Rochester Family History

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Rochester Name Meaning

English: habitational name from the city in Kent, which is recorded by Bede (c.730) under the names of both Dorubrevi and Hrofæcæstre. The former represents the original British name, composed of the elements duro- ‘fortress’ and briva ‘bridge’. The second represents a contracted form of this (possibly affected by folk etymological connection with Old English hrof ‘roof’) combined with an explanatory Old English cæster ‘Roman fort’ (from Latin castra ‘military camp’). There is a much smaller place in Northumbria also called Rochester, which seems to have been named in imitation of the more important one, but which is a more than occasional source of the surname. In other cases there may also have been confusion with Wroxeter in Shropshire, recorded in Domesday Book as Rochecestre.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Chester, Dorchester, Manchester, Worcester, Chichester, Winchester

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Rochester Family Origin

Where is the Rochester family from?

Rochester Family Occupations

What did your Rochester ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, the most common Rochester occupation in the USA was Farmer. 32% of Rochester's were Farmers. A less common occupation for the Rochester family was Laborer. Farmer, Keeping House and Farming were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Rochester.

View Census data for Rochester | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Keeping House

  • Farming

  • Laborer


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Rochester ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Rochester Historical Records

What Rochester family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 27,000 census records available for the last name Rochester. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Rochester census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1940's US census records for Rochester

Passenger List

There are 2,000 immigration records available for the last name Rochester. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Rochester immigration records

Draft Card

There are 15,000 military records available for the last name Rochester. For the veterans among your Rochester ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Rochester military records

You've only scratched the surface of Rochester family history.

Rochester Life Expectancy

What is the average Rochester lifespan?

Between 1950 and 2004, in the United States, Rochester life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1954, and highest in 1963. The average life expectancy for Rochester in 1950 was 42, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Rochester

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Rochester ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

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