Recorded in a number of different spellings including Makrowat, Rawet, Riatt, Ruett, Ruit, Rowat, Rowet, Rowatt and Rowett, this is a much travelled surname. It is best described as Anglo-Scottish, but has so many potential origins including French, that the research has to very broad based. We believe that it may derive from a given name such as Rue, a short form of the German Rudolph, or from Rollo, a popular Germanic given name of ancient times, or from Rous, a given name meaning 'red', found throughout Europe or the pre 7th century Olde English 'Row', itself recorded in the modern popular surnames of Row or Rowe. This name originally described a person who lived in the 'village row'. The suffix ending is the French diminutive 'petit', used to give the meaning of 'Little' or 'son of'. 'Petit' shortened to 'et', was a regular addition to base surnames throughout the middle ages both in England and Scotland, and of course France itself. 'Black's Scottish Surnames' claims the surname to be a form of the French 'Rouat', but without explanation. What is certain is that for many name holders the place of origin was the south west of Scotland, the old English speaking kingdom of Strathclyde, and it is from this area that most early recordings are to be found. These recordings include:John Rowet, a member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow in 1585, Mary Ruit of the town of Lanark on November 8th 1713, and Agnes Rawet, of Springburn, Lanarkshire, on September 20th 1848. The first recorded spelling of the family name in an acceptable modern form is that of John Makrowat of Wigtown, Scotland, in 1513. This was during the reign of King James V of Scotland who reigned from 1513 to 1542.
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