ANCIENT UNDIFFERENCED ARMS
in the name of
All surnames come from one of four sources. They are as follows:
Relationship: names indicating a relationship to another, usually father, names such as Robertson (Robert's son). In other languages these become MacRobert (Gaelic), FitzRobert (French) or O'Robert (Erse).
Occupation: names from a trade or profession. Some are obvious - Baker, Fisher, Thatcher and so on. Others are less obvious, since they relate to occupations no longer current - Cooper (a barrel maker), Wainwright (a wagon maker), Fletcher (a maker of arrows) and so on.
Nicknames: These are usually some physical characteristic, such as Armstrong, Whitehead (hair colour) or Stout. Often they may refer to temperament - Jolly, Goodfellow and so on.
Locality: This may be country, England, Scott, Welch; or it may be county - Kent, Cornish (from Cornwall), Devonish (from Devon) or from a particular town. London, Paris, Worchester and Tonbridge are all towns and are also surnames. ROSSITER falls into this category. It is the phonetic way of pronouncing the English town of ROCHESTER, or possibly even WROXETER in Shropshire.
In all these cases the original name becomes altered and changed due to the fact that so few people could read and write.
ROSSITER The variations of the name ROSSITER are usually said to include the names Racueter and Roucester. The present day family descend from an Anglo-Norman family who settled in Rathmacnee in County Wexford. Originally from Normandy and followers of the Duke of Normandy, later King William the First of England, the ROSSITERS were part of the succesful invasion of Ireland in 1172, when they settled in Wexford. The family were one of the chief gentry and landed proprietors in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy.
In 1280 John de Roucester was paid the then handsome sum of two pounds by King Edward the First, for services to the crown.
In 1345 John Roucester was summoned with many others by King Edward 111 to attend the Lords Justices with all his arms and men. Twenty years later, in 1365, the men of Robert Rawceter were again summoned to service.
John ROSSITER Esquire of Rathmacnee, Died in April of 1627, leaving three sons - Thomas, Phillip and Marcus. These three were deprived of all their lands after the subjugation of Ireland by Oliver Cromwell after the English Civil War.
The ancient arms of the Norman ROSSITERS were: Argent, on a Chevron Gules, three Pheons Or. There is a silver (always shown as white) shield with a red chevron and three gold arrow heads on it. The Alligator, or Lizard, is a uniquely Irish charge on Shields and in order to distinguish themselves from the Norman branch of the family, the Irish ROSSITERS used an alligator on top of the shield above the chevron. Later, they dropped all the other charges and left only the Alligator.
The correct ancient arms for ROSSITER then are:
BLAZON ARMS: Argent, an Alligator Vert. CREST: An Eagle displayed with two heads Proper.
MODERN DESCRIPTION ARMS: A silver shield (always shown as white) with a green Alligator on it. CREST: A double-headed Eagle in its natural colours with its wings elevated.
These ancient undifferenced arms have been researched and scrivened by:
DR. DOUGLAS SUTHERLAND-BRUCE
They are in no way intended to represent anything other than the Arms originally granted to the first Arminger of the name ROSSITER and do not depict the arms of any person now living, nor should they be represented as such.