Surname Name Meaning, Origin, and Etymology
This is a baptismal surname meaning “the son of Roger”, an ancient masculine given name.. The personal (first) name Roger means “famous spear” and derives from the Germanic/Celtic words hrod (fame or renown) and ger (spear or lance). The name made its way into England through the Norman Invasion of 1066 AD. The Domesday Book of 1086 AD lists one Rogerus in county Norfolk. It was popularized by Roger I (1031-1101 AD) who conquered the island of Sicily in the eleventh century and was also known as Roger Bosso, Jarl Rogeirr, and The Great Count. The Old French version of the name was Rogier. Another name with a similar etymology was the Old English or Old Norse name Hroogar (a Danish King mention in Beowulf). Although the name has Norman-French roots, it is more common in England and Scotland. The last name was once chiefly a knightly name, but as the years went on, it became more common with the lower classes.
In his book Patronymica Britanica, Mark Antony Lower writes, “The family of Rogers of Home, in Shropshire, are a cadet of the Norburys of Norbury in that county. In 7. Edward II., Roger de Norbury, son of Philip, and grandson of Roger de Norbury, had a grant of the estate of Home. His son took the name of Rogers, and his posterity under that appellation have ever since resided at Home. B.L.G. The family of Rogers, of Wisdome, co. Devon, baronets, claim to be descended from John Rogers, prebendary of St. Paul's, the first victim of the Marian persecution”.
Common spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Rodgers (the Scotch form of the name), Roger, Rodger, Rogger, Rogeres, and Rogerson. One author also assets the name gives birth to several other names such as Hodge (Hodgkins, Hodgson) and Dodge. Rogers is also an anglicized form of the Gaelic surname Mac Ruaidhri (the son of Ruaidhri). Foreign equivalents with different spellings include Rogier (French) and Roedeger (Danish).
Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Rogers (1731-1795), British Army, served in French & Indian War and American Revolution
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name ranks Rogers ranks 61st in popularity in terms in the United Status as of the 2000 Census, and. The name ranks particularly high in the following thirteen states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Oregon, Kansas, Vermont, and Alaska. It should be noted that the three common spelling variations of the surname also rank in the United States Census: Rodgers (394th),Roger (6,696th), and Rodger (15,222nd). In England, the last name is also very common: it ranks 85thth in popularity. It ranks highest in the five following counties: Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Cornwall, Shropshire, and Herefordshire. The name is common throughout the English speaking world: Scotland (342nd), Wales (35th), Ireland (301st), Canada (166th), New Zealand (106th), Australia (81st), and South Africa (597th). The name is also common in France, where it ranks 61st in popularity.
The 1890 book Homes of Family Names by H.B. Guppy states “Rare or absent in England north of a line drawn from the Humber to the Mersey. Scattered over the rest of England and also Wales, but generally infrequent in the eastern counties, being by far the most numerous in the western half of its area. It is most common in Herefordshire and Shropshire, and also in Cornwall. The counties next distinguished are Bucks and Sussex. Its only representatives in the north of England are the Rogersons of Lancashire. Lower says that there is an ancient family of Rogers in Shropshire dating back to the time of Edward II”.
Early Bearers of the Surname
The first known person with this last name was Richard Roger who was documented in the Archaeological Records of Kent in 1263 AD. The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum, documents two people bearing this surname: Adam filius Rogeri in county Lincolnshire and Robert filius Rogeri in county Norfolk. The Poll Tax of Yorkshire in 1379 AD lists two people bearing this surname: Willelmus Rogerson and Rogerus Smyth. A one Waltero Rogero was recorded in county Somerset in Kirby’s Quest during the reign of King Edward III of England (1327-1377). Eufemia filius Rogeri was recorded in the Placita de Quo Warranto as living in county Suffolk during the reign of King Edward I (1272-1307). Early marriages involving this surname include Elizabeth Rogerson to John Cooper at St. George’s Hanover in London in 1788 and James Rodgers to Mary Spencer in 1808 at the same location.
