Email from Des Taylor

Hello Peter,

In my Family Tree records (so far), I have some Rossiter connections with Rode � and, if you ever come across any additional information and/or any information that will correct errors in my existing information, I would be most grateful for same.

Where the Rode Rossiters fit into the picture is as follows:

William Rossiter, 1712-1782 (who is my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather and my earliest known Rossiter ancestor) seems to have been born in Foxcote and lived all his life in Foxcote. William Rossiter had a son Stephen Rossiter, 1744-1831 who was born in Foxcote and lived all his life in Camerton.

One of the sons of Stephen Rossiter (and his wife Hannah Milson) was Joseph Rossiter who


� baptised in St Peter’s Parish Church in Camerton on 16 February 1783

� married on 4 September 1809 in St Lawrence Parish Church, Rode (Road) to Sarah Dyer. The marriage information is from the Church Marriage Records in FreeReg.

� buried in November 1846 in Rode (Somerset, England). The burial information is from the Church Burial Records in FreeReg.

� Joseph Rossiter�s wife, Sarah Dyer, was buried in Rode on 17 September 1840. The information about the wife�s burial is from the Church Burial Records in FreeReg.

Family sheet for Joseph Rossiter and Sarah Dyer is attached .

This shows the names and dates of baptism in Rode of their 8 children.
The information about the children’s names and baptism dates is from the Church Records in FreeReg.
I am still trying to find more information about the children (from FreeReg, Ancestry, FMP etc).

At this stage, the other information I have ascertained about the children of Joseph Rossiter is that:

� the 2nd child, named Prudence Rossiter who was baptised on 22 February 1813 in Rode, married William Elkins in the Church of St Lawrence in Rode on 26 September 1835. The authority for this is the Church Records in FreeReg.

� the 5th child, named Joseph Rossiter who was baptised on 23 July 1820 in Rode, was buried in Rode on 15 November 1844. The authority for this is the Church Records in FreeReg.

I have located the mention of Joseph Rossiter and some of his children (Ellen, Job, Joseph, Edwin, Gilbert and Edward) in the 1841 England Census (copy attached).

His wife is not mentioned because she died the previous year.

Joseph Rossiter and his children are shown as living in Church Row, Road (Rode).

Joseph Rossiter and his son also named Joseph Rossiter are recorded as being blacksmiths. The son Job Rossiter is recorded as being an Agricultural Labourer.

All the best.

Kind Regards,


Rossiter Family Sheet

Descendants of John Rossiter � Generation 1

  1. JOSEPH1 ROSSITER was born about 16 Feb 1783 in Camerton, Somerset, England. He

died about Nov 1846 in Rode, Somerset, England (See Notes for more details). He

married Sarah DYER on 04 Sep 1809 in St Lawrence Parish Church, Rode, Somerset,

England ((Rode was at times called Road)). She was born about 12 Feb 1785 in Frome,

Somerset, England. She died about 17 Sep 1840 in Rode, Somerset, England.

Notes for Joseph ROSSITER:

Joseph Rossiter was baptised on 16 February 1783 in Camerton, Somerset, England

(Source – Church Baptism Records). Hence he was probably born in Camerton (in

Somerset, England) about 16 February 1783.

According to the 1841 England Census and also the Church Baptism records and

Bishops Transcripts records for his children (see e.g. the baptism record of his son Job),

Joseph Rossiter’s occupation, e.g. as at 1841, was “Blacksmith”.

Joseph Rossiter and Sarah Dyer were married on 4 September 1809 in St Lawrence

Parish Church in the Village of Rode (Road) in Somerset, England (the village’s name

was originally Rode, then Road, and later it reverted back to Rode). We have located

this Marriage Record. In some of the records applicable to our ancestors, the village

name appears as Rode and in others as Road. In our FTM records, we have mostly

used Rode. The Church of St Lawrence in Rode dates from the late 14th / early 15th

century. It was restored in 1874. A photo of the Church is in the Media Section for

Joseph Rossiter.

� [Further Research to do: one of the witnesses to the marriage was Anne Rossiter –

we need to identify her relationship to Joseph Rossiter. Joseph Rossiter had a sister,

Ann Rossiter, but she died in 1796, i.e. before Joseph Rossiter’s marriage to Sarah

Dyer in 1809. Joseph Rossiter had another sister, Susannah Rossiter, but she

married Robert Gay in 1799 and therefore at the time of Joseph Rossiter’s marriage

to Sarah Dyer in 1809 she would have been Susannah Gay, not Susannah Rossiter.]

