This most unusual name is of Old Norse origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Rostherne near Knutsford in Cheshire. The place is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Rodestorne", and in the Chartulary of the Abbey of St. Werburgh, Chester, of 1226 - 1228, as "Roudestorn, Routhestorn". The name means "Rauth's thorn-bush", derived from the Old Norse byname "Rauthr", Red (with reference probably to hair colour), and the Old Norse or Olde English pre 7th Century "thorn", thorn-bush. Locational surnames were used by local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification by those who had left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently generated a number of variant surname forms; in the case of Rostherne, these range from Rawsthorn(e), Rawstorn(e) and Rawstron to Rosthorn(e), Rostron, Rostern(e) and Roston. Recordings of the name from Lancashire Church Registers include: the christening of John, son of James Rostron, at Ormskirk, on July 13th 1618, and the marriage of Thomas Rostron and Ester Ramwell on June 9th 1701, at St. Peter's, Bolton le Moors. A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name depicts a silver tower (triple-towered) within an orle of gold crescents, on a blue shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Routhesthorn, which was dated 1246, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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