Perhaps surprisingly this English surname is not a short form of the popular given name Roderick. According to the famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley it originates from the pre 7th century Olde English word 'rod,' which is perhaps an early form of the medieval measurement of a 'rood', and as such it described an area of agricultural land, perhaps one of sufficient size to feed a family. However there is also a place called Rodd in the county of Herefordshire, and in our opinion it is likely that for most modren name holders, this surname is locational from this village. As Rodd village also derives from the word 'rod,' the argument is in any case circular! Locational surnames were usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes for whatever reason, and moved somewhere else. The earliest recording that we have is that of Nicholas de la Rodd, in the Hundred Rolls of landowners, for the county of Devon in 1273, and that of Johannes Rodde in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379.
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