This rare and interesting name is of medieval Welsh origin and is a personal name which is usually Anglicized as Roderick, and translates as 'reddish-brown' or else 'very famous'. Although a personal name, Rhydderch was originally a byname, which one of the North British rulers of the 6th Century bore, and which is referred to in early Welsh poetry. It was a fairly popular given name in medieval times, and lent itself to a variety of adaptations and spellings. An example of the Anglicization of Rhydderch into Roderic in the 19th Century is given in the 'History of Cardiganshire', the present house (Pen Glais, near Aberystwyth) was built by Roderic Richards, whose father was Richard Rhydderch. Ann Rhydderch married Thomas William on November 9th 1733 at Llangammarch Wells, Brecon. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Angharad Rhadderch, which was dated June 20th 1634, Llanddewi-Brefi, Cardiganshire, during the reign of King Charles 1, 'The Martyr', 1625-1649. 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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