this is a French diminutive form of a truly ancient nickname surname. It derives from the Roman (Latin) "russus", meaning red, and describes essentially light complexioned and fair-haired people. It can be said with confidence that this "nickname" would not originally have been bestowed lightly or as a form of endearment, it was given to the invading red-haired Huns and Goths of the 5th Century A.D. by the dark-skinned Latins. The most popular form of the surname is probably Rous(e) or Russell, although the variant forms run into dozens if not hundreds ranging from Le Roux, to Rossey, Rossoni and Rossetti. Every European nation has its phalanx of "red" surnames. Probably the earliest known recording in any form is that of Russel of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk in 1095, although the first true surname may well be Robert Russel in the Winton Rolls of Hampshire in 1115. French recordings tend to be much later, examples include: Jean Rossin, who married Alexisse Baron at St. Pierre-sur-Vence, Ardenne, on May 13th 1720. In 1717, one Mary Rossin married a John Tomkins at the Church of St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London. This would suggest a possible Huguenot refugees status, although at an earlier date. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jean Rossin, which was dated September 20th 1639, a christening witness at Tourouvre, Orne, France, during the reign of King Louis X111 of France, 1610 - 1643. 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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