This famous locational surname derives from an Olde English pre 6th Century estate or region formerly known in ancient times as "Rota's land". This name is first recorded in the Danelaw Charter of 863 A.D., although the surname is much later. "Rota" has long been taken to be a personal name, however, it is much more likely that it refers to a region controlled or farmed by a register of freemen farmers by rota. This is partly confirmed by the statue of early "Rota-land" in that it was also a "soke", i.e., an area containing its own court. Rutland became a county in 1282, retaining this status until 1974. The surname is, however, one of the earliest on record, the original nameholder (see below) being one of the first of the medieval poets, although for reason unknown he apparently lived well away from Rutland. The title of Duke of Rutland is well known, less well known is the fact that for several centuries Rutland formed part of the land holdings of the English Queens. Amongst the examples of the name recordings are Richard de Roteland in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Oxford, while later, on February 19th 1598, one William Rutland married Ellen Andromes at Eastcheap, London. The Coat of Arms is a gold field charged with a red engrailed orle, between eight blue stars, the Crest is a horses head. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh de Roteland, which was dated 1185, recorded as the Norman poet of the Welsh borders, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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