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
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.

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
, 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.

The Rodgers
spelling has been found in Yorkshire. The
best known of these Rodgers was the Joseph Rodgers & Sons cutlery
in Sheffield, started by Maurice and Joseph Rodgers around the year

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

Ireland. 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
Muinntear Birn. There were also
Scottish McRorys/Rodgers Gallowglass mercenaries that had settled in

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 England. Thomas
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
  • John Rogers, who arrived in
    1635 and settled in Connecticut and was the founder of a radical
    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
    line headed west to Ohio in 1812 and the family was later to be found
    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.

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.

brought everything that he thought they would need in the new land,
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

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.
became a US Senator in Oklahoma
and his son Will Rogers a popular vaudeville entertainer.

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.
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

Rogers Miscellany

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

Rogers Names

Woodes Rogers was an 18th century
English privateer who became Governor of Bermuda.
Henry H. Rogers was considered
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.
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 has been 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)




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