This interesting surname has two distinct possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be of early medieval English origin, and is a diminutive of the female given name "Rose, Royse", popularly associated with the flower, but in fact originally from a Germanic personal name. This is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 in the form "Rothais", composed of the elements "hrod", renown, and "haid(is)", kind, sort. Rosekin (without surname) is noted in the 1220 Feet of Fines of Essex. Secondly, the surname may be of Scottish origin, and is an occupational name for a tanner, deriving from the Gaelic "rusg(aire)an", a diminutive form of "rusgaire", peeler (of bark). There was a family called Maccalmans at Barraglas in Glenlonain, Scotland, who had a tanning business on the bank of the river Neannt. From stripping bark from the trees for the tanning business they were known throughout the district as "na Rusgain, na Rusgairean", the peelers, the bark peelers, and as "Clann Rusgain", the bark peeling family. They thus lost their clan name in their occupation name. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Ruskin, Ruskyn, Rusken and Roskin. On January 18th 1578, John, son of Richard Ruskyn, was christened at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London, and Frisand Ruskin married Thomas Mand at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, also in London, on November 4th 1634. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts a silver chevron between six silver spear-heads on a black shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Rosekyn, which was dated 1389, in the "Feet of Fines of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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