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


The name Rusaw reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Rusaw family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Rusaw family lived in Shropshire, at Rossall Manor, from whence their name is derived. Another derivation places the origin of the name at Rossall Point, a headland in Lancashire, just north of Shropshire. It is difficult to say which of these preceded the other, due to inadequate records of the time. However, due to the relatively close proximity of the two counties, it is quite likely that the two origins are connected in a way lost to the historical record.

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The surname Rusaw was first found in Shropshire where they held a family seat from ancient times, and were Lords of the manor of Rossall, originally named Rosela. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086, initiated by Duke William of Normandy after his conquest of England in 1066, the holdings were known as the Isle of Rossall, held by the Church of St. Chad. A junior branch of this name gave its name to Rossall in Lancashire which was also included in the Domesday Book, [1] but on which the records are now lost.

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 Rossal, Rossall, Rossale, Rosal, Rosall, Rosale and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rusaw research. Another 181 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1677 and 1306 are included under the topic Early Rusaw History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Rusaw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 Rusaw name or one of its variants: Thomas Rassall, who settled in Maryland in 1739; and Richard Rossall, who applied for naturalization in New York in 1856.

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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. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  8. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  9. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Rusaw Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rusaw 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 15 January 2016 at 09:26.

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