Recorded as Rudd, Ruddy, Ruddiman, Rudman and Rood, this is a very English surname. Dating from pre 8th century Anglo-Saxon times, it is either a topographical name for a person who lived by a "rood" or cross, or was a nickname applied to a person with red hair or with a ruddy complexion. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th century word "rudig", meaning red, or ruddy. Early examples of the surname recordings showing the development over the centuries include: Richard atte Reode of Somerset in 1273, George Roode also spellt as Rudde, a student at Oxford University in 1554, and John Rood who married Susanna Sturton at St Georges Chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster, in 1790. Thomas Rudd (1584 - 1656) was a noted military engineer, he superintended the defence and harbour works at Portsmouth and Dover and was chief engineer to the royalists during the English Civil War (1641 - 1649). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gerard Rudde. This was dated 1189, in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 1st of engalnd and known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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