A Roach is a Fish?

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The sir name Roach refers to a Fish; not the ever popular CockRoach.
Why anyone would think the name had its origin from the bug is beyond me.


The Roach, is a small freshwater fish, about 5in. {12cm}in length, related to the carp, with a greenish back, found in parts of Europe and Asia.

Alas, How the sir-name came about is not much more exciting.

In the 'olden', days so the story goes, just as today, some fish are valued more as an edible fish than others. The Roach for some silly reason, was just not one of those highly sought after food fish. Thus, after selling the prime catch of the day to the Local Nobels, the main fish left was The Roach.

Thus, the name, which everyone would forever call us.

I have heard several variations of this story (usually varying who gets The Fish and how popular/unpopular the fish is/was).

Some other possible areas.

ROACH (British): "Rock". Roach: an English place name for the one who lived by a rocky crag or outcropping.

Another source:

Roache/Roach/Roche Family Site
This Page is from Jim Roache and has a lot of interesting information.

For those that are curious about the moto:
Mon Dieu est Ma Roche translates to My God is My Rock

And yet another source says that it also comes from a person trying to escape after killing a Captain in a duel:
Copied from The Knowltons

Thomas, who, according to the MS of 1716, married the heiress of Duncrub, county of Perth. The same authority says that Alexander, Earl of Ross, married Lady Isabella Stewart, daughter of the Duke of Albany, with issue .... an only daughter. In 1402, shortly after the birth of this daughter, the Earl died at his castle, near Dingwall. The Duke took his granddaughter under his own immediate care, and to manage the affairs of the Earldom, he sent to Ross a man whom he appointed Governor of Dingwall Castle and Chamberlain of Ross. One day, Thomas Munro met the Governor, who was popularly known as "The Black Captain" where the village of Maryburgh now stands. After some conversation, threatening words were exchanged, which ended in the drawing of dirks, and a duel ensued in which Thomas killed the Captain. Fearing that his life would in consequence be forfeited, he fled and took refuge "amongst his mother's kindred at Corstorphine" and to prevent discovery, he changed his surname from Munro to Roach "which being an Irish (Gaelic) word, signifies Munro as well as Bunro". This Thomas married the Heretrix of Dunscrubb as aforesaid. "The south countrie accend corrupting the word "Roach", corrupted it "Rogues" as well as Rollocks or Rolls. The successors of the said Thomas, Laird of Dunscrubb, and the Lairds of Fowlis keeped constantly intire correspondence and friendship". This tradition differs from the account of the origin of the family of the Rolls of Duncrub given by Peerage writers, who say that John Rolls was the head of the house at that time. His successor, Duncan, died before October, 1437, and is said to have been succeeded by his son, Robert. But Robert may have been a grandson, not a son, of Duncan, the son of his daughter and heiress by Thomas Munro.

And there are more
which I will try to add later.

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Page Last Updated: 7/19/01 10:49:18 PM