Select Rogers Surname Genealogy

Rogers is a patromymic (son of) surname in England, deriving from the given name Roger (from hrod meaning "renown" and gari "spear") that was popular among the Normans.  In Wales it was found with the "g" silent, as in Prosser from ap Roger.

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England.  Rogers has been very much a west country name.  The first instance was Henry Rogeres, recorded in the tax rolls for Worcestershire in 1327.

SW England.  A Norman FitzRoger family had settled there in the 14th century and they became Rogers a century or so later.  One branch was to be found from the 15th century at Bryanston in Dorset.  Thomas Rogers, a Sergeant-in-Law, built Rogers Manor in Bradford in Wiltshire around 1450.  The house remained in Rogers hands until 1623.  Remnants of the structure can still be seen today, although the building was largely demolished in the 1930’s.

Roger de Norbury had held property and influence in Ludlow and southern Shropshire in the 14th century.  His son assumed the surname Rogers and their home, called The Home, was with the Rev. Edward Rogers in the late 18th century.

The Rogers name also cropped up in Cornwall and Devon:
  • Rogers first appeared at Lanke in Cornwall in the early 1500’s.  A Rogers family became prominent at Helston in the 1700’s (where they were MP’s for several generations).  They acquired the Penrose estate nearby which remained with the family until its donation in 1974 to the National Trust. 
  • another Cornish line traces from James and Margaret Rogers who were living at Rosemorder Farm  in the village of Manaccan  around the year 1700.
  • then there was a Rogers merchant family at Plymouth from the late 1600’s who prospered and became the baronets of Wisdome in Devon.  They were descended from John Rogers, the first Protestant to be martyred in the bloody reign of Queen Mary.
Elsewhere.  The Rodgers spelling has been found in Yorkshire. The best known of these Rodgers was the Joseph Rodgers & Sons cutlery company in Sheffield, started by Maurice and Joseph Rodgers around the year 1730.

.  The Rodgers surname in Scotland was to be found originally in Perthshire as Rodgie or Rodger and in SW Scotland as MacRory.  Most Rodgers by the late 19th century were to be found in and around Glasgow.

  The Rogers and Rodgers names began to appear in Ireland in Cromwellian times.  They were anglicizations of the Gaelic Mac Ruaidhrí or McRory, an Ulster name in Derry and Tyrone meaning "red king."  The McRorys of Derry were erenaghs of Ballymascreen, those of Tyrone chiefs of Tellach Ainbhith and Muinntear Birn.  There were also Scottish McRorys/Rodgers Gallowglass mercenaries that had settled in Tyrone.

Today Rogers in Ireland divide approximately one third Rogers, one third Rodgers, and one third McRory.  Rogers is most found in Dublin, Rodgers and McRory in Northern Ireland.

America.  Thomas Rogers who came to Plymouth Rock and Giles Rogers who came to Virginia were probably related.

New EnglandThomas Rogers was a passenger on the Mayflower who died at Plymouth during the first winter.  But his line in America continued through his two sons Joseph and John.  It is thought that Henry H. Rogers of Standard Oil fame was a descendant.

Other early Rogers were:

  • the Rev. Nathaniel Rogers who came in 1636 and was the pastor at Ipswich, Massachusetts until his death in 1655.  He has a large number of descendants in America. 
  • John Rogers, who arrived in 1635 and settled in Connecticut and was the founder of a radical religious sect known as the Rogerenes. 
  • interestingly, a recorded line descended from Adam Rogers, a mulatto slave in New London freed by the family in the early 1700's.  Roswell Rogers of this line headed west to Ohio in 1812 and the family was later to be found in Illinois and Iowa.
James and Mary Rogers came to Massachusetts from Ireland in 1729.  Their son Robert developed the Rogers’ Rangers in New Hampshire during the French and Indian wars.  He initially gained fame and celebrity from his exploits but later, an alcoholic, died in obscurity in England.

