Welcome to the Roche Lineages Blog

A warm welcome to all group members and everyone from the wider Roche / Roach community.  In addition there may be others interested in the ancestry of this surname group and some of the family connections that have been revealed.

One of the advantages of using the wordpress site for “Roche Lineages” are the communication tools such as this blog and other networking functions.   Therefore the blog may assist with developing further connections between family groups who are interested in exploring their ancestry.

Over time various topics will be posted and comments or discussion will be most welcome.  In addition, if anyone has suggestions for discussion topics, please feel free to mention them here in the “comment” section.  Also if any one wishes to post a particular topic, please email the material to me and it will be posted.

In the next day or so, I will post a topic on the recent Lineage results.  In the mean time, general comments, questions or suggestions on “Roche Lineages” are very welcome.

Peter Roche

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19 Responses to Welcome to the Roche Lineages Blog

  1. Paul Roche says:

    I believe I have identified a subclade within R1b1b2a1a* with the following characteristics”

    DYS 437=14
    GATA H4 = 11 and,
    YCAIIb = 21

    While I have not found any Roches with this signature I have found about 15 other people. They are about evenly split between the continent (Germany/Netherlands) and the British Isles. Specifically my working assumption is my ancestors were West Saxon. They came to Britain in the 500 CE timeframe with the Saxons and eventually settled around Gloucester and points SW of there. At some later date my ancestor moved to Ireland. This is not very scientific I admit, but I would love to get at the Y-DNA in some of the Saxon kings tombs in England for comparison…

    • roche lineages says:

      Paul, the YCAiib marker is the key feature for this particular group; it is a very slow moving marker. If you email a spreadsheet with the STR results for the 15, or their Ysearch IDs, I could determine the time period for the various ancestors. It may give you a better idea for when the family lines diverged.

  2. Chris Roche says:

    I am from one of the other lineages still being studied. I am a I2b1 haplotype and was wondering if this allows me to determine the origins of my lineage. I know that the I haplotypes are Scandinavian, does this mean that my ancestors are of Norman origin is that not possible to determine at this time?



    • roche lineages says:

      Chris, you often get an idea of geographical origins from close matches on the various databases. I notice from your Y-DNA results a close match with “Warnberg” who has a Swedish email address, and “Lawton” (location unknown). It may be worthwhile investigating the details for these 2 matches to see if it sheds any light on your deep ancestry.

  3. Michael Roche says:

    In my youth I was interested in family roots but did not absorb detail very well and missed the opportunity to closely question and document surviving relatives. Many years later my younger brother produced a hand-drawn family tree setting out what was known about four lines of descent tracing back through our grandparents.. The richest descriptions had to do with the Roche line starting with Godebert the Fleming and leading to the invasion of Ireland under Strongbow followed by a chain of circumstances and events affecting better known members of the ever-widening family as the years progressed.

    When I realized how much I could find out about family roots while sitting at my computer, I used the means available to obtain satisfying results in all areas except one. The exact Roche family from which I am descended is a mystery. All I know is that they lived in the City of Cork and my great-grandfather was a journeyman carriage builder circa 1850. Nothing is known of Edward’s parents, wife, siblings or children (other than my grandfather Michael Stephen who went to London, married a protestant and had a son he named Edward).

    This is why I am pursuing the DNA route. Results so far have been interesting. Nineteenth century migration to Australia as one example, and recent news from Peter that he and I share common ancestry, not too long ago, and that our Lineage 1 group originated in Egypt A.D. 100 – A.D. 500. This got me thinking about my Egyptian ancestor. What was his name and who were his antecedents? Coming back down to earth I had to remind myself that my real interest is in seeing an expansion of the Family Tree DNA database to the point where somebody pops out of the woodwork and says “Hey, the coordinates of my recent Irish ancestor match yours!”

    Is a sufficiently enlarged DNA database a realistic vision or are more aggressive means needed to flush out enough nineteenth century Roches, Roaches, etc. into a common name-based pool from which preliminary matches supported by dates and places invite DNA corroboration?