It seems that Joseph Rossiter died about November 1846 as there is a burial record for

Joseph Rossiter in Rode in November 1846 (no date, just month and year – See

FreeReg transcripts. Ancestry does not have a scan of the actual 1846 Church Record,

so we have not been able to peruse the original record to see if we can get more

information about the actual date of death or date of burial). Joseph Rossiter’s death in

1846 was after the 1841 England Census in which Joseph Rossiter is recorded. His

wife, Sarah Dyer, is not recorded in the 1841 England Census – as she had died and

was buried in Rode on 17 September 1840.

� [Further Research to do: In the 1846 burial record, it mentions that the church was

Baptist (rather than St Lawrence Parish Church which was Church of England), so

possibly Joseph Rossiter may have changed his religion sometime after the birth of

his children (who were all baptised in St Lawrence Parish Church) and prior to his

death in 1846 – or there may have been some other reason, e.g. was the Baptist

minister the only priest available at the time of death to conduct the funeral service.]

The following is some information about the Village of Rode (Road) in Somerset,


� Rode (aka Road) is a village in Somerset, England located 10 miles from Camerton

and 5 miles from Frome.

� The village lies within a mile of the Wiltshire border and is the eastern-most

settlement in Somerset.

� The village was formerly in Wiltshire, before being transferred to neighbouring

Somerset. Rode was a trading centre near the border of Wiltshire and Somerset.

� The village appears as “Rode” in the Domesday Book, but the spelling has changed

several times. By the 18th century, “Road” was regarded as the usual name.

However, later, there was a reversion to the older spelling “Rode” (especially by the

However, later, there was a revGeresnioenr atoti othne 1o l(dceorn s’pt)elling “Rode” (especially by the

Somerset County Council in 1919).

� The name Rode derives from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning “a clearing”.

� The village was positioned around St Lawrence’s Church and along the main

thoroughfare (which was known as Rode Major in earlier times, but later – e.g. at the

time of the 1841 England Census – as “Church Row”. In the 1841 England Census,

Joseph Rossiter and his children are shown as living in Church Row at Rode.

� Rode’s prominence was greatest during the 16th and 17th centuries (i.e. 1500s and

1600s), when the wool milling industry boomed in the South West of England. This

prosperity was due largely to its rivers, the construction of mill ponds and streams,

and the close proximity of the port of Bristol.

� At one point Rode was home to 5 wool mills which created great wealth for the

village and funded the construction of many large houses in the village, such as

Rode Manor, Langham House, Milfield House and Southfield House.

� During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries (i.e. 1500s to 1700s) the village centre

thrived enough for Rode to be regarded as a market town.

� However, by the middle to the end of the 19th century (i.e. late 1800s), the wool mills

of Rode were struggling (like many in the South West region of England) as a result

of both the Industrial Revolution and the invention of steam power, which caused

mills to relocate to the northern industrial centres of England.

� Rode is now largely a residential village, offering good access to Bristol, Bath,

Trowbridge and Frome.

� The relevant governing local authorities are the Parish Council, Mendip District

Council and Somerset County Council.

� The population of the village of Rode in 2011 was about 1,025.

Notes for Sarah DYER:

Sarah Dyer wife of Joseph Rossiter died in 1840 and we have located the Rode Church Burial

record. This is why she does not appear in the 1841 England Census which just has her husband

Joseph Rossiter and some of the children.

Joseph ROSSITER and Sarah DYER had the following children:

i. WILLIAM2 ROSSITER was born about 18 Nov 1810 in Rode, Somerset,


ii. PRUDENCE ROSSITER was born about 22 Feb 1813 in Rode, Somerset,

England. She married William ELKENS on 26 Sep 1835 in St Lawrence

Parish Church, Rode, Somerset, England.

iii. ELEANOR ROSSITER was born about 01 Jun 1815 in Rode, Somerset,


iv. JOB ROSSITER was born about 01 Mar 1818 in Rode, Somerset, England.

v. JOSEPH ROSSITER was born about 23 Jul 1820 in Rode, Somerset, England.

