Soon after the Norman Conquest
in 1066, the name Rousay was recognized on the island as a name for a person with red hair
which was in turn derived from the Old French nickname le rous,
Another equally valid derivation suggests that the name is a shortened form of the Norman given name Rufus.
Early Origins of the Rousay family
The surname Rousay 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
and Cornwall temp.
Henry II. It is from this eminent person that the family of Edmerston and Halton, co. Devon
Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
However, some of the family were 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
And still farther north, Rousay and Eagleshay is a parish, in the North Isles of the county of Orkney, Scotland. CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Rousay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rousay research.Another 200 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1608, 1670, 1656, 1730, 1776, 1731, 1579, 1659, 1618, 1680, 1660, 1645, 1626, 1605, 1677, 1653, 1660, 1608, 1676, 1654, 1660 and 1650 are included under the topic Early Rousay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Rousay Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England
, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval 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. The name has been spelled Rous, Rouse, Rowse and others.
Early Notables of the Rousay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Francis Rous (1579-1659), English hymnist; 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... Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rousay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Rousay family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Rousay or a variant listed above: John Rous, who settled in New England
in 1675; Michael Rous settled in Barbados in 1670; Lawrence, Michael and Stephen Rous settled in Philadelphia in 1738.
The Rousay 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.