Ruff History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ruff is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. Ruff is a name that comes from the Norman given name Rudolph.

Early Origins of the Ruff family

The surname Ruff was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from early times, soon after the Norman Conquest by Duke William of Normandy in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Ruff family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ruff research. Another 148 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1297, 1332, 1557, 1510 and 1521 are included under the topic Early Ruff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ruff Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Roffe, Rolfe, Rolph, Roalph, Roff, Ruff, Rouf and others.

Early Notables of the Ruff family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Rough (died 1557), Scottish Protestant martyr, is stated to have been born in 1510, but as he was incorporated in St. Leonard's College in the university of St. Andrews in 1521. He was a close friend of John Knox and was soon summoned before Winram, the vicar-general of St. Andrews. Rough managed...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ruff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Ruff migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Ruff name or one of its variants:

Ruff Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johan Ruff, who arrived in New York in 1709 [1]
  • Madlena Ruff, aged 34, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 [1]
  • Catrina Ruff, aged 13, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733 [1]
  • Darius Ruff, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1737 [1]
  • Jacob Ruff, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1739 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Ruff Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Albrecht Ruff, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1805 [1]
  • Gottlob Ruff, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1806 [1]
  • Mathias Ruff, who arrived in New York in 1833 [1]
  • Catharina Ruff, who arrived in Texas in 1846 [1]
  • Solomon Ruff, aged 32, who landed in New York, NY in 1848 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Ruff Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Emilie Ruff, aged 4, who arrived in New York, NY in 1902 [1]
  • Christina Ruff, aged 43, who landed in New York, NY in 1902 [1]
  • Maria Ruff, aged 7, who landed in New York, NY in 1902 [1]
  • Sophia Ruff, aged 11, who arrived in New York, NY in 1902 [1]
  • Susana Ruff, aged 2, who landed in New York, NY in 1902 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Ruff migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Ruff Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Ann Ruff, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Calphurnia" in 1849 [2]

New Zealand Ruff migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Ruff Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Ruff, (b. 1818), aged 35, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 23rd December 1853 [3]
  • Mrs. Catharine Ruff, (b. 1821), aged 32, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 23rd December 1853 [3]
  • Mr. James Henry Ruff, (b. 1837), aged 16, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 23rd December 1853 [3]
  • Elizabeth Ruff, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Golconda" in 1859

Contemporary Notables of the name Ruff (post 1700) +

  • Willie Ruff (b. 1931), American horn player and bassist, faculty member at the Yale School of Music since 1971
  • Michelle Ruff (b. 1967), American four-time Behind the Voice Actors Award nominated voice actress, known for her work on Bleach (2004), Digimon: Digital Monsters (1999) and Over the Hedge (2006)
  • Matt Ruff (b. 1965), American author of thriller, science-fiction and comic novels
  • Howard Ruff (b. 1931), American financial adviser and author of the investing newsletter The Ruff Times
  • Charles Frederick Carson "Chuck" Ruff (1939-2000), American lawyer, 27th White House Counsel (1998-1999), posthumously presented the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Clinton
  • William Ruff (1801-1856), English sporting reporter, author of ‘The Guide to the Turf,’ born in London
  • Otto Ruff (1871-1939), German chemist, awarded the Liebig Medal, known for Ruff degradation
  • Lindy Ruff (b. 1960), Canadian NHL hockey coach, awarded the Jack Adams Award as Coach of the Year in 2006, assistant coach for the 2014 Canadian Olympic Hockey Team
  • Jason Ruff (b. 1970), Canadian retired NHL ice hockey player from Kelowna, British Columbia who played from 1991 to 2007
  • Thomas Ruff (b. 1958), German photographer

Bismarck
  • Josef Ruff (1922-1941), German Matrose who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [4]


Suggested Readings for the name Ruff +

  • 2151 "The Ruff Family Album" by Bonner Ruff, "Look Behind your Mirror: some Descendants of Michael Rugh" by J.C. Rugh.

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The CALPHURNIA 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Calpurnia.htm
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ Bismarck & Tirpitz Class - Crew List Bismarck. (Retrieved 2018, February 06). Retrieved from https://www.bismarck-class.dk/bismarck/crew/bismarck_crew.html#crew_details


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