Note: The spelling Rosamond herein encompasses the spellings Rosemond, Roseman, Rosamund, Rosman, and all other common variations of the name that have been found in census records and other documents.
The goal of the Rosamond Family Y-DNA Project is to determine if, and how, these various family lines are related. Each of these lines is discussed very briefly below. Based on family legends four of the family lines given are said to be related and descended from one man. This alleged common ancestor is generally referred to as Sergeant Rosemond. Be aware that Sergeant is a military rank, and not a given name as some believe. His given name is thought to be James. Sergeant Rosemond is reputed to have had three sons; Thomas, Nathaniel, and one son whose given name is unknown. The Legend of Sergeant Rosemond is shown below.
THE LEGEND OF SERGEANT ROSEMOND
It can be stated unequivocally that the central figure and bottleneck in the Rosamond family history is a man known to the family as Sergeant Rosemond. At least four branches of the Rosamond family are believed to descend from this man. Going backwards in time from Sergeant Rosemond, the possible ties to the de Rougemont family in France are based on the genealogy of a James Rosemond who is believed by many researchers to be the elusive Sergeant Rosemond, but this has not been proven. The problem is, what we know of Sergeant Rosemond is based almost solely on family legend.
The legend of Sergeant Rosemond says that he was a Huguenot, a French Protestant who followed the teachings of John Calvin. Most versions of the legend say he was born in France around 1650, but it is more accurate to say he was living in France at the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in October 1685. There is no actual record of where he was born. At the time of Louis XIV's revocation of this edict, which had provided the French Protestants religious freedom, Huguenot church elders were allowed two weeks to exit the country or stay and convert to Catholicism. Those Huguenots not associated with the church hierarchy were ordered to remain in France. Despite this, in a very short period of time, over 200,000 Huguenots fled from persecution in France to other countries including Germany, Switzerland, Holland and England. Sergeant Rosemond is said to have been one of these refugees, and the legend says he went to Holland where he joined the army of Prince William of Orange.
While in Holland, he is reported to have become a drill sergeant in William's army. This is the origin of him being called Sergeant. Sergeant is a rank, not a given name. His given name is not known for certain although there are three possibilities which will be discussed below. Sergeant Rosemond traveled with William's army when William and his wife Mary, the daughter of the English king James II, went to London for their coronation as King and Queen of England after Mary's father was non-violently deposed.
James II, the father-in-law of William III as William of Orange was known after his coronation, went into exile in France where he and Louis XIV made plans for James to regain the English throne. The first step of this plan was to gain control of Ireland. Using James' troops and Louis' finances a military force was sent to Ireland. William III responded by sending his army to Ireland to repel the invasion. The leader of William's army was Count Schomberg, a Huguenot general. A large part of William's force consisted of Huguenot soldiers. Sergeant Rosemond supposedly traveled to Ireland as a part of this force.
It is said that in the decisive battle between James' and William's armies, now known as the Battle of the Boyne, Sergeant Rosemond distinguished himself such that William III offered him an entire township. Sergeant Rosemond declined the offer but did eventually settle in County Leitrim in the northwest part of Ireland where he remained until his death. There are family tales that say his wife's name was Anne d'Orr but this is another fact with no documentation. Sergeant Rosemond and his wife are said to have had three sons. It is better stated that they had at least three sons and nothing is known about any other children.
Two of these sons were said to be named Thomas and Nathaniel. According to the story both Thomas and Nathaniel immigrated to the colony of South Carolina. Nathaniel Rosemond is said never to have married and is believed to have been killed in the Revolutionary War. This seems unlikely as there is no record of his service. Also, Nathaniel would have been born in the early 1700s and by the time the war began in 1776 he would have been to old to have been an active participant. However, this can't be ruled out because non-combatants were also killed during the war. No records of a Nathaniel Rosemond have been found in colonial South Carolina.
The Sergeant's son Thomas Rosemond is said to have arrived in South Carolina with his wife Sarah and two year old son Samuel in 1740. No record of their arrival in South Carolina has been located. One deed found in the South Carolina State Archives shows that there was a tract of land that bordered on the property of a Thomas Rosamond in a SC county somewhat distant from Abbeville County where the Rosamond family is known to have lived. This is the only record of a Thomas Rosamond having lived in South Carolina in colonial times. Thomas and Sarah's son Samuel is Captain Samuel Null Rosamond, a well documented South Carolina Revolutionary War soldier and plantation owner.
