Rogers Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Rogers Meaning
Rogers is a patronymic (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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Select Rogers Ancestry

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

Rogers Manor in Bradford.  Rogers Manor in Bradford, Wiltshire was built by Thomas Rogers, Sergeant-at Law, around the year 1450 after his marriage to the
Cecily Besill.  The manor remained with
his descendants until the death of Anthony Rogers in 1583, the last
male of
this line.

But a Rogers name continued
at Bradford, this being Sir Francis Rogers who is believed to have been
descendant of Sergeant Thomas Rogers through his second wife.  The manor did eventually leave the Rogers
in 1659 when it was sold by Francis’s brother Henry for a reported

Rogers Manor passed through many hands since
that time.  In 1930 the manor was
advertised at £12,000 as the “greatest bargain ever offered.”  It received no takers.  Seven
years later the building was dismantled
piece by piece and auctioned off at very low prices.

From Protestant Martyr to Plymouth Merchant.  John
Rogers, translator of the Bible, was in 1554 the
first person burned at the stake for his Protestant beliefs during the
reign of Queen Mary.  One of his sons is
believed to have been the Rev. Vincent Rogers, Minister of
Stratford-le-Bow in
London in 1586.

there this family line can be seen more clearly.  His
son, the Rev. Nehemiah Rogers, moved to
Essex and was an Anglican minister at Messing.
John of the next generation, also brought up to be a clergyman,
to espouse extreme Puritan views and revolted his father so much that
he was
turned out of the house in 1642.  John
remained radical in religion and politics and, after the Restoration,
moved for
a time to Holland.

son John stayed
away from religion and moved to Plymouth in the west country as a
merchant.  He made a considerable fortune
pilchard curing, entered Parliament in 1698, and was created Baronet of
in Devon a year later. 

The Rev. Nathaniel Rogers.  John Rogers the Protestant martyr had many descendants but none of them, according to the most recent research, was the Rev. Nathaniel Rogers.

Nathaniel Rogers,
born in 1598, was the second son of the Rev. “Roaring John” Rogers of
Dedham in
Essex. In his youth he had been heavily
influenced by the Puritans in Essex.
This contact encouraged his departure with his family for
America in 1636.  He became pastor at
Ipswich, Massachusetts two years later. He took
the place of the Rev. Nathaniel Ward, a stepson of his great
uncle the Rev. Richard Rogers who was soon to come to New England

Nathaniel and his
wife Margaret raised five children, four sons and one daughter.  Their eldest son John, who had come to New
England as a child, graduated from Harvard in 1649 and served as
President of
Harvard College from 1682 to 1684.  A
later Nathaniel Rogers had the Old Manse built on Main Street in
Ipswich in
1727.  The house still stands there today.

Thomas Rogers of the Mayflower.  Thomas
Rogers was a Mayflower passenger who died
at Plymouth during the first winter.  A fellow passenger

Rogers and Joseph his son came.  His other children
came afterwards.  Thomas Rogers died in the first sickness, but
his son
Joseph is still living and is married and hath six children.”

suggest many descendants in America.  But
only two can be authenticated – Joseph and his brother John who were
granted land at Marshfield in 1640.

in Holland, the Leiden poll tax lists of
1622 showed that Thomas had left behind his wife Alice, his two
Elizabeth and Margaret, and a son John.
Thomas and Alice had married in the town of Watford in 1597.  Rogers’ family records in Watford go back to
the 1550’s.

Adam Rogers the Rogerene.  Adam
Rogers, born around 1670, was a freed mulatto
who married a white woman.  He had been
raised in Connecticut in the New London house of John Rogers, the
founder of a
radical sect modelled after the Quakers called the Rogerenes.

setting up his own rural household,
Adam was a squatter for what he himself described as “thirty years”
on some of New London’s common ground.
In 1744 the land was sold out from under him and he and his
family were
forcibly evicted from the property, their belongings being tossed over
fence and their dwelling place destroyed.   He was probably 70 to
75 years
old at the time.

after that is not known.  But his line
did continue in nearby East Haddam as some of his descendants were
buried there. 

Clem Rogers, Rancher and Cherokee Politician.  Clem’s
father Robert and his Cherokee wife Sallie lived
in a log cabin in the Going Snake district of the Cherokee Nation near
Arkansas border.  That was where Clem
Rogers was born in 1839.

father, “a
big, loud, dark-skinned mustached man from whom, it was said, Clem got
much of
his temper and bluntness,” died in a fight three years after Clem was
born.  Loss of his father, resentment
about his new step-father, and dislike of school saw him leave home
early for
the life of a cowboy.

Clem later began
his own cattle ranch in Texas, but it was destroyed during the Civil
War.  He started over again and prospered
with a
new ranch some seven miles away from his old homestead along the

later life he involved himself in Cherokee politics and was closely
involved in Oklahoma’s admittance to statehood.
Rogers county in Oklahoma was named in his honor.
He died there at his Chelsea home in 1911. By
this time his son Will had become a
popular vaudeville entertainer.

The Rogers Family Enroute to Utah.  John Rogers was living in Grahamstown, South Africa when, around 1854, he and his family and their
neighbors the Days were converted to the Mormon faith.
Soon they desired to sail to America and join
with the saints in Utah.

In May 1859, having gained possession of a small boat,
John (aged 59), his wife Jane (aged 42), and their son Daniel (aged 26)
departed for America.  When they got to
they bought oxen and a wagon for the journey across the plains.  They traveled with the Edward Stevenson
ox-team company.

Captain Stevenson called the emigrants together and told
not to separate themselves from the company for any reason.  But when they arrived in Wood River country
started seeing buffalo and it was difficult to resist the temptation to
the buffalo for meat.  The following

“Two men named Rogers, father
and son, got on a trail of a large buffalo and succeeded in killing and
skinning him.  They realized how far they
were from camp and it was agreed that the father should remain and take
care of
the dead buffalo while the son should go to camp for assistance to

Several men went with Daniel to retrieve the buffalo but
they didn’t find his
father John.  They organized a party of
men to search for him while the company waited, but weren’t able to

The company halted for the night and was just getting ready
for bed when
the old man came, footsore and weary, into camp.  He
apologized to the captain for disobeying
orders.  He had been gored by the buffalo
and had hidden from another buffalo that he thought would attack him.”

John Rogers walked with a limp for the rest of his


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 has been the popular
    American country music singer from Texas.

Select Rogers Numbers 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 Rogers and Like Surnames   

Patronymic surnames can be with either the “-son” or the shorter “s” suffix to the first name.  The “s” suffix is more common in southern England and in Wales.  Here are some of these surnames that you can check out.




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