This interesting surname is of English locational origin from Roscoe in Lancashire. The name derives from the Old Norse elements "ra" a roebuck plus "scogr" a copse or thicket. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century, (see below). In the modern idiom the surname appears as Roscow and Roscoe. Recordings of the surname from Lancashire church registers include; Ellen Roscow, who married James Hodgson, on January 7th 1561, at Chorley; on March 9th 1563, Margaret, daughter of Thomas Roscow, was christened in the same place; Thomas Roscow married Ellen Jackson, on May 11th 1578, at Eccles; and the marriage of Thomas Roscoe to Cathrena Mort also took place in Eccles, on June 1st 1589. A Coat of Arms was granted to Thomas Tattersall Roscow, Middlesex, it consisted of a silver and red shield divided vertically, with each section having a counterchanged bar between three cinquefoils (5 petal flowers), on the crest is an erect staff with two entwined serpents between two ermine wings. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert Roscoe, of Euxton, Lancashire, which was dated 1293, in the wills Records at Chester, 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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