The given name of the third alleged son of Sergeant Rosemond is unknown. One researcher claims that this son's name was William and that he too came to the colonies, but only stayed for five years before returning to Ireland. This son of Sergeant Rosemond had at least one son who was named James. This James Rosemond is documented in County Leitrim and a number of his numerous children came to America where they settled in the northern states and southern Canada.
However, the question remains. Who was Sergeant Rosemond? There are three men of whom I am aware that bore the surname Rosemond, and who lived in France or the United Kingdom during the latter seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. These are Peter Rosemond, Jean Baptiste de Rosemond, and James Rosemond. Virtually nothing is known of Peter Rosemond except that he is listed in a denization record dated prior to the date of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. While Peter can't be ruled out as being the elusive Sergeant Rosemond, the fact that the name Peter was not passed down to any of the Rosamond sons in Ireland or the United States would seem to indicate that he was not the primary ancestor of this particular clan. Also the date of his denization would indicate he went directly to England from France. However, research into Peter Rosemond could yield valuable clues regarding the family as a whole. And, it is possible that he went from England to Holland after his denization.
The same record that shows the denization of Peter Rosemond also contains the denization of John Baptist Rosemond (Jean Baptiste de Rosemond) who went through the denization process on the same day as Peter Rosemond. The fact that they bore the same surname and their denizations were apparently processed together would indicate a familial tie between these two men. Some of the current researchers of the Rosamond family history consider Jean Baptiste de Rosemond as the most likely prospect to be Sergeant Rosemond. I respectfully disagree. First, quite a lot is known about Jean Baptiste de Rosemond as he was a well known translator of history books from English into French. But, he was a Huguenot. He is known to have gone to England about four years prior to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Against Jean Baptiste being Sergeant Rosemond is that the dates of his translations would preclude him having served in the army of William III, and being in Ireland following the date of the Battle of the Boyne. For references to Jean Baptiste de Rosemond go to http://books.google.com and search on his name. Finally, I located and obtained a copy of his will which shows that he was a chaplain aboard an English naval vessel, and he died in England.
The most likely candidate for Sergeant Rosemond is the James Rosemond mentioned in the book The History of the Rosemond Family by Leland Eugene Rosemond which was published in 1939. The information provided in this small book was researched by a Peter Rosemond of Flushing, Holland in the early 1900s. This Peter Rosemond moved to Basle, Switzerland for about 7-8 years where he conducted on-site research into the ancestry of this James Rosemond. James Rosemond from Basle was born 1 Jan 1649, a reasonably close match to the legendary 1650 date for the birth of Sergeant Rosemond. He was a Huguenot. He moved to France as a young man, and it is likely that he fled France at the right time. After he left France, nothing is known about him. This James Rosemond's ancestry in Switzerland traces back to an Erhart de Rougemont who purchased a home in Basle, Switzerland in 1495. It appears that Erhart was a member of the de Rougemont family that lived in Belfort, France. Belfort is about 50 miles from Basle. The members of the de Rougemont family in Belfort were minor nobles and can be traced back to the 12th century.
BRANCHES OF THE ROSAMOND FAMILY
The Southern US
The Rosamond family which resides primarily in southern half of the United States is said to be descended from Sergeant Rosemond's son Thomas. According to the legend, Thomas Rosamond arrived in South Carolina from County Leitrim, Ireland in 1740 with his wife Sarah and son Samuel. Samuel Rosamond, his brother James Rosamond and their sisters are well documented in South Carolina in the late 1700s, but current research has shown that their father was a John Roseman who came to South Carolina from Augusta County, Virginia about 1765. It is believed John Roseman's father-in-law, his wife Sarah's father, was named Thomas, and that Sarah Roseman had a brother named Nathaniel. This could be the reason for the confusion in given names.
