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Ross Family History

Ross Name Meaning

Scottish: habitational name from one or other of a number of Scottish and English places called Ross or Roos(e) especially Roose (Lancashire) and Roos (East Yorkshire). The placenames derive from a British ancestor of Welsh rhos ‘moor heath plain’ which is the sense of the cognate Gaelic word ros. The Scottish surname has at least three origins. First the Anglo-Norman family from Roos (East Yorkshire) was introduced to Scotland when Robert of Roos lord of Wark Castle (Northumberland) married Isabella an illegitimate daughter of King William the Lion. Second various families took the name from the province of Ross in northern Scotland and other places of that name. Third there were Norman families in Scotland by the 13th century who probably derived their name from Rots in Normandy (see 2 below). The descendants of Godfrey de Ros tenant of the de Morville lords of Cunninghame were major landholders in Ayrshire and almost certainly took their name from Rots. The Rose family of Kilravock (Nairnshire) may take their name from either of these three (see Rose ). The lairds of Balnagown adopted the surname Ross after the earldom of Ross (to which they considered themselves rightful heirs) had passed into other hands through the female line. English (of Norman origin): habitational name from Rots in Calvados (France) probably named with the ancient Germanic element rod ‘clearing’ (compare Rhodes ). This was the original home of a family de Ros who were established in Kent in 1130 and had major estates in Kent until well into the 13th century. English: habitational name from Wrose in Shipley near Bradford (Yorkshire) with re-spelling of Wr- as R- due to the loss of /w/ before /r/ in early modern English pronunciation. The spelling Wrose is no longer current. The placename derives from Old English wrāse ‘knot something twisted’ referring to the steep-sided hill on which the settlement stands with the sense ‘broken or twisting hill’. English and German: from the ancient Germanic personal name Rozzo a short form of various compound names with the first element hrōd ‘fame renown’ introduced into England by the Normans in the form Roce Rosce Rozo. Compare Rossell . Cornish: habitational name from one or other of a number of minor places in Cornwall called Rose Roose or Rowse (see Rouse ) named with Middle Cornish ros ‘promontory hill spur moor’. German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): metonymic occupational name for a breeder or keeper of horses from Middle High German ros German Ross ‘horse’; perhaps also a nickname for someone thought to resemble a horse or a topographic or habitational name referring to a house distinguished by the sign of a horse.7: Americanized form of Jewish Rose 9.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022

Similar surnames: Rose, Roos, Moss, Oss, Cross, Russ, Gross, Rosa, Koss, Boss

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Where is the Ross family from?

You can see how Ross families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Ross family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Ross families were found in USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 2,194 Ross families living in London. This was about 20% of all the recorded Ross's in United Kingdom. London had the highest population of Ross families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Ross surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Ross ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, General Labourer and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the United Kingdom named Ross. 8% of Ross men worked as a General Labourer and 65% of Ross women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Ross were Builders Labourer and Housewife. .

View Census Data for Ross | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1939

  • General Labourer
  • Incapacitated
  • Retired
  • Builders Labourer

Top Female Occupations In 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
  • Private Means
  • Unpaid Domestic
  • Housewife
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Ross family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 1 million census records available for the last name Ross. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Ross census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

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Passenger Lists

There are 246,000 immigration records available for the last name Ross. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Australia, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

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Draft Cards

There are 267,000 military records available for the last name Ross. For the veterans among your Ross ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Ross lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Ross life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1940, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Ross in 1940 was 33, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Ross

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