The surname ROCHELLE, a form of ROACH, is of local origin, deriving from a geographic feature, either natural or man made, near where the initial bearer once resided or held land. In this instance it is derived from the Middle English or Old French "roche" (later replaced in England by "rock", from the Norman byform "rocque"). Therefore, the progenitor of the surname was someone who lived by a rocky crag or outcrop. Some early examples of the surname derive from various places in Normandy, as for example Les Roches in Seine-Maritime, named with this word. In that case, the name would be toponymic in origin, and the progenitor was someone who hailed from a place named La Rochelle, Les Rocehes, etc. Variants of the surname include ROTCHELL, ROCKELL, ROCKALLand in France ROCHEL, LAROCHELLE, LAROCHETTE and ROHEL. It should be noted that in France ROCHE and ROQUE denoted in medieval times a fortified castle placed on a large rock or near a rocky base, which often served as a foundation. LA ROCHELLE is a fortified seaport of France which was known until the twelfth century under its Latin name of RUPELLA, or Little Rock. It originated in a colony of serfs of Lower Poitou. On the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine with Henry II of England, it came into the possession of the English Kings until 1224. In records of the surname ROCHELLEand its variants, there is a reference by Jean Baptiste Nee de la ROCHELLE, a lawyer, who was subdelegated by the chief steward of Orleans at Clameci, his native region. He died in 1772 at age 80. He was the author of several books which were scarcely remembered even in his own century: "Le Coutume D"Auxerre", a work which was more highly regarded than his other productions. A French family named de la ROCHELLE from Franche-Comte was granted a coat of arms.
Blazon of Arms: Lozengy, argent and gules.
Translation: Argent (white) denotes Peace.
Crest: A fleur-de-lis or.
Origin: England. Source: "The Historical Research Center"
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