This long-established surname belongs to that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These nicknames were originally given with reference to a variety of personal characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, and to habits of dress and behaviour. The derivation, in this instance, is from the Old French "le, la", the, with rous(se), roux", red, used to denote someone with red or auburn hair. The surname was initially introduced into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066, and early recordings include: Symon le Rus (Huntingdonshire, 1253); Juliana la Rouse (Oxfordshire, 1273); and Margareta le Ruse (Staffordshire, 1285). The name was reintroduced by French Huguenot refugees fleeing religious persecution in their own country from the late 16th Century onwards, and entries in London Church Registers include the christening of Samuel, son of Jonas and Anne Leroux, at the Threadneedle Street French Huguenot Church, on November 23rd 1606. Sabastien Laroux married Catherine Tiery at Pulligny, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, on November 22nd 1695, and on May 31st 1712, the marriage of Peter Laroux to Jane Collier took place at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Russe, which was dated 1218, in the "Feet of Fines of Wiltshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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