Virginia.  Giles Rogers – probably the nephew of Thomas Rogers of the Mayflower - brought his wife and children to Virginia in 1680 on his own ship, the Bay. 

“Giles brought everything that he thought they would need in the new land, including farm animals, household furnishings, tools, and servants.” 

Giles’s descendants were close to the Clark family in King and Queen county, Virginia.  Ann Rogers married John Clark in 1750 and their son William Clark was the famed explorer of the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804. 

Charles Rogers was said to have been a stowaway from Ulster when he landed on the Virginia coastline around 1796.  He apparently was a wandering peddler before he met his wife Hannah.  They settled to farm in the Shenandoah valley.  In 1831 they moved to Clay county, West Virginia when it was still basically wilderness.  Clay county is surrounded by high mountains and a descendant Allen Rogers elected to make his home in a remote mountain-top farm.

Robert Rogers, Scots Irish, had come to Virginia in 1800 to trade with Indians.  He married Lucy Cordery, half Cherokee, and their descendants were part of the Cherokee tribe.  They were involved in the “Trail of Tears” in 1838 when the Cherokees were removed from Georgia.  Clem Rogers became a US Senator in Oklahoma and his son Will Rogers a popular vaudeville entertainer.

Canada.  Timothy Rogers, born to a poor family in Connecticut, migrated to Ontario in 1800 and was the founder of Quaker settlements that became the Newmarket and Pickering communities.  The line from Samuel Rogers of Pickering led to Albert S. Rogers, a Toronto businessman, and then to the radio pioneer Ted Rogers Sr. and to his son Ted Rogers Jr. who founded Rogers Communications.  The Rogers family are now among the richest in Canada.

South Africa.
  John Rogers apparently ran away from his home in Kent when he was about fourteen.  Working as a cabin boy, he made his way to South Africa around 1815 and eventually married and settled down in Grahamstown. However, Mormon missionaries came calling and the Rogers family departed for Utah in 1859

Select Rogers Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Rogers Names

Woodes Rogers was an 18th century English privateer who became Governor of Bermuda.
Henry H. Rogers was considered as the brains of Rocckeller's Standard Oil Trust company.
Will Rogers was a popular vaudeville artist and movie actor of the 1920's and 1930's.
Ginger Rogers, the dance partner to Fred Astaire, was born Virginia McMath.
Roy Rogers, born Leonard Franklin Slye, was the well-known cowboy actor and singer.
Carl Rogers from Chicago was one of the foremost psychologists of the 20th century.
Richard Rodgers was an American musical composer best known for his collaborations with Oscar Hammerstein.  He came from a German family which had changed its name from Abrahams.
Richard Rogers is a British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs.
Kenny Rogers is the popular American country music singer from Texas. 

Select Rogers Today

  • 75,000 in the UK (most numerous in Surrey)
  • 125,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 44,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)

Select Surname List

Adams Ellis Johnson O'Connor
Allen Evans Jones O'Sullivan Shaw
Anderson Fisher
Kelly Parker Simpson
Bailey Foster Kennedy Perry Smith
Baker Fox King Peterson Stevens
Barnes Fraser 
Lee Phillips Stewart
Bell Graham Lewis Powell Taylor
Bennett Gray Marshall Price Thomas
Brown Green Martin Reed
Griffiths Mason      
Reynolds Turner
Campbell Hall McDonald Richards
Carter Hamilton Miller  Richardson Walsh
Chapman Harris Mitchell Roberts Ward
Clark Harrison
Moore Robertson Watson
Collins Henderson Morgan Robinson White
Cook Hill Morris Rogers Williams
Cooper Howard Murphy Ross Wilson
Cox Hughes Murray Russell Wood
Davis Jackson Nelson Ryan Wright
Edwards James O'Brien 

For other surnames check the surnames2 page where there are to be found the history and genealogy for more than 800 surnames.

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