Recorded as Rush, Rushe, Rusher, and Rushman, this very interesting surname has at least four possible origins, and three nationalities. It originates separately in England, Scotland and Ireland. It is generally accepted that in England it is a topographical surname from pre 7th century origins and as such describes a person who either lived near an area of rushes or perhaps more likely described a reed cutter or reed merchant. The derivation is from the word 'rysc', meaning reeds or rushes. The Scottish and many Irish nameholders derive their name from 'risag' which has much the same meaning as 'rysc' and in Scotland the name also developed into Rusk(e) and Risk.Those holders of the name of definate Irish origins often have an anglicized form of the Gaelic O'Ruis translating as 'the descendant of Ros', a personal name which has at least four separate meanings. To add to the confusion, in the province of Connacht 'Rush' has also been used as a (supposed) translation of the Gaelic surname O'Luachra, although this is normally anglicised as 'Loughry'. 'Luachra' in Irish means 'to rush', and hence the modern spelling! What is clear is that in its earliest English forms the surname dates back to the 14th Century (see below), and early examples of the recordings include John Rushe of Oxford University in 1544 and Agnes Rush who married Robert Hellen on January 25th 1577, at Tottenham, London. One Thomas Rush, aged 20 yrs., was an Irish famine emigrant who sailed on the ship 'Liverpool of Liverpool' bound for New York on March 13th 1846. The coat of arms granted in 1533 by King Henry V111 has the blazon of a red field, a gold bend between three white horses courant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John ate Russhe, which was dated 1332, "The Subsidy Rolls of Surrey", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as 'The Father of the Navy', 1327 - 1377. 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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