This unusual and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a dialectal variant of a locational name Rusholine, from a place so called in Lancashire. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century "Ryscum", itself from "Rysc", rush, and the place is first recorded in the Feet of Fines of 1235 as "Pussum", and in 1417 in the "Placenames of Lancashire" as "Reshum". The second element in Rusholme is from the Old English "holm", meaning a piece of dry land surrounded by marsh or fenland. During the Middle Ages it became more usual for people to travel further a field, to seek work, and the custom evolved of taking the former placename as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. One Elizabeth Russam married Thomas Hembroughe on April 9th 1589, at Snaith, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabetha Russome, which was dated August 10th 1542, Howden, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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