This name DEROCHE derives from one of the various places so named in Normandy, as for example Les Roches in Seine Maritime, and was brought into England and Ireland during the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. They are now found scattered throughout Ireland but about one half are in County Cork, the county with which the family have been associated for centuries and where they gave their name to the town of Castletownroche in the barony of Fermoy, to two townlands, named Rochestown, one in the barony of Cork and one in East Carbery. There are six Rochestown's in County Wexford where the first settlers of the name established themselves when they came to Ireland. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in 11th century, and indeed a few came into being before the year 1000. Early records of the name mention Alice la Rochell, who was recorded in the year 1273 in County Cambridge and Gilbert de la Roche was recorded in County Wiltshire in the same year. Agnes de la Roche of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Seenhouse, son of John Roche, was baptised at St. James's. Clerkenwell, London in the year 1660. Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Roche, was baptised at St. Dionis, Backchurch, London in the year 1675. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
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