Recorded in many spellings as shown below, this interesting surname is Medieval English, but of pre 7th century Old Norse origins. It is locational from either Rossendale in Lancashire or Rosedale in the North Riding of Yorkshire, the recordings over the years in many places having become 'fused'. Rossendale was recorded as "Rocendal" in the Close Rolls of Lancashire in 1241, whilst Rosedale was recorded as "Russedal" in the Charter Rolls of Yorkshire in the year 1130, and as "Rossedale" in the Pipe Rolls of 1190. Both placenames share the same meaning and derivation, which is from the "hrossa", meaning the horse, with "dalr", a valley; and hence "horse valley". During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job- seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname has many variant spellings, ranging from Rosedale, Rossdale, Rossdall, Rosindell, Rosindale, and Rosendall, to Rosdell, Rosindell and Rosingdall. Recordings of the surname from Yorkshire Church Registers include: the christening of Samuel, son of Edward Rosendale, on January 28th 1571 at Halifax; Jhon Rosdell of West Heslerton, on Septmber 14th 1577, and Catherine Rosedale who married James Armstrong at Whitby, on April 17th 1809. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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