This very interesting surname is a good example of the medieval English nickname. It derives from the Anglo-Saxon, pre 9th Century "Rudduc", (the pronounced 'riddic') an early word for "the Robin" (Bird). 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 probable that there may have been other explanations for the name. Chaucer (1340 - 1400) refers in the "Parliament of Fowls" to (quote) "the tame ruddocke and the cowardly kyte", but it seems he was no ornithologist! The early surname recordings include Thomas Reedick (1567), Margarett Ruddock (1616), John Riddock (1660), Ann Riddick (1769), and Thomae Riditch of Farnworth, Preston in 1706.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, which was dated 1273, in the County Pipe Rolls of Hertfordshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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