Origin of Pasadena Name

Is the origin of Pasadena, NL’s name connected to the same named community in the United States?  Yes!

The following is an excerpt from the book Historic Barr’d Islands From English Roots which references how the community of Pasadena got its name.  This particular reference is included in the family Rolls section.

Our thanks to Catherine Hutchings for bringing this reference to us.



James Rolls (1820-1885) of Sturminisiter, Newton Castle, Dorsetshire, England, established a merchant firm on the inner side of Little Harbour in Barr’d Islands around 1850. By 1860 Rolls had moved his mercantile operation to the inner side of Big Harbour. He took possession of land extending from the waterfront up Rolls Droke to Tall Boy Pond (he received a grant from the crown on January 14, 1880), for this portion of the land). James constructed the necessary buildings for a fishery-based business, family living, and animal raising. He enclosed a parcel of land for graderning.

James married Rachel Wells, whose father, John (1779-1851), of Ringwod, Hampshire, England, had become a planter in Joe Batt’s Arm (John was injured by an arrow shot by a Beothuck Indian in Shoal Bay, eventually said to have caused his death). James and Rachel had children James (1843-1902, d. Fogo), John (1846-1918, d. California), Eliza (1848-1872), Amelia (1852-1902, d.Fogo), William (1854-1933, d. British Columbia), and Susannah (1856-1930, d. California). John married Emily Furneaux of Channel; after her death, he married Leah Evans. By the mid-1870s the Rolls business had expanded to the southwest coast, establishing branches in Rose Blanche, Burnt Island (near Burgeo), and Grand River in the Codroy Valley. John worked at the Rose Blanche and Grand River businesses. He eventually moved his family to California. Amelia married Henry Earle (1841-1934), a merchant at Forgo. William married Selina Simms of Channel. He also worked in the business on the southwest coast. William eventually moved his family to British Columbia. Susannah married Samuel Pooke, an accountant, of Twillingate, who worked in the Rolls business on the southwest coast and in St. John’s. He moved his family to California. Rachel Rolls, James Sr’.s wife, died in 1859. In 1860 James Sr. Married Lucretia Winter (1825-1890) of Fogo.

James and Rachel’s daughter Eliza, Barr’d Islands’ second teacher, married Horace Herbert of Wimbourne, Dorset, England, in 1871. Just after the birth of her first child, Eliza died, at the age of twenty-four. Horace married again (to Sarah Stone, daughter of Martin Stone, schoolteacher in Fogo), and continued working with Rolls Co. until he moved from Barr’d Islands to Green Bay (Sarah died in Pilley’s Island in 1892). James and Rachel’s son, James, took over the business when he became of age. In 1870 James Rolls Sr. retired to Mount Dorset (Waterford Valley area), St. John’s. In 1872 James Rolls Jr. married Maria Rouse, daughter of Rev. Oliver Rouse (1820-1869), SPG missionary from Devonshire, England (After Rev. Rouse’s death at Bay de Verde, Maria Rouse worked in St. John’s at the book depository of the Society for Promotion of Christian Knowledge, which supplied text books to the school in Barr’d Islands). James and Maria had children James Oliver (b. 1873), Janie (b. 1875), William Wells (1877-1891), Eliza (1878-1934), Bessie (1880-1930), Trixie Beatrice (1882-1891), Kitty (1887-1920), John (b. 1886), Elaine (b. 1888), and Dora (1890-1893). Janie lived for a few years in California, where she married Leonard Earle of Fogo. They returned to Newfoundland and bought a farm in St. John’s. In 1933 they moved to the west coast of Newfoundland and established a farm of 2500 acres. They called their new home Pasadena, after Pasadena California, where members of the Rolls family ranched.

James Rolls I died at Mouth Dorset, St. John’s in 1885. James Rolls II was elected as the member of the House of Assembly for the Fogo District from 1885-1893. In 1886 James Rolls and Sons Co. passed into the ownership of Edwin Duder, merchant of St. John’s, and the Rollses moved from Barr’d Islands.



TITLE: Historic Barr’d Islands From English Roots


AUTHOR: Eric R. Witcher



PUBLISHER: Economy Printing

PAGES: 69-70