This early surname recorded in the spellings of Ruddock, Ruddick, Roddick and Rudduck is of Olde English pre 7th century origins. It derives from "ruddoc", and the later medieval English "ruddock", and translates literally as "Robin (redbreast)". The development is from rudig, meaning red, and the name was originally given as a nickname to a person who was thought to bear a fancied resemblance to the little bird. This type of nickname was quite popular in the 12th century, although usually it would be associated with a bird of prey or one with extreme sexual habits. This was clearly not the case with "ruddock", the nickname must have been intended to be an endearment. The surname was first recorded in the latter part of the 12th Century, (see below), making it one of the earliest recorded. There is also a reference in Chaucer's famous "Assembly of Fowls" to "The tame ruddocke", which may imply that the ruddock prefers to live near people. Early examples of the recordings of the surname include Ralph Ruddock, in the Hundred Rolls of Hertfordshire for the year 1273, and Matilda Ruddoc, in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcester in 1275. Recordings from later church registers include the christening of Elizabeth Rudduck at Saint Antholin church, Budge Row, London, on April 12th 1609, and the marriage of Thomas Roddick to Sarah May at Saint Mary Somerset, London, on November 10th 1756. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Azor Ruddoch, which was dated 1176, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Bedfordshire, England, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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