Inspite of its appearance, this name is in fact, locational and derives from the village of "Rudegeard" now known as Rudyard in the county of Stafford. The name translates as "The Rudd Pond", with "Rudd" being an Olde English name for a fresh water fish and "yard" being a special pond i.e. a modern fish farm. The village name is first recorded in the year 1002 in the reign of Aethelred the Unready, and later in the 1086 Domesday Book as "Rudierd", with "Rudeyard" being recorded in the 1330, Poll Tax Rolls. The surname development includes William Redyeard, 1636, Cornhill London, Eliza Riddiard, 1626 St. Giles, London, Joan Redyard, 1621, St. Dunstans, Stepney, John Ryddiard, 1612 St. Giles London and many other spellings. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Ruddyarde, which was dated 1591, christened at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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