Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including Rishton, Roston, Rushton and Ruston, this is an English locational surname. It originates from any of the places in Cheshire, Northamptonshire and Staffordshire called Rushton, or the village of Ruston in Yorkshire. All the placenames are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, and all share the same meaning and derivation which is the farm where rushes are grown. This is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "rysc", with "tun", meaning a fenced enclosure in a forest, or in modren parlance, a farm. "Rushes" were particularly important in medieval times. They were used not only as thatch, but also as the main ingredient of a "torch," the only means of light, and as the only used method of floor covering. The surname is well recorded from the 12th century, at the very begining of surnames. Early examples taken from authentic charters include: John de Russheton, in the estates register of Crowland Abbey in Cambridgeshire in the year 1340, Jhon Ruston, who married Katherin Willsonn at West Heslerton, Yorkshire, on October 14th 1584, and Stephan Rushton who married Margerye Mosse, at St. Mary's church, Stockport, Cheshire, on December 2nd 1610. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Robert de Riston. This was dated 1203, when he was a witness at the Assize Court of Northumberland, during the reign of King John, 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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