Rose Surname Genealogy
Rose comes from the name of the flower (rosa
in Latin) and has English, Scottish, French and German roots. It could be a topographic name for someone who
lived in a place where wild roses grew; or it could be a nickname for
a “rosy” complexion. The Yiddish royz of similar meaning gives the Jewish Rose; or Rose
be an abbreviation of a Jewish ornamental name such as Rosenberg.
Rose Resources on
- Rose Family Association
US-based Rose family association.
- Clan Rose Society of America
Rose clan website.
- Kilravock Castle Kilravock
- Rose Family Society
Descendants of Thomas and Jane Rose in Australia.
- Rose DNA Project Rose DNA.
The Rose surname exists today in Germany and France, as well as in the
UK. The German numbers amount to some 20,000 and are mainly to be
found in the north of the country. There were a significant
number of Rose immigrants to America in the 19th century. French
numbers are smaller.
Rose is a Scottish clan to be found in Nairn in the northeast of
origins are uncertain. The first
sighting of the Rose name was about 1220 when Hugh Rose of Geddes was
witness to the foundation of Beauly Priory. His son Hugh acquired
lands of Kilravock through marriage. Castle Kilravock, built
around 1460 on the banks of the river Nairn, has been the clan home
since that time.
There have been twenty five chieftains of the Rose clan, of which
nineteen had the name Hugh. Their history was less warlike than
that of other Highland clans and the Roses, although entertaining
Bonnie Prince Charlie at their castle, supported the British Government
during the Jacobite uprisings. Hugh Rose’s 1848 book Family of Rose of Kilravock
recounted their history over the centuries.
One junior Rose line led to George Rose, an 18th century English
politician, and his grandson Hugh Rose, a British Field Marshal in
England. Roses in England are more numerous than in
Scotland, but less conspicuous as a surname. The
Rose name was mainly to be found in London and the southeast of England
and in East
Rose appeared in Buckinghamshire
village registers such as Waddesden, Haddenham, and Eythorpe in the
early 16th century.
Robert Rose, a yeoman, acquired Grenville’s manor
in Haddenham in 1569 and it stayed in the family for the next three
Another Rose family was prominent in Wycombe
in the 18th century, contributing a number of mayors to the
Rose did well as a lawyer in London and acquired the Rayners
estate in Buckinghamshire
in the 1850’s. James Rose was a barge owner in Southwark
who went bankrupt in 1788. But his son George prospered
as a barrister and law reporter in London.
Rose, possibly because of French influence, is a Channel Islands
name. John Rose, originally from Jersey, was mayor of Lyme Regis
in Dorset in 1611 and a descendant, Thomas, was sheriff of the county a
century or so later. Roses emigrated from Guernsey to Quebec in
A Rose in England today may be the descendant of Jewish
immigrants. Their numbers include Sir Stuart Rose, the
Chairman of the British retailer Marks & Spencer, and two brothers
Nikolas and Steven, one a prominent sociologist and the other a
Ireland. One Rose family
from Dorset, said to be Huguenot in origin, emigrated to Ireland in the
17th century and settled at Ahabeg in Limerick. Thomas Rose was
mayor of Limerick in 1695 and the family remained important in Limerick
life in the 18th and 19th centuries.
America. Robert Rose of
Wethersfield, Connecticut was an early arrival from England on the Francis in 1634. A later line
of these Roses settled in the 1770’s in Rensselaer county in upstate
New York. This is probably the largest Rose family, in terms of
the number of descendants, in America.
Robert Rose, an Anglican clergyman, came to Virginia from
Morayshire in Scotland around
1725, having obtained land grants from King George II on the Piney and
Tye rivers in Essex county. He
was, according to his journals which have been preserved and other
accounts, an energetic and very well-respected clergyman and
planter. Christina Rose’s 1985 book Ancestors and Descendants of the
Rev. Robert Rose covered his family’s story.
James Rose came to Chester county, Pennsylvania
from Scotland in the years prior to the Revolutionary War. His
son Dr. Robert Rose, who
settled in Silver Lake township, has been credited with the early
development of Susquehanna county in Pennsylvania. Another line
via Andrew Rose of Mercer county led to Mary Rose
who married David McKinley. Their grandson was President William
Henderson, North Carolina can boast two famous Rose names. The
first is Paul Howard Rose, the son of Thomas Bragg Rose of Seaboard,
who started the Rose’s Store chain in Henderson in 1915.