James Slocum Rogers was born in 1871 and was the only son of Talbot Mercer Rogers of Phildelphia. He was educated Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania and became an attorney. In 1904, he married Agnes Gertrude, daughter of J. George Klemm. He lived in Haverford and bore the following coat of arms or Rogers family crest: Quarterly, 1) ar. on a chevron vert, between three stags courant sable, five ermine spots or, a crescent sable for diff. (Rogers); 2) ar. on a fesse gu. between three griffins' heads couped sable., as many sinister wings or (Slocum); 3) az. on a bend ar., between two swans of the second collared and chained or, a crescent between two mullets sable (Pitkin); 4) per fesse azure and or, a pale countercharged, three plates two and one, each charged with two bars wavy vert, and as many lions' heads erased, one and two, gu. (White). He was descended from Robert Rogers of Wales who came to Pennsylvania in the 1600s AD. He was 10th in descent from William Pitkin, Attorney General of Connecticut. He had a daughter named Eleanor Eastwick Rogers.
James Rogers, who was born in England in 1615 and came to Connecticut in 1635 aboard the Increase had a coat of arms with the following blazon: Argent, a chevron between three bucks trippant sable.
History, Genealogy, and Ancestry
The famous genealogist Bernard Burke’s book “The Landed Gentry” discusses eight branches of this family: Rodger of Hadlow Castle, Rogers of Dowdeswell, Rogers of the Home and Stanage Park, Rogers of Penrose, Rogers of Rainscombe, Rogers of River Hill, Rogers of Yarlington, and Rogerson of Gilesbie. Extensive lineage and pedigree is provided for each branch, a portion of which is sample below.
Hadlow Castle, Kent
The first branch mentioned is Rodger of Hadlow Castle (near Tunbridge). It begins with a mention of Robert Rodger, Esq. of Hadlow Castle, Kent, Lord of the Manors of Hadlow and Peckhams. He was a Justice of the Peace for Kent and Lanark, and also High Sheriff of Kent in 1865. He was born in 1815 and married Sophia, daughter of John Piekrsgill of Netherne House, in 1844. They had four issue together: William Wallace (1847), Robert (1849), John Pickershill (1851), Sophia Cunliffe (1849). They bore the following Rodger family crest: Sable, a stag’s head erased argent armed with ten tynes or, in the mouth a mullet of the last all within a bordure of the third charged with three escallops.
The second branch is Rogers of Dowsdeswell. It begins with a mention of Richard Rogers (Coxwell-Rogers) Esq. of Ablington Manor, and Dowdeswell county Gloucester. He was a Justice of the Peace, D.L., High Sheriff, and was born in 1803. In 1848, he married Elinor, daughter of Godfrey High Massy Baker of Logie and had five children with her: Richard Massy Gordon (1850), Charles Edward, Godfrey Hugh Wheeler, Ellen Eliza Anne, and Grace Florence. Burke states this family descend from an ancient and knightly House of the same name that was from Bryanstone, county Dorset, and settled in Gloucestershire in the 1400s AD, and owned large estates. Richard Rogers, Esq. of Dowdeswell married Mary, daughter of William Brown, and had four issue with her: William, John, Elizabeth, and Eleanor.
The third branch is Rogers of the Home and Stanage Park. It begins with Charles Coltman Rogers in county Radnor and the Home, county Salop, who was born in 1854 and was a Justice of the Peace for county Radnor. Burke traces his lineage back to Robert de Norbury of Lydbury North in county Salop. His great grandson, Roger de Norbury, married Margery, daughter of Thomas Schire de la Home, and came to possess the estates of Home in 1314 AD. They had a son named John Rogers de la Home, who assumed the surname Rogers from his father’s Christian (given) name. In 1363, he obtained estates in Home from Philip le Mercer. The family crest or coat of arms for this Rogers branch was Argent, on a chevron vert between three bucks courant sable give ermine spots, gold.
