Recorded as Rouch, Rouche, Ruch and Rouchy, this is probably an English surname. If so it is one which may well owe its origins to the word rous or russ meaning 'red'. This was a word which in its various spellings was recorded throughout Europe in the period of history lknown as 'The Dark Ages' between the 5th and the 10th centuries a.d. and which was commonly used as an ethnic nickname either for an Anglo-Saxon who traditionally had red hair, or a person with a ruddy complexion. Its must popular surname manifestation in the British Isles is as Russell, a name which is a compound of 'Rous' plus the diminutive -el or -ell, a short form of little, and effectively describing a son of Rous. The suffix --ie or -y has a similar endearment meaning and is usually of Northern or Scottish origins. There are other possible explanations such as a derivative of the word and surname 'Rough', which was originally either a residential surname for somebody who lived on rough ground, or came from a place called Rough, or perhaps from the pre 7th century Olde English 'raecces' meaning a hound (dog). This would have referred to a place where hounds were kept or bred, or perhaps it was a nickname for a fast runner. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include Margret Rouch who married Robert Herring at St Katherines by the Tower (of London) on December 8th 1595, and Joane Roche who was christened at the same church on January 20th 1605.
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