The associated coat of arms for this name are recorded in J.B Rietstaps Armorial General. Illustrated by V & H.V Rolland's. This Monumental work took 23 years to complete and 85,000 coats of Arms are included in this work. This Portugese and Spanish surname of RUIZ was originally derived from the Germanic personal name HRODRIC, which was composed of the elements 'hrod' (renown) and 'ric' (power). The name also meant 'Famous'. The name was in England in the Middle Ages, where it is in the form of Roderick. In the 8th century, Spain fell under the control of the Moors, and this influence, which lasted into the 12th century, has also left its mark on Hispanic surnames. A few names are based directly on Arabic personal names. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. This surname originates from the Basque country and is now found throughout the whole of Spain and also in the American continent. Other spellings of the name include RODERICK, RODRIGO, RODRIGUEZ, RODRIGUE and RODRIGEZ. A notable member of the name was Jose Martinez RUIZ (1874-1967) the novelist and critic, born in Monovar, Spain. He studied law, then became a writer, his novels including 'Don Juan' (1922) and 'Dona Ines' (1925). He was also one of the leading literary critics of his time. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries.
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