This interesting surname has two possible origins. Firstly, it may derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century "rud(ig)", Middle English "rudde" meaning red or ruddy and would have originated as a nickname for one with red hair or a ruddy complexion. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to the personal characteristics. The surname may also be of Irish origin as an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O'Rodaigh" composed of the elements "O" meaning "descendant of" plus the personal name "Rodach", deriving from "rod" meaning spirited or furious. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 12th Century (see below). In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Rudd, Rudman, Roddy, Reddie, Ready, etc. Recordings of the surname from the London Church Registers include; Christopher Ruddy, who married Marie Petrison on September 26th 1630, at St. Gregory by St. Paul's, and Jane, daughter of Christopher Ruddy, who was christened on June 3rd 1632, at St. Mildred Poultry with St. Mary's, Colechurch. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gerard Rudde, which was dated 1189, the "Yorkshire Pipe Rolls", during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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