Stanage Park House
credit: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales
The fourth branch is Rogers of Penrose. It begins with a discussion of John Jope Rogers, Esq. of Treassowe Penrose in Cornwall. He was a Justice of the Peace, D.L., and Member of Parliament for Helston from 1859-1865. He was born in 1816 and in 1844, he married Maria, daughter of William Hichens of the Grove, and had many children with her: John Reverell (1856, Royal Artillery), Reverend Charles Furdson (1848), Reginald William Scott (1851, Royal Navy), Andrew Trevarthian (1853), Robert Henry (1855), Philip Powys (1857), Frederick Evelyn (1860), Francis Basset (1862), Walter (1864), Margaret Hichens (married Henry Dyke Acland), Mary Ellen Oldfield (married John Cole), Maria Maude, and Catherine Elizabeth. Burke traces the lineage of this branch back to documents at Penrose that state it derives from a very ancient family in Dorsetshire, that settled in Cornwall in the 1600s. John Rogers of Truthwall, near Godolophin, born in 1625 and had a son named John Rogers who was born in 1636. This John was Vice-Admiral for South Cornwall and a Captain of the militia. The Rogers family crest was Argent, a chevron between three stags trippant sable.
Francis James Newman Rogers of Rainscombe (1791-1851)
The fifth branch discussed is Rogers of Rainscombe. It begins with a mention of Reverend Edward Henry Rogers of Rainscombe in county Wiltshire, who was born in 1827 and was appointed Vicar of Thames Ditton in 1860. This family was seated in Brianstone, Dorset until the late 1600s. One of the early members was Thomas Rogers, Esq., Serjeant-at-Law who settled in Bradford during the reign of King Edward IV of England. He married the daughter of William Besyll and had a son with her named William. He later married a daughter of Courtenay of Powderham and widow of Sir Thomas Pomeroy and had a son with her named George. The son from the first marriage, William Rogers, married Jane, daughter of John Horton and had two sons with her: Anthony (married Dorothy Ernle) and Henry.
The sixth branch mentioned is Rogers of Yarlington (near Wincanton). It begins with a mention of Thomas Englesby, Esquire of Yarlington Somerset. He was born in 1817 and was Justice of the Peace, Barrister-at-Law, Recorder of Wells, and Deputy Chairman of Somerset Quarter Sessions. In 1853, he married Elizabeth Hannah, daughter and heir of John Stanger, and had two daughters with her: Eliza Stanger and Helen Woodd. Burke traces the lineage back to a family of Bristol in the 1500s AD that became prominent merchants of that place. Richard Rogers of the parish of St. Thomas, is the first member mentioned in the grant of arms. He died in 1587 and left issue: Richard (Sheriff of Bristol), Robert (born 1552, married Eleanor Cooper), Nicholas, and Rachel. The family bore a coat of arms blazoned as follows: Argent, three stags trippant sable attired or, a chief azure. =
Riverhill House, Kent
The seventh branch was seated at River Hill, Sevenoaks. It begins with a mention of John Thornton Rogers of River Hill, county Kent, who was a Justice of the Peace and Captain in the 33rd regiment. He was born in 1834 and married Margaret, daughter of John Bagwell, in 1862. They had five issue together: John Middleton (1864), Arthur (1871), Frances Elizabeth, Margaret, and Lilla Agnes. His father was John Rogers (who died in 1867) and Harriet Thornton.
The eighth branch is Rogerson of Gillesbie, which begins with a mention of James Alexander Rogerson, Esq. of Gillesbie in county Dumfries. He was born in 1840 and in 1862 he married Christian, daughter of Duncan Stewart, and had children with her.
John Fitz-Roger was born in Bryanstone in Kent, England. He married Elizabeth Furneaux and had a son with her named John. This John was born in 1386 in Dorset and became Sir John, who married Agnes Mordaunt and had two issue with her: Thomas St. and John. His son John was born in 1425 in Bryantno and married Anne Echingham Tuchet in 1447. They had a son named Henry who was born in 1448. Henry married Amy Stourton and had five children with her: John, Margaret (Lovell), Thomas, James, and Richard. His son John was born in 1470 and became Sir John.