He died about 15 Nov 1844 in Rode, Somerset, England.

vi. EDWIN ROSSITER was born about 29 Jun 1823 in Rode, Somerset, England.

vii. GILBERT ROSSITER was born about 23 Jan 1825 in Rode, Somerset, England.

viii. EDWARD ROSSITER was born about 27 Nov 1831 in Rode, Somerset,


Comments on �Descendants of John ROSSITER � Generation 1�

Para 4 sub para 1 Further research

Can�t help on Ann Rossiter

Para 5 and para 5 sub para 1

Rode�s Baptist Chapel records from 1783 to 1979 were written in several books and have been transcribed and published in 1986 by Michael Charles Morris. Book 4 records the burial of a Joseph ROSITER as 01 Nov 1846. However Book 1 records his burial as 17 Nov 1846. The original records are at the Somerset Records Office in Taunton, Somerset but there is a copy of the typed transcription at the Chapel in Rode. It may contain a record of when Joseph (and any other members of his family) joined the Baptist congregation.� There are other Rossiters in the Baptist birth and burial records but not related to Joseph. Joseph may have been a Baptist supporter for most of his life but if his wife, Sarah, was Church of England, she would have ensured her children were baptised at St. Lawrence. George ROSSITER was a baptist at Rode about the same age as Joseph. Were they brothers?

Para 6

There are a number of items in this section that are not quite right. You may like to look at the Rode History website:�

Meanwhile perhaps I could suggest some alternative wording

Para 6 sub para 3

Suggest �Prior to 1937, when the Somerset/Wilts county boundary was moved, the boundary came into the centre of the Rode and part of the village (Rode Hill) was in the parish of North Bradley in Wiltshire.�

You may not be aware that because part of the village was in Wilts, it had 2 C of E churches; St. Lawrence in Rode (the old one) and Christ church on Rode Hill built in 1824 when it was in Wilts, and closed about 1998.����

Para 6 sub para 4

Suggest �….However in 1919 the spelling was officially changed back to �Rode� in response to a request from the villagers.�

Based on documents written at the time, the spelling of the village name gradually changed from Rode to Road between 1700 and 1740. In the early 20th century this spelling led to much mis-direction of letters and parcels so the village requested it be changed back to the earlier spelling and this was officially agreed by Somerset County Council in 1919.

Para 6 sub para 5

Suggest �Rhod, the early name for the settlement derives from the British or Celtic word, rhyd, meaning passage or ford.��

There is evidence that Rode was a settlement before Anglo Saxon times where an ancient trackway from Salisbury Plain crossed the river Frome.

Para 6 sub para 6

Suggest �St. Lawrence Church is positioned over half a kilometre south of the village centre on the main thoroughfare.� In the 19th century the housing in this outlying area was known as �Church Row�. In the 1841 England ….Rode.�

There is evidence that some houses in the village are as old as the church and much older than those near the church. �In English medieval villages it was not unusual for the Lord of the Manor to live separately from his villagers and to have the church built close to his house. This could explain why the church is not in the centre of the village. The houses near the church, �Church Row�, were built much later, probably as farmers� houses and farm workers� cottages, when the open agricultural fields were subdivided into privately owned farms. �Rode Major� was a term used to describe the combined church parishes of Rode, Woolverton, Tellisford, Farleigh Hungerford and Norton St. Philip. I am not aware that it was ever used as the name of a road.

Para 6 sub para 8

Suggest �Merfield House�

There were various spellings of Merfield but I have not seen it written as Millfield.

Other Comments

You now seem to have the baptism dates for all of Joseph and Sarah�s children, Prudences�s marriage date and Joseph burial date from the Rode church records.

I have a small amount of additional info which might relate to them, as follows:

St. Lawrence registers

There is a Job ROSSITER buried on 21 Oct 1888 aged 70

There is an Edward Rossiter married to Louisa who had 6 children baptised between 1865 and 1870, the last named Edward Joseph!!

Christchurch registers

There is a Gilbert ROSSITER buried on 9 Jan 1881 aged 57

There is a Job ROSSITER married to Jane who had 5 children baptised between 1857 and 1881, the 4th and 5th born 1860 and 1864

26 December 2023
Last Updated
10 January 2024