This unusual and interesting surname, with variant spellings Stroud and Strood, derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "stod", marshy land overgrown with brushwood, and was originally given either as a topographical name to someone resident by marshy ground, or as a locational name to one from Stood in Kent, or Stroud in Cloucestershire and Middlesex. The former place was first recorded as Strod in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, dated 889, whereas Stroud in Gloucestershire appeared as La Strode in the 1221, Assize Court Rolls of that county. Both of these places were named from situation on marshy ground. The surname was first recorded in the early 13th Century. Other early recordings include: Thomas de la Strode, (Devon, 1230); William atte Strode, Worcestershire 1275) and Edytha atte Stroude, (Somerset, 1327). An interesting namebearer was Ralph Strode, (flourished 1350-1400), whose chief reputation was acquired as a scholastic philosopher and logician; fellow of Merton College, Oxford, where John Wycliffe was his colleague. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aluina de Strodes, witness, which was dated 1206, The Fine Court Rolls of Kent, during the reign of King John known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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