This most interesting surname, with spellings including Rockhall, Rockhill, Rochell, and Rochall, is either English or Scottish. It is locational from any of the places called Rockhill in the English counties of Shropshire and Worcestershire, or Rochill near Knowston in Devon or from Rockhall, now Rockhallhead, in the parish of Mouswald, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. The placename itself was probably composed of the old English word "rocc", rock or the Germanic personal name "Hroc", plus the second old English element "hyll", to give the place of rocks on the hill, or similar. The surname itself was first recorded in Scotland in the late 12th Century (see below), and early examples of the surname recording include: Hugh de Rowkell, a tenant of the Clan Douglas at Drumcorke in 1376, whilst in 1406, John Rokel petitioned for a benefice from the abbot of Holyrood, Edinburgh. The early surviving London church registers record the marriage of Margery Rockall on January 27th 1582 at St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, whilst at the then village of Tottenham, Richard Rockell married Margery Stone on May 27th 1588, and John Rockhill was christened on February 17th 1689 at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, in the city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Hugh de Rokele. This was dated 1170, in the records of the abbey of Kelso, during the reign of King William, the Lion, of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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