This is a Polish surname, but one which may ultimately be of either Scandanavian or even Roman origins, with some pre 8th century Germanic background. It is either habitational or occupational for a person who lived or worked at a place of rowan trees, from the ancient Norse word "rogn", or perhaps more likely, it was a development of the Latin word "russ" meaning red, and as such a nickname for a person with red hair or complexion. This may have been an ethnic description for a Saxon or North German as they traditionally had red hair, and who from the fall of the Roman Empire in the 6th century, spread and occupied large areas of Europe. Traditionally Polish personal names were Slavonic, but in the Middle Ages as surnames began to be adopted they turned to both Rome and Germany for inspiration. The suffix ending of this name shows it to be a patronymic, suggesting the original meaning to be "The son of the red haired one", although this is open to conecture. Sadly surviving records in Poland are very poor, most having been destroyed in the various conflicts which have swept the country over the past century. Hopefully for future generations this will now change. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation, and throughout the centuries have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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