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Rogers Family History
This surname has two roots. The first involves Anglo-Saxon or Germanic origins and relates to a man who was a skilled soldier or spear bearer (the original name was composed of the elements 'hrod', meaning renown, and 'gari', meaning spear). The earliest reference to the Anglo-Saxon form of the name,'Hrothgar', appears in Beowulf, the epic poem of the Dark Ages.
It later developed as an Old French personal name, and as such it was a patronymic form. It therefore became particularly popular in England after the Norman invasion of 1066. After this event, it was first recorded as 'Rogerus' in the Domesday Book of 1086, whilst the surname itself is first recorded in the mid 13th century. The majority of surnames in the UK derive from this Norman-French origin.
The Latin versions Rogerus and Rogeri later evolved into Rogers. As for distribution of the surname, according to Henry Graham Gupp (see sources below), it was "rare or absent in England north of a line drawn from the Humber to the Mersey [and it was] Scattered over the rest of England and also Wales, but generally infrequent in the eastern counties, being by far the most numerous in the western half of its area. It is most common in Herefordshire and Shropshire, and also in Cornwall."
In Wales, historically it was mostly seen in counties and parishes that border England, including Flintshire, Montgomeryshire in particular, as well as in Monmouthshire.
It also appears in Scotland, where the variant Rodgers is also seen quite frequently. According to George F Black (see sources below), "Rodgers is the more common form with Scots. Rogers, in some parts of central Scotland, is pronounced Rodgie, and some Gaelic-speaking people in Perthshire pronounce it Rougie and sometimes Royger".
Henry Graham Guppy, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain (1890)
George F Black, The Surnames of Scotland and Their Origins (1946)
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