Show ContentsRous History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Rous thought to be of Norman heritage. It is a name for a person who was a person with red hair which was in turn derived from the Old French nickname le rous, meaning redhead. Another equally valid derivation suggests that the name is a shortened form of the Norman given name Rufus. 1 2 3

Early Origins of the Rous family

The surname Rous was first found in Devon. The first on record was Radulphus le Rufus, a knight in the train of William the Conqueror who became one of the Justices Itinerant of the counties of Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall temp. Henry II. It is from this eminent person that the family of Edmerston and Halton, co. Devon descend. 4

"Rouse or Rowse is the name of an ancient Cornish family of Halton. Antony Rouse or Rowse, of Halton, was High Sheriff in the reign of Elizabeth. " 5

"The manor of Helston, which was always considered as belonging to the dutchy, was alienated during the usurpation of Cromwell, when it was sold to Anthony Rowse; but on the restoration of the Stuarts, it returned again into its original channel. This manor was sold in the year 1798, under the Land-tax redemption act, to John Rogers, Esq. of Penrose, who is the present proprietor." 6

Some of the family were also found at early time further north at Mearly in Lancashire. "The chief part of the township was granted by Jordan le Rous to Stephen, afterwards called de Merley, whose daughter married Adam de Nowell, and carried the Hall and manor into that family, 38th of Edward III." 7

And still farther north, Rousay and Eagleshay is a parish, in the North Isles of the county of Orkney, Scotland. 8

By the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the popularity of the name was evident. That rolls included: Alexander le Rous, Cambridgeshire; Juliana la Rouse, Oxfordshire; Alicia Rouze, Cambridgeshire; John le Rus, Lincolnshire; Gilbert Russ, Lincolnshire; and Lucia la Russe, Oxfordshire. 9

Once more into the archives we delved to find the Assize Rolls for Lancashire listing Wilekin Rous in 1225; John Russe in Wiltshire in 1218; Symon le Rus in the Feet of Fines for Huntingdonshire in 1253; and Margareta le Ruse in Staffordshire in 1285. 10

Early History of the Rous family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rous research. Another 290 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1411, 1491, 1574, 1579, 1600, 1605, 1608, 1618, 1626, 1645, 1650, 1652, 1653, 1654, 1656, 1659, 1660, 1670, 1676, 1677, 1680, 1730, 1731 and 1776 are included under the topic Early Rous History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rous Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Rous, Rouse, Rowse and others.

Early Notables of the Rous family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • John Rous or Ross (c. 1411-1491), the English antiquary of Warwick, born at Warwick about 1411, was son of Geoffrey Rous, a descendant of the Rowses or Rouses of Brinkelow, Warwickshire
  • John Russe or Rouse (1574-1652), Bodley's librarian, born in Northamptonshire, Fellow of Oriel College in 1600
  • Francis Rous (1579-1659), English hymnist, fourth son of Sir Anthony Rous of Halton St. Dominick, Cornwall
  • John Rous (c 1618-1680), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Warwick (1660)
  • Sir Roger Rouse of Gloucestershire
  • Sir John Rouse (died 1645), an English landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1626
  • Anthony Rous (1605-1677), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1653 and 1660

Rous Ranking

In France, the name Rous is the 5,912nd most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. 11

United States Rous migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Rous or a variant listed above were:

Rous Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Rous, who settled in New England in 1675
Rous Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Lawrence, Michael and Stephen Rous, who settled in Philadelphia in 1738
  • Laurentz Rous, aged 23, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1738 12
  • Steffen Rous, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738 12
  • Lucas Rous, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1760 12
  • Jean Baptiste Aman Rous, who landed in New York in 1798 12
Rous Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Luis Rous, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1816 12

Canada Rous migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rous Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Rous, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • William Rous, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1757
  • Bridget Rous, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1757
  • Elisabeth Rous, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1757
  • Francois Rous, who arrived in Quebec in 1766-1767

Australia Rous migration to Australia +

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

Rous Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Rous, (b. 1815), aged 18, English convict who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for 7 years for house breaking, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 13

New Zealand Rous 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:

Rous Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Rous, aged 26, a carpenter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864 14

West Indies Rous migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. 15
Rous Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Michael Rous, who settled in Barbados in 1670

Contemporary Notables of the name Rous (post 1700) +

  • Francis Peyton Rous (1879-1970), American pathologist
  • Sir Stanley Rous CBE (1895-1986), English sports administrator, 6th President of FIFA (1961-1974), Secretary of the Football Association (1934-1962)
  • Henry John Rous (1795-1877), British admiral and sportsman, second son of John Rous, first Earl of Stradbroke
  • John Rous (1750-1827), 1st Earl of Stradbroke, known as Lord Rous from 1796 to 1821, a British nobleman, race horse owner and Member of Parliament

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Arthur John Rous (d. 1912), aged 26, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking 16

The Rous Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Vescitur Christo
Motto Translation: He feeds on Christ.

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  4. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  5. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  7. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  8. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  9. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  10. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  12. 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)
  13. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from
  14. Archives New Zealand Micro 5019. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Alfred. Retrieved from
  16. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook