Recorded in a wide range of spellings including: Roj, Roja, Rojas, Rojado, Rojahn, Rojals, and Rojel, this is a surname of Spanish and Portugese origins, but also found in France and other countries. It has several possible derivations. The first is from the pre medieval word "rojo" meaning red, and as a surname it was probably originally topographical for a person who lived on sandy land or similar. Secondly it is also very possible that many modern nameholders originate from "rojo" with the word used as a nickname. If so it probably described a person with red hair. The famous warlike tribes known to history as the Huns and the Goths were often red haired. They swept down from Germany and occupied much of Spain for several centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century a.d. This would suggest that Rojo may originally have been nationalistic, and refer to an invader, or at least the descendant of an invader. Thirdly is may be a patronymic and derive from the name Roger, through Rojet. This name is also of pre 5th century Germanic origins, and hence was used in Spain. Early examples of the surname in surviving church records from the 17th century include examples such as: Jean Rojou, whoi married Perrine Robert at St Augustin, Angers, Maine-et-Loise, France, on July 31st 1623, and Juan de Rojas, a witness in the city of Barcelona, Spain, on January 1st 1641.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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