This ancient Anglo-Scottish surname has at least four origins. Firstly if found in southern Scotland, it is often from a Yorkshire family called Ros, Ross or Rosse, who purchased large estates in Ayrshire in the 12th century. These people were of Norman-French origins, who came over to England with Duke William of Normandy, better known in history as William,The Conqueror, in 1066. They originated from the village of 'Rots' near Caen, in Normandy. Secondly the name may be English but of Welsh (Olde English), origins, from any of the various places called Ross in Herefordshire, Northumberland, or the region of Ross in Northern Scotland, Roos in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and Roose in the county of Lancashire. The derivation in all cases is from the ancient word "rhos", meaning a headland. Thirdly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon pre 7th century origins, and a derivation of the personal name "Rozzo" meaning renown. Finally it may be of Old High German origin, and an occupational name for a breeder or keeper of horse. This is from the word "hros" meaning horse. Early examples of the surname recording include Serlo de Ros in the English Domesday Book of 1086, Bernard de Ross of Yorkshire in 1177, Robert Rosce in the pipe rolls of Kent in 1199, Sir Godfrey de Rose of Irvine, Scotland in 1205, and Donaldus de Ross of Perth, Scotland, in 1413.
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