This interesting surname is of Old Norse origin, and is a locational name from either Rossendale in Lancashire or Rosedale in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Rossendale was recorded as "Rocendal" in the 1241 Close Rolls, and Rosedale was recorded as "Russedal" in the 1130 Charter Rolls, and as "Rossedale" in the 1190 Charter Rolls. Both placenames share the same meaning and derivation, which is from the Old Norse "hrossa", horse, with "dalr", valley; 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 Rosindell, Rosindale and Rosendall to Rosindill 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; the marriage of Johem Rosendale and Annam Nicholson on May 14th 1605 at Ilkley; the christening of William son of Thomas Rossendale, on August 24th 1637 at St. Peter's, Leeds; and the marriage of Thomas Rosendale and Mary Cliburne on January 19th 1645 at the same place. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Georgii Rossendall, which was dated August 30th 1561, witness at a christening, at Elland, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as 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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