This surname of ROUSSELL is a nickname from the Old French 'the rous', one with red hair. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function of 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. The name is also spelt RUSSEL, ROUSEL, ROUSSEL, RUSSELLO, ROSSEELS, AUROUSSEAU and LEROUSELL, to name but a few. Early records of the name in England mention Alexander le Rousou of the County Cambridgeshire in 1273. Robert le Rous of the County of Somerset, during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Nicholas Rouse married Jone Woodmus at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1668. Samuel Rousou and Mary Jones were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1767. When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day. A notable member of this name was Pierre Athanase LAROUSSE (l8l7-75) French publisher and lexicographer, born in Toucy in Yonne. He founded a publishing house and bookshop in Paris in l852 and issued educational textbooks. He also founded a journal for teachers, 'Ecole Normale' in l859. His major work was his 'Grand dictionnaire universel du XIX siecle (l7 volumes, l866-76).
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