    • roche lineages says:

      The issue that you have raised is of key importance to this DNA project; how do we expand the number of members? Over the past 8 years the group has developed a strong framework of ancestral information on the family groups; we now have to fill in the gaps so that more connections can be revealed. This can only happen by more family groups joining the project. Eventually we will have sufficient numbers to join up the dots; however it will probably take some time.

      To anyone thinking of joining the group,…. don’t hesitate; it will open the door to your true ancestry and provide a revealing picture of your place on the Roche family tree.

      • Elizabeth Bellock says:

        Please let me know how to participate in the Roche DNA project.

        Elizabeth Roche Bellock
        Arlington Heights IL USA (near Chicago)

        • roche lineages says:

          Hi Elizabeth,
          The DNA project involves the analysis of the Y chromosome which is only inherited by males. Do you have a male relative with the Roche surname? If so, you could ask him to do the DNA test. The details can be found in the “Join Information” section located in the top menu.

          best regards,

  4. David Roach says:

    I’m not sure if this is the place for questions on lineage, my haplo is I1, I’m researching Cornwall and stuck at :
    Father – Robert Roch
    Mother – Jane Ninnes – Chr – 18 Feb 1723 Towednack, Cornwall, England
    Son – Robert Roche – Chr – 2 Oct 1748 Zennor, Saint Ives, United Kingdom

    The spelling for Roach/e is swinging back and forward between Roch – Roach – Roche at the time. It must depend on the different writers.

    Anyone who has some leads it be appreciated.


    • roche lineages says:

      David, you have raised an important aspect for the website; how to publicize individual family trees?, ….so that connections may be discovered. At this stage I am thinking of organizing a Post devoted to Family Trees; members could then add a brief family tree of maybe 3 generations (max). The post would allow visitors to post replies if they recognize a connection.

      I will do this in the next few days.

  5. Paul Roche says:

    I am traveling but will be happy to do so next week – the U106 FTDNA site has some of these folks and their GD but it would be great to have your analysis and compare it to my working guesses of a timeline…


  6. Christine Butera ( nee Roche) says:

    I was so excited to come across this Roche Genealogy site and the Roche DNA Project.
    I would very much like to participate in the project. Very little is known about my father’s people. My father was Afred George Roche born 15.4.1906 in South India Trivandrum Kerala(now). He migrated to Singapore about age 16years , lived worked & died in Singapore 19.8.1982. I have some details about his mother and father. Louis Peter Roche (my grandfather). He died in Cochin. I have dates etc & visited my grandfather’s grave in Cochin. The surname is spelt ROCHAS in church records. His occupation is “Writer” that I understand to be a shipping clerk. Makes sense with the East India Company, Tranvancore and the spice trade. I really would like to participate in this project.

    • roche lineages says:

      Hi Christine,
      The DNA project involves the analysis of the Y chromosome which is only inherited by males. Do you have a male relative with the Roche surname? If so, you could ask him to do the DNA test. The details can be found in the “Join Information” section located in the top menu.


  7. SEAN ROCHE says:


    I would be interested in taking part in the project.

    My father JOSEPH ROCHE (born 12 March 1921) was from GALWAY in Ireland.

    His father was JOHN ROCHE.

    • roche lineages says:

      Hi Sean,

      You are most welcome to join the group. All that is required is a Y-DNA test. The details for the DNA test are in the “Join information” section; I would recommend the Y-37 marker test as this gives the best information for family tree analysis. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me via email: peter.familytree@gmail.com

      all the best,

  8. What country did the Roche name start from? I was reading research started France and now I not sure. My Grandmother had said she believed she had French in her blood back from her Great grandmother and great grandfather. I will follow this project to find out early times history. This was ESP or energy bought me to this project. I was researching my family tree Roche family too. Finding out about past family is always interesting.

