Recorded in the International Generalogical Index for England as Rodda, Rodder, Roder, Roda, Roader, Rodier, Roeder, Rodear, and possibly others, this is a surname of various possible origins. It is usually regarded as French from the medieval word 'rode'. This was a clearing in a wood, or perhaps even the wood itself and is found in the Northern English 'royd'. However other possible originals are from the pre 7th century personal name 'Hrod' which forms the prefix of the popular name Robert, and means 'renowned', or from the pre 7th century Danish-Norwegian 'roth' meaning red, and hence a red haired person. It can also be Provencal from 'rode' meaning a wheel, and hence a wheelwright. In the Medieval period, the hold on personal movement throughout most of Europe was gradually relaxed, and people travelled widely between countries in search of work. As a result many surnames were recorded far from their original homes. In this case the surname is well recorded in the surviving church registers of the city of London from at least the Stuart Period. Examples include Jean Roodyer and his wife Jeanne at Threadneedle Street French Huguenot church on August 5th 1688, Mary Rodda who married Francis Ellis at St Giles Cripplegate, on January 1st 1732, and Ben Rodder who married Mary Ann Russell at St Matthews Bethnal Green, on April 24th 1848.
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