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ROOT Family History
Family spelling variants include Roote, Rutt, Roots.
There are approximately 27,293 Root family members around the world. In general you can double this figure to include those related to the Root names to allow for those connected to the name through maiden name connections.
It is estimated that the largest group of Root family members live USA with 23,363 (89.3%) members, England with 1500 (5.5%), Canada with 929 (3.4%), Australia with 184 (0.7%), South Africa with 183 (0.7%), New Zealand with 62 (0.2%) and Scotland with 53 (0.2%) members.
An English nickname perhaps from an unrecorded Middle English rote (Old English r?t) meaning ‘glad’ or ‘cheerful’.
A nickname from Middle English ro(u)te ‘rote’, a medieval stringed instrument, a kind of harp or fiddle, perhaps used for a player of the instrument.
In Dutch, a topographic name for someone who lived by a retting place (Dutch root, a derivative of ro(o)ten ‘to ret’, akin to modern English rot), a place where flax is soaked in tubs of water until the stems rot to release the linen fibers.
Early bearers of the surname include: Walter Rote, 1185 in Templars Records (Lincs); Ralph Rote, 1216–36 in Miller, Ely (Cambs); William le Rutte, 1278 in Hundred Rolls (Oxon); James Rutt, 1524 in Subsidy Rolls (Suffolk); Johanna Root, 1549 in IGI (Croydon, Surrey); Rychard Roote, 1552 in IGI (Enfield, Middx); Christian Root, 1554 in IGI (Chappel, Essex); Beatris Roote, 1559 in IGI (Soham, Cambs); Edward Roote, 1571 in IGI (Little Sampford, Essex); Johes. Root, 1574 in IGI (Swanton Morley, Norfolk); Richard Root, 1592 in IGI (Donington in Holland, Lincs); John Root, 1613 in IGI (Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk); Richard Root, 1616 in IGI (Shudy Camps, Cambs).
In 1891 census, the surname was recorded in England and Wales with 990 occurrences.
In 1881 census, the surname was most frequent in Essex and Middlesex. Essex was reported as a top county with 367 occurrences.
In 1881, Agricultural Labourer, Laundress and Carman were the top 3 reported jobs worked by surname. The most common Root occupation in the UK was Agricultural Labourer and a less common occupation was Carpenter.
The noted, Alan Root (1937 – 2017) was a British-born filmmaker who worked on nature documentary series such as Survival. Alan and his wife made the first hot-air balloon flight over Mount Kilimanjaro during film sequences for the wildebeest film, Safari by Balloon.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Essex
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
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