Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Rochester Name
Origin of Rochester:
The origin of this surname evolved originally from Anglo-Saxon and is a locational surname deriving from the town in Kent named as Rochester, or, in some examples, from a much smaller area in Northumberland with a similar name. The area in Kent is an old area, listed by the Venerable Bede in about the year 730 in both its actual British name and the pre Roman name of “Dorubrevi,” a combination of the components “duro,” which means castle, and “briva,” which mean bridge or overpass. In its Anglo-Saxon type as “Hrofaecasetre,” a combination of the Old English pre 7th Century word “hrof,” which means covering, and “caester,” which means Roman castle. The area is listed in the Domesday Book of the year 1086 as “Rovecestre.” Rochester in Northumberland was considered to have hailed from the region in Kent, or the first component probably the ancient English word “hroc,” which means cheat or deceive. The new versions of this surname from these origins can found in Rochester, Register, and Rossiter. The wedding of Thomas Rochester and Elizabethe Starkey listed in St. Michael’s, Cornhill, London, in May 1549.
More common variations of this surname are: Rowchester, Roechester, Roochester, Rochestery, Rhochester, Rocheester, Rechester, Richester, Rachester, Rochaster.
The surname Rochester was first organized in Kent where the name was first listed by Bede under the names of Dorubrevi and Hrofoecoestre. The first reference represents to the Briton name that was acquired from “duro” which means “castle” or “overpass” while the second origin obtained from the Ancient English word for “cover.” Today Rochester is a town in Kent which sometimes dates back to pre-43 AD, called Durobrivae by the Romans. Rochester palace stands on the grounds that has been protected since the Roman invasion. Rochester is also a small hamlet in Northumberland and Staffordshire. “This church, anciently named as Rocetter, or Roucestre, consists about 2370 acres.”
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Turoldus de Rouecestra, which was dated 1086, The Domesday Book, (Essex). It was during the time of King William I, who was known to be “The Conqueror,” 1066 – 1087. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Rochester settled in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Rochester who settled in the United States in the 17th century included John Rochester arrived in Virginia in 1638. Jon Rochester who settled in Virginia in 1638. Richard Rochester, who landed in Maryland in 1973. Elizabeth Rochester came to Maryland in 1677.
Some of the people with the name Rochester who settled in the United States in the 18th century included William Rochester, who arrived in Virginia in 1703.
Some of the individuals with the name Rochester who settled in the United States in the 19th century included W B Rochester, who settled in San Francisco, California in 1851.
Some of the people with the name Rochester who settled in New Zealand in the 19th century included John Rochester at the age of 26 landed in Wellington, aboard the ship “Hurunui” in 1877.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Rochester: United States 4,779; England 1,694; Brazil 270; Germany 168; Australia 511; Jamaica 1,124; Canada 261; South Africa 183; Philippines 258; Mexico 183.
Ajay Rochester (born 1969), was an Australian entertainer and writer. He was born in the year 1969.
Anna Rochester (1880-1966), was an American worker and socialist politician.
George Rochester (1908–2001), was an English analyst.
Nathaniel Rochester (1752–1831), was an American Revolutionary War fighter and land philosopher, builder of Rochester, New York.
Nathaniel Rochester (1919–2001) was a computer expert, developed the IBM 701.
Paul Rochester (born 1938), was an American football player. He was born in the year 1938.
Robert Rochester (about 1494 – 1557), English Roman liberal and worker of Queen Mary I.
Thomas H. Rochester (1797–1874), was the 6th son of Colonel Nathaniel Rochester and the 6th officer of Rochester.
William B. Rochester (1789–1838), was an American advocate and leader from New York.
Rochester Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Rochester blazon are the chequy, escallop, crescent and fesse. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, argent and gules .
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa . The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo..
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” . Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron , perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
Chequy (a word with a surprising number of different spellings!) is what is known as a treatment, a repeating pattern usually used to fill the whole background of the shield with a series of alternately coloured squares . These squares are usually quite small (there should be at least 20 in total), giving the appearance of a chess board, but any combination of colours may be used. It can also be used as a patterning on some of the larger ordinaries, such as the pale and fess, in which case there are three rows of squares. Wade, an authority on heraldic meaning groups chequy with all those heraldic features that are composed of squares and believes that they represent “Constancy”, but also quotes another author Morgan, who says that they can also be associated with “wisdom…verity, probity…and equity”, and offers in evidence the existence of the common English saying that an honest man is a ”Square Dealer” .
The escallopoccurs often in arms, represented as the outside of the shell, sometimes “fluted” of a different colour . It has been part of heraldic tradition almost from the beginning of the art, Henry III of England awarded Gules, 3 escallopes argent to Herbert de CHAMBERLEYNE in the 13th century, and it is present in the heraldry of almost all countries . It is believed that they were adopted as badges of those going to the Holy Land and can be found in the arms of many a crusading family. Hence Wade’s suggested association of the scallop with those that “complete long journeys to far countries” .
For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose xz`, and the crescent Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. Some common is this device that there are special names for its appearance in various orientations – whilst it lies normally with points upward, the decrescent points to the sinister side, and the increscent to the dexter . The allusion, obviously is to the shape of the moon in the sky (indeed, the French have a version “figuré” which includes a face!) and has been said to signify both “honour by the sovereign” and “hope of greater glory” .