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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: French-Alt, French

From the historical and enchanting region of France emerged a multitude of noble families, including the distinguished Rousseau family. Originally, the French people were known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames were adopted in France is extremely interesting. Surnames evolved during the Middle Ages when people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Often they adopted names that were derived from nicknames. Nickname surnames were derived from an eke-name, or added name. They usually reflected the physical characteristics or attributes of the first person that used the name. The name Rousseau is a nickname type of surname for a person with red hair or a ruddy complexion. Tracing the origin of the name further, we found the name Rousseau was originally derived from the Old French word "rous," meaning "red."


The surname Rousseau was first found in Burgundy (French: Bourgogne), an administrative and historical region of east-central France, where the family held a family seat since ancient times.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Rousseau, Rouseau, Rosseau, Rouseault, Roussault, Rouseult, Rosault, Rosseault, Rousult, DeRousseau, Derousseau, de Rousseau, De Rousault, de Rousault, Derousult, DeRouseau, de Rouseau, De Rouseau, LeRousseau, le Rousseau, Lerousseau, Aurousseau and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rousseau research. Another 529 words (38 lines of text) covering the years 1728, 1662, 1671, 1871, 1630, 1693, 1671, 1741, 1644 and 1699 are included under the topic Early Rousseau History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rousseau Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rousseau Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Mr. Rousseau arrived in Carolina in 1679 with his wife and 6 children

Rousseau Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Theodore Rousseau, who landed in Virginia in 1700
  • Charles Joseph Rousseau, who arrived in New York in 1797

Rousseau Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Peter Rousseau arrived in Philidelphia in 1803
  • E. Rousseau aged 40 arrived in New York City in 1823
  • J. Rousseau aged 37 arrived in New Orleans in 1823
  • Pierre Rousseau aged 34 arrived in New Orleans in 1823
  • August Rousseau, aged 4, landed in New Orleans, La in 1850
  • ...

Rousseau Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century

  • Jacques Rousseau, who landed in Quebec in 1665

  • Lovell Harrison Rousseau (1818-1869), American Republican politician, Member of Indiana State House of Representatives, 1844-45
  • Hector J. Rousseau, American Democrat politician, Member of New Hampshire State House of Representatives from Manchester 13th Ward; Elected 1938
  • Guillaume Charles Rousseau, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815
  • Pierre Étienne Théodore Rousseau (1812-1867), French painter of the Barbizon school
  • Henri Julien Félix Rousseau (1844-1910), French Post-Impressionist painter
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), French philosopher, writer, and composer, his political philosophy influenced the French Revolution, best known for his Discourse on the Origin of Inequality and On the Social Contract
  • André Rousseau, Canadian manager at Bell Canada (1971-1995) and was elected mayor of St. Lin, Québec in 1995
  • Jeannine Rousseau (b. 1941), Canadian lawyer in Montreal and Quebec Supreme Court judge
  • Joseph-Hervé Rousseau, Canadian member of the House of Commons for Rimouski, Quebec (1950-1953)
  • Real Rousseau, Canadian industrialist and politician, born in Trois Pistoles, Quebec, who became the Mayor of Windmill Point in 1958

Rousseau Historic Events

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. Pierre Rousseau (d. 1912), aged 49, English Chef from London, England who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking

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    Other References

    1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    2. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
    3. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
    4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    5. Vaillancourt, Emile. La Conquete du Canada par les Normands. Biographie de la premiere generation Normande du Canada. Montreal: G. Ducharme, 1930. Print.
    6. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. Print.
    7. de la Porte, A. Tresor Heraldique. Paris: F. Casterman, 1864. Print.
    8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    9. Conrad, Glenn R. The First Families of Louisiana. Baton Rouge LA: Claitor's Publishing, 1970. Print.
    10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    11. ...

    The Rousseau Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Rousseau Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 26 November 2015 at 13:54.

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