rediscovered their heritage in the last century through the Clan societies and other organizations that have sprung up across North America. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Rolston:

Rolston Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Rolston, aged 27, who landed in New York, NY in 1803 [3]
  • Richard B Rolston, aged 22, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1840 [3]

Australia Rolston migration to Australia +

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

Rolston Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Rolston, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • William Rolston, aged 23, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"

Contemporary Notables of the name Rolston (post 1700) +

  • Ron Rolston (b. 1966), American NHL ice hockey coach, current head coach of the Buffalo Sabres
  • Mark Rolston (b. 1956), American actor
  • Matthew Russell Rolston (b. 1955), American photographer and music video director
  • Brian Lee Rolston (b. 1973), American professional NHL ice hockey player, silver Olympic medalist
  • Charles Fisk Rolston, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 1940 [5]
  • Peter Carson Rolston (1937-2006), Canadian United Church minister and politician who represented Dewdney in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia from 1972 to 1975
  • Thomas Rolston (1932-2010), Canadian violinist, member of the Philharmonia Orchestra (1951–1958), Associate Conductor of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (1960–1964)
  • Tilly Rolston (1887-1953), Canadian politician, second female cabinet minister in British Columbia, Minister of Education
  • Shauna Rolston (b. 1967), Canadian cellist, child prodigy

The Rolston Motto +

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: Fide et marte
Motto Translation: By fidelity and military service.

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^
  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. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from on Facebook