This is an Italian surname which has also been recorded in England since the 18th century. It derives from the Roman (Latin) word 'ronchus' meaning a wood or thicket, and is therefore locational for one who lived by or more likely, owned such a place. It is to be found in a wide variety of recordings including Ronca, Ronci, Ronchchi, Roncelli, and Ronchetti. Italian surnames are regarded as the most complex of all European names. They usually feature a bewildering number of patronymics and diminutives which are generally added as a suffix, but may also feature as a prefix. Furthermore whilst hereditary, they were not usually fixed in the their spelling, so that each generation often added its own variations. This can produce a situation where the base name is completely lost, becoming a matter of conjecture, with perhaps only one or two original letters remaining! In this case though we have a number of good examples of the surname recording. These commenced in the 16th century with that of Paolo Ronchi, the son of Ignazio Ronchi, who was christened at San Lorenzo, Milano, on March 8th 1586, and later in England, Johannes Ronchetti, who married Jane Price at the Roman Catholic church, Lincolns Inn Field, city of London, on January 2nd 1784. The surname is still rare in England, but has for instance, been recorded in Yorkshire in the 20th century.
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