This is an English surname, but one which is almost certainly of French origins. We believe that it is occupational from the word "roulier, meaning a maker of vehicles. As the only vehicles made before about the year 1400 were two wheel carts, it is perhaps not surprising that the surname is quite rare. Recorded in England as Ruler and Ruller, as to when it first appeared is unclear, but the early known recordings would suggest that it may have been Huguenot, and therefore to have entered the country during the period from about 1585 to 1685. This was when the persecution of the Huguenots or French protestants by the catholics under King Louis X1V, reached its height, and some fifty thousand immigrants found their way to Britain. The surname is quite well recorded in the surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London from 1690 when Mary Ruler married Roger Hunt at St Katherines by the Tower (of London) on June 3rd of that year, whilst Thomas Ruller was christened at St. Mary-le-Bone on February 12th 1731. The derivation may be from the French surname Rulleau believed to be a misspelling of Roulier or a diminutive of Rollo, an early personal name. Amongst the recordings is that of Peter Ruleau, a witness at St Martins in the Field, Westminster. on May 27th 1668.
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