This is an interesting and unusual name of English origin and is the patronymic (son of) form of Rudge. There are two possible sources of origin of this name, the first is that it is topographical, or locational from villages so called in Shropshire and Gloucestershire, with the derivation from the Middle English 'rudge' a ridge. Secondly it could be a nickname surname given to a person with red hair or a ruddy complexion which derives from the Olde French 'R(o)uge', Red. During the Middle Ages, when people migrated from their birth place to seek work else where they would adopt the place name as a means of identification. One Peter Ruggles was christened at St. Mary, White Chapel, Stepney, 24th January, 1638.The Coat of Arms granted to the family of Spains Hall, Essex and Clare, county Suffolk on 21st June, 1547 and has the blazon of on a silver shield a chevron between three red roses. The crest being a gold tower, flames rising from the top proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Rugge, which was dated 1196, in the Stafford Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Richard 1, 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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