This interesting surname is of early medieval Welsh origin, and derives from the English personal name Roger, itself from the Old Germanic "Hrothgar", composed of the elements "hroth", fame, with "gar", spear. In England the name was introduced by the Normans in the form "Rog(i)er". The Welsh sound system originally did not include the sound of "j", or the "g" of Roger; when words containing this sound were borrowed the nearest sound in Welsh was "s" or "si", so that Roger became Roser, usually written Rosser; with the initial "r" giving the aspirate quality. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below), and can also be found as Roger, Roser, and the patronymics Proger and Prosser. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include; Richard Rosser who married Susan Avery on December 9th 1630 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, and Thomas, son of Thomas Rosser, who was christened on March 4th 1631 at St. Giles Cripplegate. One Humphrey Rosser is recorded as living in the parish of St. Michael's in the Barbados prior to his death in June 1678. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a gold shield, on a black cross formee five gold estoiles, the Crest being an arm embowed and erect from the elbow, habited gold, cuffed ermine, holding in the hand four green leaves. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Roser, which was dated 1273, in the "Pipe Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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