Recorded in several spellings showing the name development over the centuries and including Roydhouse, Roodhouse, Rodhouse and the fused forms of Rhodus, Rhods and possibly Roddis, this is an English surname. It is certainly residential, and possibly locational from some now 'lost' medieval village called Royd-hus or similar. If not, as no such place name seems to be found in any of the known gazetters and directories of the past three centuries, it may have been topographical. As such it described a person who lived at a house in a 'royd'. This was generally a clearing in a forest, although on some occasions it may have described a house by a main road. A 'house' in this context would have been a substantial dwelling probably an inn built of stone, as most medieval dwellings were simply wattle and mud and were generally described as 'cotts'. The surnames Rhodes and Royds are of similar origins, and however spelt the surname is specifically associated with the county of Yorkshire. These early recordings include examples such as Henry del Rodehouse in the Poll Tax rolls for the county in 1379, whilst John Roiddus and Joan Roydhouse both appear in the manorial rolls for Rothwell, in the years between 1540 and 1550, and Alithea Rhodus, the daughter of Thomas Rhodus was christened at Drax, near Selby, on April 25th 1709.
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