The reasons why certain surnames develop and become very popular, and yet others of exactly the same meaning and origin, remain relatively scarce, is one of the many mysteries of etymology. In the case of Rusling, also found as Ruslen and Ruslin, we have a dimutive of which the most commonally found form is Russel. All mean the same which is 'Little Russ' or perhaps 'Kin of Russ' (as in Ruskin), and implying a relationship which may be as close as son, or as far as a distant cousin. 'Russ' means 'red' or 'rose' and originally was given as a baptismal name to one of rosey complexion.The true origin is probably Olde French, the earliest known recording being that of one Russel, a monk at the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds in the year 1095. This was not of course a surname. As 'Roselin' the name is early 13th century, (see below). In 1316 in the Rolls of Wakefield, Yorkshire, John Ruselyn is recorded as a burgess of that city. The church records are rather later, examples from these registers include Frances Ruslinge who married Samewell Randall at St Mary Aldermary, London, on April 18th 1628, and Robert Ruslin, who married Elizabeth Martin at St Botolophs Bishopgate, London, on January 5th 1636. A further record is that of William and Jane Rusling at Crayke, North Yorkshire, on January 27th 1684. There is a suggestion that some nameholders may be descendants of Huguenot Refugees, in that it is known that a family called Roussillon were recorded at the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, London, in 1727. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Roscelin, which was dated 1221, in the Assize Rolls of the city of Gloucester, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. 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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