Recorded in several spelling forms including Rosted, Rusted, Rustadge, Rustich, Rustidge, Rustage, Rustedge, and possibly others, this is an English locational surname. It has two possible origins. The first is from a now 'lost' pre medieval place called 'Hrist - hrycg' or similar, and meaning 'the ridge covered by brushwood'. A second possible origin is as a transposed form of some other surname or place name such as 'Routledge', which has the same meaning. When researching surnames it has always to be considered that upto the 19th century fewer than 10% of the population anywhere in the world could both write their name and read even simple sentences. In addition local accents were very 'strong', and sometimes almost another language. The reasons why some five thousand medieval sites in England alone have disappeared are complex. These include disease particularly plague,civil war, and the development of sheep farming, which from the 14th century required far fewer workers than arable farming, and was much more profiable for land owners. All forms of the surname are or have been relatively popular in Lancashire since the mid 17th century, and it is possible that the village was sited in these parts, however another possible candidate is the fen Country of East Anglia. Examples of surname recordings taken from surviving church registers include: William Rustich who married Sicelie Wilcocke at Childwall, Lancashire, on July 25th 1657, Johanne Rusted, a witness at the famous church of St Martins in the Field, Westminster, London, on March 31st 1671, Alice Rustidge, who married Brian Charles at Walton on the Hill, Liverpool, on January 27th 1719, and Anne Rustage, a witness at St James church, Didsbury, Manchester on October 21st 1740. At St. Mary's church, Cambridge on 14th July 1649, one John Rusted married Jane Bonham, and this may be the first recorded spelling of the family name.
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