Bavaria is the ancestral home of the Rufus family. Nickname surnames, such as Rufus, were derived from an eke-name, or added name. They usually reflected the physical characteristics or attributes of the first person that used the name. The family name Rufus is a name for a person associated with the color red. The name comes from the Old German word "rot," meaning "red," and could have indicated that its bearer had red hair or a red beard, lived in a red house, or often dressed in red clothes.
Early Origins of the Rufus family
Bavaria, where the name could be considered to have made a great contribution to the feudal society which became the backbone of modern Europe. The name became prominent in local affairs and branched into many houses which played important roles in the tribal and national conflicts, with each group seeking power and status in an ever changing territorial profile. Chronicles first mention the brothers Jeckel and Tilke Rote of Breslau in 1350, and Merklin der Rotter of Esslingen in 1307. Literally the name meant "red-haired" or "red-bearded," thus the oldest variation was possibly "Rothbart."
Early History of the Rufus family
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Rufus Spelling Variations
Early Notables of the Rufus family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Rufus family to the New World and Oceana
The great European flow of migration to North America, which began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century, was particularly attractive to those from Bavaria who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. For many Bavarian tenant farmers, the chance to own their own land was a major incentive. So the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlement centered in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were: Johann Roth, who sailed to Carolina and/or Pennsylvania in 1709. Among the several hundred family members who followed this first settler were: David Roth, who sailed to Pennsylvania in 1720.
Contemporary Notables of the name Rufus (post 1700)
Rufus Family Crest Products