Recorded as Rew, Rue, Rug, Rugg, Rugge, and Ruggles (English), Rugg, Ruggen, Ruegg, Rudiger (Austrian, German, Swiss), this is a surname of two possible origins. In both England and Germany the most likely origin is from a nickname given to a person with red hair or a ruddy complexion, and ultimately from the pre 5th century Norse-Viking word "ruegg" or possibly the Olde French word "ruge", both meaning red. However we believe that the name can also be ethnic and describe an Anglo-Saxon, people who were famous for their red hair. In England there is a second possible origin from "rudge" a locational word from the village of Rudge in Shropshire, or a topographical word, which in medieval times described a ridge. Locational surnames werre given when people migrated from their birth place to seek work elsewhere. Then they would adopt, or be given, the name of their former home as an easy means of identification. Early examples of the surname recording include Welzlin Ruegg of Schietingen, Germany, in the year 1412, Margaret Rug, christened at St Margarets, Westminster, on January 1st 1560, William Rugge, who was christened at St Brides, Fleet Street, on May 2nd 1591, and Ulrich Ruegg who married Sarah Thornton, at St Martin Outwich, also in the city of London, on April 5th 1790. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Rugge. This was dated 1196, in the Pipe Rolls of Staffordshire. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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