Roughan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The illustrious surname Roughan is classified as a habitation surname, which was originally derived from a place-name, and is one form of surname belonging to a broader group called hereditary surnames. Habitation names were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Topographic names, form the other broad category of surnames that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.

Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. Roughan is a place-name from in Rouen, the capital of Normandy. The surname was derived from the Viscountcy of Rohan, in Brittany, in France. As a local name, it could also have been derived from the local at the rowan which referred to a residence beside a rowan-tree. Habitation names were derived from the name of the town, village or hamlet where the person originally lived.

Early Origins of the Roughan family

The surname Roughan was first found in Durham 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 Roughan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Roughan research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1393, 1350, 1366, 1692, 1618 and 1639 are included under the topic Early Roughan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Roughan Spelling Variations

Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. 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. Therefore, 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 after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Roan, Rohan, Roohan, Rome, Rowan and others.

Early Notables of the Roughan family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Rougham (died 1393), the second master of Gonville Hall, Cambridge. He had been a fellow of the college since the 1350s...
Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Roughan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Roughan family to Ireland

Some of the Roughan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 112 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Roughan migration to the United States +

Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Roughan, or a variant listed above:

Roughan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Roughan, aged 22, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1849 [1]
  • Michael Roughan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1873 [1]

Australia Roughan migration to Australia +

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

Roughan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Roughan, (b. 1826), aged 25, Irish house maid who was convicted in County Clare, Ireland for 7 years for arson, transported aboard the "Blackfriar" on 24th January 1851, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Roughan (post 1700) +

  • Howard Roughan, American author, best known for his novels: The Up and Comer (2001); and The Promise of a Lie (2004)
  • Timothy Roughan, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Burlington, 1896 [3]


  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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blackfriar
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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