Surnames which were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have the same meaning in many languages. The court of Charlemagne (Charles the Great, king of the Franks (742-814) was Christian and Latin speaking). The vernacular was the Frankish dialect of Old High German, and the personal names in use were Germanic and vernacular. These names were adopted in many parts of northwest Europe, particularly among the noble ruling classes. Hereditary surnames were found in Germany in the second half of the 12th century - a little later than in England and France. It was about the 16th century that they became stabilized. This German surname of ROUDEBUSH was a locational name meaning 'one who came from RODENBAUGH' the name of many places in Germany. Other spellings of the name include RODENBERRY, RODEBERG, RODENBECK, RODENBURG and RODENBURGER. Habitation names were originally acquired by the original bearer of the name, who, having lived by, at or near a place, would then take that name as a form of identification for himself and his family. When people lived close to the soil as they did in the Middle Ages, they were acutely conscious of every local variation in landscape and countryside. Every field or plot of land was identified in normal conversation by a descriptive term. If a man lived on or near a hill or mountain, or by a river or stream, forests and trees, he might receive the word as a family name. Almost every town, city or village in early times, has served to name many families. A notable member of the name was Gene RODENBERRY (1921-91) the writer, film and television producer, born in El Paso, Texas. He joined the Army Air Corps and served as a bomber pilot. As an airline pilot (1949-53) he survived an aircrash in the Syrian desert. He moved to Los Angeles, joined the police, wrote scripts in his spare time for Dragnet, and became a full-time writer, contributing to several series including 'Highway Patrol' and 'Dr. Kildare'.
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