Recorded in the spellings of Riddock, Riddick and Ruddock, this is an English surname. It is or rather was a medieval nickname and derives from the Anglo-Saxon, pre 9th century word "rudduc", but pronounced riddic, an early name for the Robin bird, and a national emblem of England. The precise meaning of the nickname is obscure, but it is believed to refer to a male who "strutted in his plumage", however given the robust nature of 13th century life, it is quite probable that there may have been other explanations for the name. The famous auther Georffrey Chaucer (1340 - 1400) refers in his famous "Parliament of Fowls" to "the tame ruddocke and the cowardly kyte", but it seems he was no ornithologist! The early surname recordings include Thomas Reedick in 1567, Margarett Ruddock in 1616, and John Riddock in 1660. A later recording which continues the dialectal variation is that of Sarah Riddich, who married John Avern at the church of St Mary's, Newington, Surrey, on Christmas Day in 1819. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Ruddoc. This was dated 1273, in the County Pipe Rolls of Hertfordshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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