Charles Peete Rose was a tobacco farmer and general store owner in
Henderson in the 1940’s. His son Charlie Rose became a well-known
TV talkshow host.
There were also Roses in America that had come from Holland, Germany,
- the Dutch Roses were originally Roosa and had come to New
Amsterdam on the Bontekoe in
1660. They settled in Ulster county, New York, many of them
changing their name to Rose in the 1800’s.
- German Rose families arrived in the 18th century, primarily into
Pennsylvania. Friederich Roose, later Rose, came on the Osgood in 1750 and settled in York
county, Pennsylvania. William Roos, later Rose, was in Albany
county, New York by 1760. Descendants of William and his wife
Elizabeth spread to other New York counties and westward to Ohio.
- and Moses
was a Frenchman who had arrived in Louisiana in 1826 and got involved
in the war with Mexico. This led him to Texas and the Alamo in
If you are in New York and your name is Rose, the probability is that
you are Jewish. Rose was a convenient abbreviation of one
the many Rose ornamental names such as Rosenberg that were born by
Jewish immigrants. Notable among these Roses have been:
- Baldy Jack Rose, a shady underworld figure in the 1910’s who ran
the Rosebud gambling den in
New York and after whom, it is believed, the Jack Rose cocktail was
- Billy Rose, born in 1910 in New York, who was a prominent
songwriter, showman, and impresario of the 1930’s and
1940’s; and David Rose, who arrived in New York in the 1930’s and made
his name also as a songwriter and composer.
- Alex Rose, who was active in New York labor unions and helped
found the Liberal Party in the city in 1936. He led the party
until his death in 1976. His son Herbert served as legal counsel
to many of the Jewish organizations in the city.
- and, most formidably, the Rose real estate empire founded by
Samuel and David Rose in the Bronx in the 1920’s. Today their
company Rose Associates manages more than 31,000 apartments in New
Rose family is a major benefactor to the city.
Marshall Rose, in real estate but apparently unrelated, made the
headlines in 2000 when he married the actress Candice Bergen.
Ernestine Rose, born in Poland, had in fact arrived in New York with
her British-born husband as early as 1836. She was, with Susan B.
Anthony, one of the early proponents of women’s rights.
Canada. There were early
Rose settlers from France in Quebec. Nicholas Rose arrived there
from Paris in 1666. Another Nicholas Rose, from Guernsey in the
Channel Islands, came to Gaspe, Quebec in the 1840’s. John and Isabella
Rose reached Nova Scotia from Invergordon in the Scottish
Highlands in 1818. They settled in New Glasgow. John Rose
came from the Highlands to Quebec with his parents in 1836. He
prospered as a lawyer in Montreal and entered politics. He
figured prominently at the time of Canadian federation in 1867.
Rose and his family from Dorset were among the group that had sailed
in the Bellona and disembarked at
Port Jackson in January 1793. These were
first families of free settlers to arrive in the colony. Hence
the area where their land grants were
made became known as Liberty Plains.
industrious, Thomas Rose belonged to that humble band of men who, in a
rough and licentious age, helped to lay the foundations of an ordered
social life in a new country.”
Another Thomas Rose – this time from Shropshire and sentenced to
house-breaking – arrived in Sydney on the Barwell in 1798. He prospered
there, setting up a bakery in 1804 and later the Rose and Crown
Inn. At Mount Gilead where he lived from 1827 until 1837, he won
fame for his building of a giant windmill to ground flour.
of great drive, energy and an excellent business sense, Thomas Rose was
those enterprising men who arrived in the colony as convicts and went
on to win
wealth and respectability in the tough economic society of their new
land. He was remembered as a colorful
figure in the
early commercial and sporting life of Sydney.”
Colorful probably meant two marriages and relations with two other
women that produced children.
If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:
Hugh Rose acquired the barony of
Kilravock through marriage around 1280 and is the forebear of the Scots
Ernestine Rose was, with Susan B.
Anthony, one of the early proponents of women’s rights in America.
Billy Rose, born Billy
was an American showman and impresario of the 1930’s and
Pete Rose was an outstanding
baseball switch-hitter whose reputation was tarnished by his addiction
Sir Stuart Rose is the
Chairman of the British retailer Marks & Spencer.
Select Roses Today
- 48,000 in the UK (most numerous
- 57,000 in America (most numerous in California)
- 31,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)