Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Rollo Name
Listed in many forms including Rollo, the usual spelling, as well as Rao, Raol, Rau, and diminutives such as Rollett, Rollitt, Rowlett, and others, this is an Anglo-French surname. It is pre-medieval and derives from Rou, Roul and the usual Norman Rolf, ultimately from the Germanic “Hrodwulf”. It was a compound with the components “hrod”, meaning renown, and “wulf”, a wolf. The name especially popular among Nordic peoples in the contracted version “Hrolf”, and seems to have reached England by two separate channels. It was partly through the Vikings of the 7th century, and partly through its popularity amongst the Normans after 1066. “Rolf” (without a surname) noted in the Domesday Book of 1086, and in 1142, Robertus filius Rouli recorded in Early Northamptonshire Charters. Early examples of the surname in Scotland where it is Rollo, Rollow and Rollock, include John Rollo, cleric of the diocese of Moray in the year 1373, and John Rollow, burgess of Edinburgh (1381). A coat of arms related to the name has the blazon of a gold shield, charged with a chevron between three boars’ heads erased blue, all within a bordure engrailed of the second. More common variations are: Roll, Rollou, Rollio, Roallo, Ruollo, Roullo, Riollo, Reollo, Rolloy, Roello.
The surname Rollo was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland. Rollo ( c. 846-c. 932), baptised Robert, was a Viking who became the first ruler of Normandy, a region of France.
Some of the people with the surname Rollo who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Donald Rollo, who arrived in New York State in the year 1820.
Rollo Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Rollo blazon are the boar, chevron, border engrailed and stag. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and or.
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur . In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known . Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy .
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..
In the middle ages, the wild boar, a far more fearsome creature than its domesticated relative, the pig was a much more commonly seen animal than today. It was also known as a sanglier. It can appear in many of the same poses that we see for the lion, but has its own (easily imagined!) position known as enraged! We should not be surprised then that this “fierce combatant” is said to be associated with the warrior.
The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield , or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” , possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.
The border, (sometimes bordure) is a band running around the edge of the shield, following the edge contours and being differently coloured, possibly holding a series of small charges placed on top of it . To distinguish it from similar arms, heraldic artists developed a series of decorative edges (obviously these are applied only to the inner edge). A common form of this patterning, engrailed is a series of scalloped indentations with the points facing outwards – and should not be confused with invected, which has the points facing inwards! Wade believes that both of these indented forms represent “earth or land”, and one perhaps can indeed see the furrowed earth embodied in them.