  9. DIane Penberthy says:

    Hello, I am leaving info to add to your family. A lot of Roche family were in Cornwall in the 1500 to 1700s. In fact a town called Roche. John and and Robert Roche were Members of Parliament. Some important merchants in Truro. Also a Maurice perhaps a descendant of Maurice of Fermoy.
    THey came over to escape persecution after they lost all wealth in Ireland, Cork area I believe, due to religious issues.
    My ancestor John Roberts married Cattren Roch in 1690 at Paul Parish, Cornwall. They had a daughter Katherne who died and then Mary who lived and married John Treglawn, however Cattren died in 1694. My John remarried in 1697. I think Cattren was born 1673 to James and Jane Roch of Tywardreath who had 4 girls and a James in 1687 who went to America to start a new life.
    Diane of Western Australia

  10. marc geffroy says:


    re “Crowdsourcing” Roche family history

    Dear Fellow Roche descendants:

    what a great project. thanks.

    I am descended from Mrs. Rhyda nee Roche Frates so I cant help with your all’s Y chromosome project. That said, we (my history-addicted cousins and I) will reach out to our distant cousins of direct male Roche descent to see if we can get some DNA to contribute.

    Meanwhile, one offering, one question, and one recommendation:

    a) the offering: we have a trove of info on Godbert, the first Roche that came to Ireland. happy to email that around. I also have a handwritten family tree that I wrote up from Wikipedia entries on the Baron of Fermoy Roches, which includes Maurice Roche, Mayor of Cork in the early 1600s. This tree includes Edmund Burke (the father of modern conservativism and a great friend to America) and Sister Nano Nagle who is venerated by the RCC and may someday become a saint. She had a lot to do in the 1700s with keeping the Irish catholic population hopeful and educated amidst the heinous Brittish oppression. There is a legend in our family that we descend from a minor branch of the Fermoy Roches. Am happy to share this information. Just send me an email (marc@senecaprop.com).

    b) the question (pls excuse the long preamble): I descend from Henry Harrison Roche. He was born in 1826 A.D. He came to NYC from Liverpool in 1846, the height of the Great Famine. He came over in steerage and so was poor at that point, and may well always have been. Later, his sister Jane and his brother George joined him in America. Many descendants sprung from Henry and Jane. We know nothing more of poor George……….via an old family letter (now lost), there is a claim that Henry descends from a “minor” (meaning untitled, unlanded) line of the Fermoy Roches (the feudal rulers of much of north County Cork whose line I believe was started by the flemish knight Sir Godbert)…….. His parents were Edmund Roche and Ann (aka Nancy) Wheland (or Whelan). We believe that they came from Cork City, specifically the St Nicholas Parish area which is in the south section of Cork City near the anglican St Finbarres Cathedral. Ann’s father may have been Michael. Ann may have been raised on Anne Street in Cork City. Though we American Roches are Catholic and have been for generations, I speculate that these Roche emigrees were members of the Church of Ireland since I doubt very much that catholic Irish parents would name their sons after hated English kings. We know nothing more of Edmund and Ann……….There is also a rumor in our family that we are kin the Roche Family that started (1906) and sold (2006) the Roche department store chain………..Does anyone on this Roche blog know anything more about these people, places, and things that could help us further the family tree and our knowledge about our ancestors?

    c) the recommendation: Sadly, many of the church and govt records for Ireland that cover the pre 1850s era burned in a great fire in Dublin in 1922. so its hard to source, digitized or paper, baptismal and marriage records for the times of Edmund & family…………..In ancient times, the Roche clan seems to have been centered in north County Cork, specifically in the Mallow-Fermoy-Castleroche clustering of towns northwest of Cork City. In Mallow in the St Mary’s Catholic Church office there is an institution called the Mallow Heritage Foundation. They can perform searches of the to date and proprietary digitized catholic church records for north County Cork for a small fee. When in Mallow, stay at the Spring Fort hotel just outside the town proper. It is a country house built by Lord Maurice Roche in the 1600s. The salmon is excellent but get it well done. Am happy to provide details on these ideas, just email me w a specific request.

    Thanks for the help.

    Best for the new year,

    Marc Geffroy
    301 651 6385 c

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