top of page

Anglo-Norman Origins of Clan Rose

The story of Clan Rose begins long ago in Normandy France where the family going by the name de Ros or Roos appears to have been nobility holding a small fiefdom near Caen. Like most families of that time, how they gained their initial social status is not clearly defined in known literary sources. Written records really do not give us much to go on until after the Norman conquest of England in 1066, when records of lands held by men of the de Ros family and their deeds were recorded

The modern town of Rots sits about 2 miles West of Caen. Many original structures and historic documents were lost during World War II.


[The following is an excerpt from:'The Battle Abbey roll, with some account of the Norman lineages', By Catherine Lucy Wilhelmina Powlett, Duchess of Cleveland, published London 1889]


“in Domesday; that is, William, to whom the Conqueror had given the Abbey of Fecamp in 1079, with a small Sussex barony added to its revenues; and Anchitel, Ansgot, Goisfrid, and Serlo, who all held as under-tenants. "They derived their name from the parish of Ros, now Rots, two miles from Caen, where they held a fief, but not the entire domain, which pertained to the De Patrys and others.”


Another source documenting the Norman de Ros origin is a list taken from the plaque in the church at Dives-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, where William the Conqueror and his knights said mass before setting sail to invade England in 1066. It lists all the knights who are known to have taken part in the invasion. On that plaque is listed; Serlon de Ros, Geoffroi de Ros, Ansgot de Ros, and Anquetil de Ros.


Guillaume de Ros (William de Ros), dean of the cathedral church of Bayeux, under the episcopate of Odon de Conteville (Odo of Beaux), has been speculatred as father of these four de Ros men that went over with Guillaume de Normandy (William I, the conqurere). One thing that linds crediance to this curently specualtive connection is that Guillaume de Ros was later made Abbot of Fecamp after the Norman conquest of England as well as being granted land in the newly conqured teritory, A small barony in Sussex.


While many accounts tie the family to the village of Rots/ Ros there are also near by ruins of an ancient feudal manor house close to the village of Hamel that is believed to have belonged to one of the de Ros family. It is from this sight research and the research of a near by church that indicate the high probability that the four dr Ros who went with William I to take England were brothers.


What is certain at this point is that four knights of the de Ros bloodline are recognized as having participated in the Norman conquest and bringing the bloodline to England.


De Ros roots planted in England














  1. Robert de Ros: Robert de Ros is mentioned as a landowner in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. He held substantial estates in these regions, including lands in Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire.

  2. Everard de Ros: Everard de Ros is recorded as a landowner in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire as well. He held extensive lands in both counties.

  3. Hugh de Ros: Hugh de Ros is mentioned as a landowner in Lincolnshire. He held lands in several places, including Coningsby, Horncastle, and Scrivelsby.

  4. Walter de Ros: Walter de Ros is listed as a landowner in Lincolnshire, holding estates in places such as Gedney, Langton, and South Thoresby.


The Domesday entries shown the influence of the family being great in the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire areas denoting that the de Ros knights were close kin and most likely siblings, though it can not be proven with absolute certainty.


What we do know is that the family rose to great prominence through some very successful marriages which brought a bounty of financial and societal gains. Among these marriages was the union of Evrard de Ros to Rosae Trusbutt which brought several estates into the line including the Barony of Helmsley. It is from this union that the familiar armorial device of three water-boughts becomes common among the descendants of this pair.


While there are conflicting genealogical accounts at this time to be sorted out, presently, there is a belief that the ancestry of the Clan comes through Knight Templar and Magna Carta Surety Robert de Ros who married a natural daughter of William I “the Lion” of Scotland due to the gold/ Or tincture of the arms with the three water-boughts resting on such field of gold. Such use of gold in de Ros arms first appears with Robert de Ros of Wark the son of Robert and Isabel. The grandson Robert of Wark (Spelt Werk in some text) was labeled a traitor by the English for falling in love with a Scottish lass and siding with the Scots aginst King Edward I. His arms are often sighted as being the same as the first de Ros/ Rose Barons of Kilravock, and one of his older English daughters was the ancestress of the Parr of Kindal line .


Please see the Heraldry of Kilravock and the Rose line in Scotland for further information and to continue the story of our Clan.

Records of the many de Ros families in England are numerous and the family has had many estates in that country, as well as Scotland and Ireland during the medieval period.


The Domesday Book, is a comprehensive survey of landholdings and estates in England completed in 1086, there are several nobles of the de Ros family mentioned. Here are a few men of the de Ros family who are listed in the Domesday Book:

bottom of page