The surname of RUSHIN is a Russian patronymic derived from the Russian word RUSAK meaning Great Russian. The name ultimately was derived from a Scandinavian term meaning 'rower, oarsman', the Russian state having been first established in the 9th century by Varangian (Norse) settlers who rowed up the rivers from the Baltic. Other spellings of the name include RUSINOV, RUSAKOV, OROSZ and OROSE. Artemmi RUSAKOV of the Company of Life Guards by the command of Her Highness Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, dated December 31st, 1741, was granted the rank of nobility along with all of his legal descendants. Russian surnames are almost exclusively patronymic (occasionally metronymic) in form, usually ending in 'ov' or 'ev'. Habitation and topographic names are rare, and many common Russian surnames are polygenetic, and their literal meaning is clear, even though the reason for their adoption may not be. Heraldry appeared later in Russia than in most other Western European countries. It is generally agreed that it was copied from the west sometime in the late 17th century, and quickly achieved state significance. In 1722 Emperor Peter I (The Great) established an official Heraldry Office headed by a Master of Heraldry under the jurisdiction of the Senate, and granted 355 armorial bearings in the 18th century. When the first immigrants from Europe went to America, the only names current in the new land were Indian names which did not appeal to Europeans vocally, and the Indian names did not influence the surnames or Christian names already possessed by the immigrants. Mostly the immigrant could not read or write and had little or no knowledge as to the proper spelling, and their names suffered at the hands of the government officials. The early town records are full of these mis-spelt names most of which gradually changed back to a more conventional spelling as education progressed. The Unicorn depicted in the arms is an imaginary animal, represented as having the head, neck and body of a horse, the legs of a buck, the tail of a lion and a long straight horn growing out of the middle the forehead.
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