Recorded as Rodd, Roader, Rodda, Rodder, Rodders, and possibly others this is a surname of English or Anglo-Saxon origins. According to the famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley writing in 1880, it derives from the pre 7th century Olde English word 'rod,' an early form of the medieval measurement of a 'rood', and describing an area of agricultural land, perhaps one of sufficient size to feed a family of four. However there is also a place called Rodd in the county of Herefordshire, and in our opinion it is likely that for most modern 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 to move somewhere else, and were hence most eaily identified by being called after their former home. 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. Other examples taken from surviving charters and registers include Johannes Rodde in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379, Anne Rodders who married Samuell Boone at St Brides Fleet Street, city of London, on April 6th 1687, and Mary Rodda, christened at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on March 26th 1730.
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