The Rothwell Family Name History

The English surname Rothwell, as well as it's variant Rowell, is of local origin, being one of those names derived from the place or locality where a man once lived or held land.

During the Middle Ages, before an organised system of surnames had evolved, it was not uncommon for an individual to adopt the name of his locality as a means of identification. In this instance the surname has as it's origin the placename of Rothwell which is found in counties Lincoln and Northampton as well as West Yorkshire.

Rothwell is itself derived from Old English "roth-wella" which translates as "spring or stream in the clearing", and it is from such an area that the original bearer of the name would have originated. It is interesting to note that the place name Rothwell is mentioned in the Domesday Book in the variant form of Rodowelle

There are several early references to bearers of the surname Rothwell, one of the earliest occuring in the Pipe Rolls for Northamptonshire for the year 1200, when one William De Rowell is recorded. One Robert de Rothwelle is recorded in County Lincoln in the year 1273 and in 1317 one John de Rothewell a "cotoler" became a Freeman of York. The Ministers' Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall record one Robert de Rothewelle in 1297.

Coat of Arms
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Link to:

Our Family History - The Rothwells of Clifton, Lancashire

The Holland Family History

The Wallwork Family History

Rothwell October 2000

email me at
crothwell@iprimus.com.au