Root History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Root family's name is derived from the ancient Norman culture that was established in Britain following the Norman Conquest of island in 1066. Their name originated with an early member who was a happy or cheerful person. The surname Root was originally derived from the Old English word rot, which meant glad or pleased.

Early Origins of the Root family

The surname Root was first found in Kent where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Root family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Root research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the year 1086 is included under the topic Early Root History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Root Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Root include Root, Rouet, Rout, Roots, Roote, Rootes and others.

Early Notables of the Root family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Root Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Root migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Roots to arrive on North American shores:

Root Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Josia Root, who settled in Salem in 1630
  • Thomas, Richard, Mary, and Ralph Root, who all, who arrived in Boston in 1635
  • Joshua Root, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1637 [1]
  • Richard Root, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1637 [1]
  • Thomas Root, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1637 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Root Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hans Dirk Root, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1728 [1]
  • Margrita Root, aged 30, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 [1]
  • Daniel Root, aged 30, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733 [1]
Root Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Elizabeth Root, aged 7, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847 [1]
  • Frederick Root, aged 11, who landed in New York, NY in 1847 [1]
  • Gustave Root, aged 31, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847 [1]
  • Anna Root, aged 30, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847 [1]
  • Anton Root, aged 16, who landed in New York, NY in 1847 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Root migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Root Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Titus Root, who arrived in Canada in 1836
  • Henry Hawkins Root, who arrived in Canada in 1840
  • Nehemiah Root, who arrived in Canada in 1840

Australia Root migration to Australia +

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

Root Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Root, English convict from Norfolk, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on February 22, 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [2]
  • Charles Root, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Platina" in 1839 [3]

New Zealand Root migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Root Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Root, aged 22, a blacksmith, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • Mary Ann Root, aged 28, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • Sarah Root, aged 16, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • William Root, aged 17, a blacksmith, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841

Contemporary Notables of the name Root (post 1700) +

  • William Walter Root (b. 1837), American politician, Prohibition Candidate for U.S. Representative from Michigan 6th District, 1884
  • William H. Root, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Massachusetts, 1920 [4]
  • William Albert Root (b. 1850), American Republican politician, Member of Vermont State House of Representatives, 1917; Member of Vermont State Senate from Bennington County, 1919, 1923; [4]
  • William A. Root, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1944, 1952, 1956 [4]
  • William Root, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Oneida and Oswego counties, 1820-21
  • Wayne Allyn Root (b. 1961), American Libertarian politician, sports reporter, radio and television host and anchorman, Candidate for Vice President of the United States, 2008
  • Warren L. Root, American Republican politician, Member of Wisconsin State Assembly from Outagamie County 1st District; Elected 1902 [4]
  • W. E. Root, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 44th District, 1941-44
  • Shirley C. Root, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1972 [4]
  • Samuel Root, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Essex County, 1868-69
  • ... (Another 81 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)
  • Hanne Maria Root (1962-1988), Canadian Management Consultant from Toronto, Canada, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died [5]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Melvin Lenord Root, American Seaman First Class from Ohio, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [6]


Suggested Readings for the name Root +

  • 1535 Pioneers of Vernon, Oneida County, New York, and the Root Family by Ferne Kitson Patterson, The Root Family of Bolivar, New York by William A. Paquette.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1834 with 230 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1834
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PLATINA 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Platina.htm
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, September 15) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  5. ^ Pan Am Flight 103's victims: A list of those killed 25 years ago | syracuse.com. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/pan_am_flight_103s_victims_a_list_of_those_killed_25_years_ago.html
  6. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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