This interesting surname which appears on record in English church registers from the early part of the 19th Century is a late variant of the name Rug(g)les, itself having three possible origins. Firstly, it may have originated as a topographical name from residence by a ridge, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "hrycg" which became rugge, regge, and rigge in different dialects of Medieval English. The "L" in this case is a dialectal intrusion, and the final "-es" represents the Old English genitive ending i.e. "of the ridge". Secondly, the name may derive from the Anglo-French "rug(g)e" meaning "red" plus the diminutive suffix "el", and originally given as a nickname to one of ruddy complexion. Finally, the derivation may be from "Rug-el" or "Rog-el", medieval diminutive forms of the personal name Roger, a compound of the Germanic elements "hrod" renown and "geri", a spear. The suffix "-es", when attached to personal/nicknames represents the patronymic form. On February 3rd 1560, Dionyse Ruggills and John Howe were married in Thorley, Hertfordshire, and on December 25th 1617, Susanne Rugles was christened in St. Botolph without Aldgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Regelous, (marriage to Henry Peck), which was dated March 21st 1824, "St. Martin in the Fields", Westminster, London, during the reign of King George 1V of England, 1820 - 1830. 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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