Rough History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Rough arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Rough comes from the Norman given name Rudolph.

Early Origins of the Rough family

The surname Rough was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from early times, soon after the Norman Conquest by Duke William of Normandy in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Rough family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rough research. Another 148 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1297, 1332, 1557, 1510 and 1521 are included under the topic Early Rough History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rough Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Roffe, Rolfe, Rolph, Roalph, Roff, Ruff, Rouf and others.

Early Notables of the Rough family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Rough (died 1557), Scottish Protestant martyr, is stated to have been born in 1510, but as he was incorporated in St. Leonard's College in the university of St. Andrews in 1521. He was a close friend of John Knox and was soon summoned before Winram, the vicar-general of St. Andrews. Rough managed...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rough Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Rough migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Rough or a variant listed above:

Rough Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jerick Rough, aged 43, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1740 [1]
  • John Jurich Rough, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1740 [1]
Rough Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Rough, (b. 1869), aged 23, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "City of New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 4th November 1892 en route to New York, USA [2]

Australia Rough migration to Australia +

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

Rough Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Rough, a carpenter, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Euphemia Rough, aged 23, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Bee"

New Zealand Rough 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:

Rough Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. David Rough, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Joseph Fletcher" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 31st August 1852 [3]
  • Mrs. Rough, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Joseph Fletcher" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 31st August 1852 [3]
  • Patrick Rough, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of the Avon" in 1859
  • D. Rough, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ulcoats" in 1864

Contemporary Notables of the name Rough (post 1700) +

  • Sir William Rough (d. 1838), English lawyer and poet, only son of William Rough, of the parish of St. James, Middlesex, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ceylon
  • William Campbell Rough, Scottish screenplay writer, stage and film director


  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. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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