Saturday, January 15, 2011

Surname Saturday - Rogers

By a strange coincidence, the one surname (so far) that occurs on both my mom's side and my dad's side is Rogers. By another coincidence, on both sides I have Rogers marrying other Rogers, the only two cases of same surname marriages in my family tree. On my dad's side are my fourth great grandparents, Josiah Rogers and Jane Rogers, and on my mom's side are my fifth great grandparents, Abel Rogers and Hannah Rogers.

Josiah and Jane lived in Warren County, Tennessee. They are generally believed to be cousins, although I have not found direct evidence of this. According to the 1850 Census, Josiah Rogers was born in North Carolina around 1798 and Jane was born in Tennessee around 1801. I believe Jane Rogers is the daughter of Levi Rogers and Sarah Cope, based on the will of Levi Rogers and circumstantial evidence from the 1850 census. In his will, reference is made to both a Jane Rogers who is a daughter and a Josiah Rogers, the only male Rogers in the will not described as a son. In the 1850 Census, Jane and Josiah are living near Levi Rogers' sister, Polly, and several of Levi's children who are mentioned in the will.

Abel Rogers and Hannah Rogers lived in Lyme, Connecticut. They married on Feb. 19, 1874 at the New Haven Second Church in Lyme. According to his Pension file, Abel Rogers was employed as a teamster in the United States Service during the Revolutionary War.

The surname Rogers is derived from a patronymic, a name which provides information about the father. Rogers means "son of Roger". Forms with a final -s are the primary English way of forming patronymics, although surnames derived from patronymics with -son are common due to Scandinavian influence in Scotland and the northern parts of England as are those with the French prefix Fitz- (French fils "son") and Celtic Mac- or Mc- (from the Gaelic word for son).

Rogers and Soundex
Michael John Neill's Genealogy Tip of the Day was about the problems you can encounter when dealing with languages other than English. He gives some very good advice about being wary when doing Soundex searches on French surnames in particular. It is important to keep in mind that Soundex was designed with English in mind, so often falls apart when dealing with non-English names. Soundex is a great tool, but even with English names the results may miss something. In an earlier post I discussed some of the problems with the surname Simpson and the variant form Simson. Rogers is another name that can cause some problems for Soundex. One of the most common variants of Rogers is Rodgers. The alternation between "g" and "dg" is one that will result in different Soundex codes. Rogers has the Soundex code R262, while Rodgers has the code R326. If you have names where either "d" or "dg" can occur, like Rogers, Padgett or Egerton, you need to be careful when using Soundex.

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