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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought many new words to England from which surnames were formed. Rugg was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, who was a person associated with the color red, whether through hair color, clothing, or complexion. Accordingly, the name is derived from the Old French word ruge, meaning red.


The surname Rugg was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Felmingham. This ancient manor dates back to the Domesday Book, [1] a survey of England taken in 1086 by Duke William of Normandy after his conquest of England at Hastings in 1066 A.D. In the survey, the village, which also included a Mill and Church, was held from the King by Ashford, Roger Bigod, and the Abbot of Holme. Conjecturally the family name Rugg is descended from one of these Norman nobles, although which one is uncertain.

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Rugg, Rug, Rugge and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rugg research. Another 179 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1610, 1657, 1550, 1536 and 1549 are included under the topic Early Rugg History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rugg Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Rugg or a variant listed above:

Rugg Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Benjamin Rugg who settled in Virginia in 1643
  • Benj Rugg, who arrived in Virginia in 1643
  • Ann Rugg, who landed in Virginia in 1650
  • John Rugg, who landed in Lancaster, Massachusetts in 1654
  • Honnor Rugg settled in Virginia in 1670

Rugg Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • M. Rugg settled in San Francisco, California in 1852


  • Jim Rugg (b. 1977), American cartoonist and illustrator
  • Charles Nosike "Charlie" Rugg (b. 1990), American soccer player
  • Sylvanus T. Rugg (1834-1881), American Union Army officer
  • Paul Rugg (b. 1960), American two-time Daytime Emmy Award winning and Primetime Emmy Award nominated screen writer and actor
  • Miss Emily Rugg, aged 21, English Second Class passenger from Guernsey, Channel Islands who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 12
  • Susie Rugg (b. 1982), Australian actress
  • Gordon Rugg (b. 1955), Scottish academic
  • Sir Edward Percy Rugg, Councillor for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea


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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  2. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  8. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  9. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  11. ...

The Rugg Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rugg Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 June 2015 at 21:12.

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