No one has been able to document the origin of John Roseman of Virginia. One possible origin is that he came from Maryland. In December of 1725 a John Roseman arrived in Annapolis, MD aboard the ship Forward. He came to the colonies as an indentured convict having been found guilty of committing highway robbery back in England. He has been dubbed "John, The Highwayman". His period of indenture was fourteen years so he would have been free to pursue life as a free man around 1739-1740. John Roseman of Virginia first appears in the records of Augusta County, VA in 1749, so there is a possibility that John of Virginia and John, The Highwayman are one and the same. However, a will was recorded in Maryland in 1787 for a John Roseman. If the will is that of John, The Highwayman, then John Roseman of Virginia can't be the same person because we know John of Virginia was in South Carolina at that time. He could perhaps be a son of John, The Highwayman, or the reverse could be true. The will could be for a son, and John, The Highwayman may have gone to Virginia. Without further research the question of the origin of John of Virginia remains open. A famous descendant of this line of the Rosamond family is the artist Christine Rosamond who signed her paintings simply as Rosamond. Christine was actually born Christine Rosamond Presco. Her mother's maiden name was Rosemary Rosamond, the daughter of the writer Royal Rosamond.
The Northern US and Canada
The northern U.S. and Canadian branches of the family are said to be descended from Sergeant Rosemond's son whose given name is not known. This son supposedly never left Ireland, although one researcher has claimed that this son's given name was William, and that William came to the colonies for five years and then returned to Ireland. What is known is that this son of Sergeant Rosemond with no known given name had a son named James who was born in County Leitrim, Ireland. This James Rosamond, the grandson of the elusive Sergeant Rosemond, had a number of sons who migrated to the United States and southern Canada. At least one of these descendants, another James Rosamond, lived in Lanark County in Ontario, Canada and founded the Rosamond Woolen Mill there. Records of the Canadian James Rosamond show that he is descended from Rosamonds in County Leitrim.
The most famous descendant of this branch of the Rosemond family, and arguably the Rosamond family as a whole, is the actress Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor whose grandmother was Elizabeth Mary Rosemond from Guernsey County, Ohio.
Colonial New York/New England
There is a northern branch of the family that was situated in New York in Colonial times. It is uncertain to which, if any, of these branches the New York Rosamonds are tied. A Nathan Rosamond is known to been in Maryland in 1739, and there is a will for a Nathan Rosamond in Chester County, PA dated 1742. I obtained a copy of the will and there is no mention of other Rosamond relatives.
The United Kingdom
Ireland: The Rosamond family in Ireland is also said to be descended from Sergeant Rosamond's son with the unknown given name. It is believed that a number of this son's children and grandchildren remained in County Leitrim, Ireland or migrated to England. At least one Rosamond descendant in California, Mary Jane Loya, is from this line as her mother's maiden name was Rosamond, and her mother was born in County Leitrim. Jane (Rosamond) Chambers, a cousin of Mary Jane's lives in England and has done some research on the family there.
England: There may be two or more Rosamond lines in England. First, the family of Mary Jane Loya's cousin who we know is descended from the Rosamonds in County Leitrim, Ireland. The other Rosamond family I know of is that of Bob Rosamond, a retired policeman. Bob's family also has a legend of descent from a military man back several generations ago. There are a number of other Rosamonds in England that are not known to be connected to either of these lines. DNA analysis could prove or disprove a familial connection.
Scotland: There is a least one Rosamond family that has contacted me from Scotland who has origins in Ireland.
The Descendants of Johann Jacob Rosenmann
Most researchers believe that the descendants of Johann Jacob Rosenmann are not related to the other Rosamond families listed above. Following his arrival in Philadelphia in the late 1600s his sons began using the surname Rosamond. He and his sons then migrated down to the area around Rowan County, NC and have spread from there into Tennessee and some of the other surrounding states. However, the area from which this Johann Jacob Rosenmann originated, the Palatinate, is only about 100 miles north of Belfort, France where Sergeant Rosemond's ancestors are believed to have originated. The relationship, or non-relationship, of this family line to those above needs to be proved one way or another. DNA analysis is the only answer.
Down Under I have been contacted several times via email by Rosamond family members in Australia and New Zealand who believe they are from this same line. These families will also be included in the Y-DNA project as they are located.