The surname Rudd is Anglo-Saxon. It derives it origins from one of two sources. First it is believed to be geographical, referring to someone who lived near a cross or “rood” in medieval English. Secondly, it was thought to be a nickname given to a person with red hair.
Surnames in England prior to the Norman conquest were largely unheard of and for the most part did not catch on until the late 16th century. In the small settlements and villages which existed during earlier times, residents found little need for surnames as everyone in these communities new each other and a given name would usually suffice. Over time; however, population growth and expansions of communities where villages gave way to towns and cities, the addition of a qualifier in the form of a surname, became almost a necessity as it allowed the distinguishing of people, one from another. Therefore one person may have been identified by their given name plus their occupation while another may have been identified by their given name and one of their parent's names. There was a boundless supply from which surnames could be formed, in addition to the use of patriarchal/matriarchal names or reference to the individuals occupation, there were things such as defining physical traits, a familiar geographical location or a topographical landmark found near the individuals home or birthplace, the name of the village in which the person lived, and so much more. Surnames also served the practical purposes of allowing governments an easier way to track people for census, tax, and immigration records.
One drawback found to exists in these records were the variations in spelling of many surnames. The variation in spelling during this time period is attributed to a lack of continuity in guidelines for spelling, compounded by the diversity of languages in use in Europe at this time in addition to the fact that many scribes spelled phonetically. The variations in the spelling of the surname include but not limited to; Rudd; Ruddy; Rood; Rudman; Rut; Roud; and Rutt among others.
The earliest record of any variation of this surname is that of Gerard Ruddle which appears in the Lancashire tax rolls from 1189. These rolls, were a series of census and tax records kept by the English Treasury by order of King Richard I. These records span a period of over 700 years with the oldest dating back to the 12th century. They hold the distinction of being the oldest consecutive set of records detailing English governance in the United Kingdom.
One of the first recorded immigrant to America bearing the surname or any variation of the spelling was John Rudd who arrived in 1670 and settled in Maryland. Mary Rudd landed and settled in Pennsylvania in 1682 and John Rudd arrived and settled in Virginia in 1698.
There were also many immigrants to the British Commonwealth countries of Australia and New Zealand bearing the surname Rudd. James Rudd landed in 1836 and settled in Australia. William and Fanny Rudd along with their children, Lizzie and Kate, landed in 1874 and settled in Auckland, New Zealand. Brothers.
Worldwide, the highest concentration of people with the surname Rudd are found in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the United States, and Ireland. By state, the largest percentile of those with the surname Rudd live in Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Utah.
There are many notable people with the surname Rudd. Sir Nigel Rudd is a British entrepreneur and businessman.
Rudd is a Fellow of the ICAEW. During his career he has been the Chairman of BAA Limited, Pilkington PLC, The Boots Company, and Pendragon PLC. He has also held the office of Deputy Chairman of Barclays PLC. Rudd founded one of the United Kingdoms biggest industrial holding companies in 1982, Williams Holdings.
Rudd has been on the board of directors for BAA Aviation since 2013 and previously served as a board member for Longbow Capital from 2004 until 2013 and Pendragon PLC from 1989 until 2010.
For his service to the manufacturing industry, Rudd was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1996. He is a Deputy Lieutenant of Derbyshire, a Freeman of the City of London, and in 2010 he was named Chancellor of Loughborough University.