John-Fitz Roger was the son of Sir Aaron John Henry Fitz Roger III who was born in 1280 AD in Lazio Italy. He in turn was on of Aaron John Fitz-Roger II who was born in 1265 AD in Rome. He in turn was son of Aaron I (and Tancreed deHauteville) who was born in 1235 AD in Rome. Aaron I was in then the son of Roger de Hauterville who was born in 1223 AD in Rome. Roger in turn was the son of Tacred de Hauterville (known as le Batard) born in 1194 AD. He in turn was the son of Roger Hauterville III, Duke of Apulia, who was born in 1175 AD. He in turn was son of Tancred, King of Sicily, who was born in 1138 AD and was known as Count of Leece. He was born in 1138 AD to a father whose name is not known.
James S. Rogers was born in 1779 in Greenwich, Washington, NY. He married Experience Foster and had numerous issue with her prior to his 1866 death: Archibald, Polly, Allen, Harvey J., Jane, Eliza Ann, Mercy, Martin, Betsey, and Mary. His son Allen was born in 1808 in the same city. Allen married Lavenda Teftt and had issue with her: Leroy, Hassan, Edwin H., Ann H., and James O. His son Hassan was born in 1842 in New York and married Fanne E. Herring. Prior to his 1918 death in Kalamazoo Michigan, he had three children: Mable A., Emma J., and Earle H.
Early American and New World Settlers
Early colonial settlers include: 1) Thomas Rogers came to America in the Mayflower in 1620 and was one of the settlers of New Plymouth. He passed away in the “first sickness”. Joseph, his son, was living in 1650 and married and had six children. Mr. Rogers' other children came afterwards, and had families, 2) Henry Rogers came to Virginia aboard the Bonaventure in January of 1634, 3) Joseph Rogers came to the Barbados from London in April of 1635 aboard the Faulcon, 4) Mathew Rogers came to St. Christopher, Barbados aboard the Ann & Elizabeth in 1635, 5) William Rogers came to Virginia aboard the Phillip in June of 1635, 6) Ellener Rogers came to Virginia aboard the Transport in July of 1635, 7) Richard Rogers came to Virginia aboard the Assurance in July of 1635, 8) Nathaniel Rogers came to Virginia aboard the Globe from London in August of 1635, 9) Thomas Rogers came to Virginia aboard the George in 1635, 10) Joseph and Thomas Rogers and came to Virginia aboard the George in August of 1635, 11) Mary Rogers came aboard the David to Virginia in 1635, 12) Georg Rogers (who came in the Bova Nova at age 23), 13) Bryan Rogers who came in the Elzabeth in 1621, 14) Edward Rogers who came in the Ann in 1623 at age 26, 15) John Rogers who was a prisoner transported from Taunton (part of Monmouth’s Rebellion in 1685?), 16) John Rodgers of Mackington was a prisoner sent to the Barbados, 17) David and Michael Rogers was buried in the parish of St. Michael’s Barbados in 1678, 18) Anne Rogers (daughter of John and Katharine) who was baptized in 1679 in Christ Church Barbados, and 19) George Rodgers who recorded as living in Virginia in 1623 (at the Plantacon at James Cittie?).Later settlers who came later in the seventeenth and early in the eighteenth centuries include: James Rogers (Connecticut 1635), Zachariah and John Rogers (Boston 1712), Samuel Rogers Boston 1716), Demetrius Rogers (Philadelphia 1746), Jacob Rogers (New York 1751), and James Rogers (Nova Scotia 1749).
The Rogers family has various mottoes including: 1) Nos nostraque Deo (We and ours for God), 2) Nil conscire sibi (To have a conscience free from guilt), 3) Celeriter et jucunde (Quickly and pleasantly), 4) **Vigila et ora (Watch and pray), 5) Absque virtute nihil (Nothing without virtue), 6) Omnia vincit amor (Love conquers all), 7) Le roy et l’eglise (The king and the church), 8) Lux mea Christus (Christ is my light), and 9) *Justum perfictio, nihil timeto (Act justly, and fear nothing).
