This Low German surname of RUELAS was derived from the Norman given name ROLF, which was composed of the Germanic element HROD (renown). This name was especially popular among Nordic peoples in the contracted form of HROLFR, and seems to have reached England by two separate channels; partly through its use among pre-Conquest Scandinavian settlers, and partly through its popularity among the Normans, who, however, generally used the form ROUL. The name has numerous variant spellings which include RULE, ROHL, ROUL, RULLMAN, ROLLO, ROLLE, RAOLI, RUHLE, RAHL, ROLLMAN, RUKLE, RAHLMAN, ROLLS and ROHLSON, to name but a few. Surnames are divided into four categories, from occupations, nicknames, baptismal and locational. All the main types of these are found in German-speaking areas, and names derived from occupations and from nicknames are particularly common. A number of these are Jewish. Patronymic surnames are derived from vernacular Germanic given names, often honouring Christian saints. Regional and ethnic names are also common. The German preposition 'von (from) or 'of', used with habitation names, is taken as a mark of aristocracy, and usually denoted proprietorship of the village or estate from where they came. Some members of the nobility affected the form VON UND ZU with their titles. In eastern Germany there was a heavy influence both from and on neighbouring Slavonic languages. Many Prussian surnames are of Slavonic origin. St. RULE (4th century BC), according to legend was a monk of Constantinople or the Bishop of Patras, who in the year 347 came to Muckross or Kilrimont (St. Andrews in Scotland), bringing relics of St. Andrew from the east. German or Teutonic heraldry extended its sphere of influence over central Europe and spread into Scandinavia. It is most notable for its design and treatment of crests, most of which reflect the arms in the charge or tinctures (colours) or both, which is unknown in British heraldry. Teutonic Europe assembled many arms on a single shield, each bearing its corresponding crest on a helmet.
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