This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a locational surname deriving from any one of the places named with the Old English pre 7th century elements "hris", brushwood, and "brycg", bridge. These places include Rice Bridge, in Sussex; Risebridge, Essex; Rising Bridge, Northamptonshire; and Ridgebridge, in Surrey. Locational surnames were acquired by the lord of the manor and local landowners, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and who were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. In some cases, the modern surname from this source may be topographical in origin, denoting, "the dweller by the brushwood -bridge or causeway". Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided obvious and convenient means of identification in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The name is well recorded in Sussex; Richarde, son of John and Katterne Rusbridge, was christened in Cocking, on March 2nd 1569, and the marriage of Annas Rusbridge and Richard Puttock was recorded at Basham on January 26th 1586. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Rysebrigger, which was dated 1497, in the Subsidy Rolls of Surrey, during the reign of Henry V11, known as "Henry Tudor", 1485 - 1509. 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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