Roscoe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Roscoe history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Roscoe history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Roscoe family originally lived in Cornwall. Their name, however, derives from the Old Norse roscowe, meaning roe-buck-wood, and indicates that the original bearer lived near a stand of such timber.

Early Origins of the Roscoe family

The surname Roscoe was first found in Cornwall where they were Lords of the manor of Roscrowe. [1] There is some disagreement about the earliest reference of the name as one reference claims the name actually come from Lancashire, where the earliest record is of Gilbert Roscoe, of Exton as recorded in the Wills at Chester in 1293. Continuing in the same register, we also found James Roscoe of Farnworth in 1594 and James Roscow of Leigh in 1594. Roscrowe is an estate in the parish of Gluvias in Cornwall which was held by the family in the 14th century and became extinct during the time of Henry I. [1]

"Roscrow, [in the parish of St. Gluvias] according to Hals, gave name to a family of gentlemen at a very early period, of whom it became and continued the seat, until the reign of Henry VI. when the family of Roscrow became extinct in the male line. According to Tonkin, Thomas Harry, who settled at this place, in the reign of Henry VIII. took the name of Roscrow, and in succeeding years his grandson sold the barton to Samuel Pendarves, Esq." [2]

Early History of the Roscoe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Roscoe research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Roscoe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Roscoe Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Roscoe, Roscrowe, Roscrow, Rosecrowe, Roscow and others.

Early Notables of the Roscoe family (pre 1700)

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

United States Roscoe migration to the United States +

In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Roscoe

Roscoe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William and Rebecca Roscoe who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1635 with their children, Samuel, William, Sarah, and Mary
Roscoe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Arthur Roscoe, aged 27, who immigrated to the United States from England, in 1892
  • Baxter W. Roscoe, aged 23, who settled in America, in 1894
  • J. H. Roscoe, aged 29, who settled in America from London, in 1894
Roscoe Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Charles R. Roscoe, aged 29, who immigrated to the United States from Warrington, England, in 1909
  • Elizabeth Roscoe, aged 51, who landed in America from Oldham, England, in 1910
  • Adam Roscoe, aged 19, who landed in America from England, in 1910
  • Ethel Mary Roscoe, aged 32, who immigrated to America from Shepton Mallet, England, in 1913
  • George Edward Roscoe, aged 3, who immigrated to the United States from Shepton Mallet, England, in 1913
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Roscoe (post 1700) +

  • Will Roscoe (b. 1964), American scholar, author and activist
  • Theodore Roscoe (1906-1992), American writer
  • Alan Roscoe (1886-1933), American film actor
  • William Caldwell Roscoe (1823-1859), English poet and essayist, born at Liverpool, son of William Stanley Roscoe and grandson of William Roscoe
  • William Roscoe (1753-1831), English historian, born at the Old Bowling Green House, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool; his father owned an extensive market-garden, and kept the Bowling Green tavern
  • Thomas Roscoe (1791-1871), English author and translator, fifth son of William Roscoe, born at Toxteth Park, Liverpool
  • Henry Roscoe (1800-1836), English legal writer, youngest son of William Roscoe, born at Allerton Hall, near Liverpool
  • Martin Roscoe (b. 1952), English classical pianist
  • Henry Enfield Roscoe (1833-1915), English chemist and university vice-chancellor
  • Andy Roscoe, English footballer
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print on Facebook
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