This interesting Scottish surname derives from the Gaelic "riabhach" meaning brindled or greyish and would have originated as a descriptive nickname for one with grey hair. "Am Fear Reabhaich" translates as the brindled or grizzly one of the signed one, and is a popular gaelic name for the devil. The surname is first recorded in the mid 15th Century, (see below). Part of the lands of Parcy were leased to Alan Reach in 1463-1473. Robert Reauch and Finlay Reauch were tenants on the lands of the bishopric of Aberdeen, 1511, and Gilbert Reoch was the king's officer and messenger-of-arms in Irvine, 1514.In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Reach, Reiach, Riach, Rioch, etc.. Recordings of the surname from the Midlothion church registers include; the marriage of John Reoch and Margaret Kerr, which took place on December 6th 1661, at Edinburgh Parish church; John, son of John and Margaret Reoch was christened in the same place on March 14th 1669; and on October 13th 1676, Thomas, son of Thomas and Christiane Reoch, was christened at Lasswade. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Reoch, which was dated 1452, burgess of Inverness, during the reign of King James 11 of Scotland, 1437 - 1460. 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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