Recorded as Rush, Rushe, Rosher, Rusher, Rushman (British Isles), Risch, Rischer, Rosch, Roscher (German), and many other spellings, this very interesting surname has at least four possible origins. It is generally accepted that in England it is a topographical surname from pre 7th century origins and describes a person who either lived near an area of rushes, or perhaps more likely described a reed cutter or reed merchant as in Alan le Russere of Sussex in the Subsidy Rolls of the year 1296. The derivation is from the ancient word 'rysc', meaning reeds or rushes. The Scottish and many Irish nameholders derive their name from 'risag' which has the same meaning of rush, and in Scotland the name also developed into Ruske and Risk. Those holders of the name of definate Irish origins often have a form of the Gaelic O'Ruis translating as 'the descendant of Ros'. This was an early personal name which itself has at least four separate meanings! To add to the confusion, in the province of Connacht, Rush has also been used as a translation of the Gaelic surname O'Luachra'. Luachra in Irish means 'to rush', and hence the modern spelling! The German-Swiss origin is the same as the English, showing the early Anglo-Saxon connection, with Luczo Rosche being recorded at Ulm in 1319. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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