*Rogers of Yarlington Lodge.
**Matthew XXVI 41, also Mark XII 33, Take ye heed, watch and pray, for ye know not when the time is
We have 36 coats of arms for the Rodgers surname depicted here. These 36 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it. Some people who bore coats of arms or family crests for Rogers or Rodgers were: 1) Samuel, of St. George's, Hanover Square, London, and co. Cornw. Mylor [quarterings ?], , 2) Samuel, son of John, of co. Cornw. Mylor quarterings for Teesaker and Ellwood. 7 Dec. 1774, 3) of Shifnal and Stirchley, Shropsh., , 4) Rogers-Harrison, Valentine, of London, called (Valentine Lott), Q.M., 11th Foot, nephew to George 5) Harrison, Clarenceux King of Arms, . 5) Rogers, now Rogers-Harrison, of London, and Hendon, co. Middx., 6) Rogers, Francis, (son of John), of Yarlington Lodge, co. Somerset, and Bedford Court, co. Wore, 8 June, 1830 , 7) Alexander, of Brompton Park, co. Middx. [and Calcutta, East Indies (Burke)], 8) Sheriff elect,  Rogers after Coxwell, Richard Rogers 9) Coxwell-Rogers (Rev. William Rogers Coxwell in Burke), of co. Glouc, 25 April 1850, 10) of Liverpool, co. Lauc., , 11) Rogers-Tillstone, of Moulsecoibe Place, Patcham, and Worthing, co. Sussex, , 12) Rogers, Baron Blachfoud [4 Nov. 1871], of co. Devon, , 13) G. E., Bart., Capt., 1st Dragoon Guards, 1881, 14) Thomas William Rodgers, of Lincoln's Inn, London, and Endcliffe Vale, Sheffield, co. York, and to the 15) descendants of his late father, 27 Feb. 1871, 16) Rodger-Cunliffe, W. W., of Hadlow Castle, co. Kent, 1888
Famous people with this last name include: 1) Aaron Charles Rodgers (1983) who is a quarterback that plays for the Green Bay Packers in the National Football League, 2) Fred McFeel Rogers (1928-2003) who was an American TV personality known for starring in the famous children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, 3) Gretchen Woodman Rogers (1881-1967) who was an American painter of the Boston School from Massachusetts, 4) Harold Dallas Rogers (1937) who is a U.S. Representative from Kentucky that has served from 1981, 5) Isaiah Rogers (1800-1869) who was an American architect who practiced in the Northeast and South, 6) Felix Michael Rogers (1921-2014) who was a general in the United States Air Force and commander of the Air Force Logistics Command at Wright-Patterson in Ohio, and 7) Stanley Allison Rogers (1949-1983) who was a Canadian folk musician. There are also fictional characters bearing this surname, most notably Shaggy Rogers from the cartoon Scooby-Doo.
Alderman John Rogers, Mayor of Hull in 1673
credit: Hull Guildhall
John Rankin Rogers (1838-1901), 3rd Governor of Washington
John Rodgers (1812-1882), Naval Commander in American Civil War
John Rogers (c. 1505-1555), English clergyman, Bible editor & martyr
Sir Frederic Rogers, 1st Baron Blachford, 8th Baronet of Wisdome(1811-1889)
Commodore John Rodgers (1772-1838), senior naval officer of the US for nearly four decades
Richard Rogers (1551-1618), Church of England clergyman
Timothy Rogers (1658-1728), Presbyterian minister
credit: National Portrait Gallery, London
John Rogers (1630-1684), President of Harvard University from 1682-1684
Abigail Rogers Blomfield (1753-1791), wife of Daniel Dennison Rogers
credit: Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum
Reverend Daniel Dennison Rogers (1751-1825)
Captain William Rogers (b. 1783)