This interesting name is of medieval German origin, and is a good example of that large group of early European surnames which were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames or bynames. In this instance the nickname was given to a lively energetic person, or perhaps one who was considered to be rash and impetuous, from the Old High German "rasc", German "rasch". The modern English word "rash" has a similar derivation. Nicknames were bestowed for a variety of reasons; referring to a person's physical attributes or peculiarities, their mental or moral characteristics, some imagined resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, habits of dress, and occupation. The surname derived from "Rasch" has a variety of forms, ranging from Rasch and Rach to the diminutive forms Racig, Raschig and Rachuig. One Christian Ehregott Rachuig was baptised in Zwickan, Saxony, in 1656. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Barbara Rach, which was dated June 20th 1564, christened at "Altdorf, Neckarkreis, Wuertt", during the reign of Ferdinand 1, "Holy Roman Emperor", 1558 - 1564. 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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