This interesting and unusual name is of French origin and is locational from a place called "Roncesvalles", in the Pyrenees, where there was a Priory of St. Mary, to which the hospital of our Lady or Rouncevale, at Charing Cross, London, is affected. In the Poem by Browning, Childe Roland sounded his magical ivory horn, which he had won from the giant Jutmundus, when he was set upon by the Gascons at the famous battle of Roncesvalles, to summon Charlemagne to his aid. This name is extremely rare, and in the few recordings found in London, the name has several variants, for example, one John Rounsivall was christened on February 1624 at St. Ann's, Blackfriars, Jone Rounsefall married John Roberdes on 29th July 1681 at St. James, Clerkenwell, and Thomas Rounsefull married Margrett Barber on 29th December 1688 at St. Katherine-by-the-Tower. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey de Runcorn, which was dated 1254, in the "Assize Rolls of Essex", 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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