This interesting name is a transposed variant of the Olde German locational word 'geriute' - meaning 'one who lives in a clearing'. The name can also be a somewhat uncomplimentary nickname surname which means a highwayman or footpad, and derives originally from the latin 'rupta' meaning 'a road or track'. The name is found in the Netherlands as De Ruyter or De Ruifter, and in Germany as Reuter or Ruter, which are apparently the originations of Rowter. Baron Julius von Reuter (1819-1899) was the founder of the News Agency which still bears his name. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes Reuter which was dated C. 1680 Enkhuizen Province of Holland during the reign of William 111 of Orange (and England) 1650-1703 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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