Rossiter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ireland already had an established system of hereditary surnames when the Strongbownians arrived. Often the two traditions blended together quite well due to some of their basic similarities, but the incoming Anglo-Norman system brought in some forms that were uncommon amongst the Irish. One of these Anglo-Norman anomalies was the prevalence of local surnames, such as Rossiter. Local names were taken from the names of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born. Originally, the place names were prefixed by de, which means from in French. This type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname if the place name began with a vowel or was eliminated entirely. The local surnames of these Strongbownian invaders referred to places in Normandy, or more typically England, but eventually for those Anglo- Normans that remained in Ireland, the nicknames referred to places or geographical features of the island: they became true local names. The Rossiter family appears to have originally lived in Wroxeter in the English county of Shropshire, or in Rochester in the English county of Kent. The surname Rossiter belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The Gaelic form of the surname Rossiter is Rosaitear.

Early Origins of the Rossiter family

The surname Rossiter was first found in County Wexford (Irish: Loch Garman), founded by Vikings as Waesfjord, and located in Southeastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster, where they had been granted lands by Strongbow for their assistance in the Anglo/ Norman invasion of Ireland in 1172.

Early History of the Rossiter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rossiter research. Another 145 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1086, 1172, 1575, 1623, 1601, 1618, 1669 and 1645 are included under the topic Early Rossiter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rossiter Spelling Variations

A single person's name was often spelt simply as it sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. An investigation into the specific origins the name Rossiter has revealed that such a practice has resulted in many spelling variations over the years. A few of its variants include: Rossiter, Rossitor, Rosseter, Rossetor, Roucester, Rosceter, Roscetor, Rawceter, Rosay, Rawciter, Rowsitter, Rausiter, Rassitor, Rowseter, Russiter, Russeter and many more.

Early Notables of the Rossiter family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family up to this time was Philip Rosseter (1575-1623), lutenist and stage-manager. "In 1601 he published 'A Booke of Ayres, set foorth to the Lute, Orpherian, and Basse Violl,' containing twenty-one songs by Dr...
Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rossiter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Rossiter migration to the United States +

In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Rossiter:

Rossiter Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Brian, Edward, Hugh, James Rossiter all, who settled in Nantasket Massachusetts in 1630
  • Edward Rossiter, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1630 [1]
  • Mary Rossiter, who arrived in Maryland in 1673 [1]
Rossiter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Elizabeth Rossiter, who settled in New England with her husband in 1773
Rossiter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Rossiter, aged 24, who arrived in New York, NY in 1804 [1]
  • John Rossiter, aged 22, who landed in New York, NY in 1804 [1]
  • Lawrence and Mary Rossiter, who arrived in New York in 1853

Canada Rossiter migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rossiter Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ms. Mary Rossiter, aged 36 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Covenanter" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [2]

Australia Rossiter migration to Australia +

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

Rossiter Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Rossiter, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 27th April 1833, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • James Rossiter, aged 29, a shoemaker, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Stag" [4]
  • Samuel Rossiter, aged 22, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Standard" [5]
  • Prudence Rossiter, aged 28, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Standard" [5]
  • Mr. Walter Rossiter, (b. 1826), aged 28, Cornish carpenter, from Truro, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Lady Ann" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 29th September 1854 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Rossiter 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:

Rossiter Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Rossiter, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th December 1851 [7]
  • Miss Mary Rossiter, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th December 1851 [7]
  • Miss Susan Rossiter, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th December 1851 [7]
  • Miss Maria Rossiter, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th December 1851 [7]
  • Mr. James Rossiter, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th December 1851 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Rossiter (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Prichard Rossiter (1817-1871), American portrait and historical painter
  • Margaret W. Rossiter, American historian of science at Cornell University
  • James Patrick Rossiter (1890-1943), American politician, 36th Mayor of Erie, Pennsylvania (1932-1936)
  • Clinton Rossiter (1917-1970), American historian and political scientist who taught at Cornell University, awarded the Bancroft Prize and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award
  • James Patrick Rossiter (1890-1943), American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1924; Candidate for Superior Court Judge in Pennsylvania, 1928; Mayor of Erie, Pennsylvania, 1932-36 [8]
  • Henry M. Rossiter, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Guilford; Elected 1906 [8]
  • George M. Rossiter, American politician, Mayor of Keene, New Hampshire, 1976-77 [8]
  • Francis H. Rossiter, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Guilford; Elected 1930 [8]
  • Eleanor Rossiter, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Connecticut, 1956 [8]
  • Caleb Rossiter, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 31st District, 1998 [8]
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Charles Rossiter, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [9]
RMS Lusitania


  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. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 54)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STAG 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Stag.htm
  5. ^ South Australian Register Monday 18th December 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Standard 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/standard1854.shtml
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1850_59.pdf
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, March 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  10. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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