This surname of RUTAN is a German and Ashkenazic Jewish nickname for a person with red hair. The name was originally derived from the Old German word ROT (red). As a Jewish surname it was adopted for the same reason. The name has numerous variant spellings which include ROTH, ROTHER, ROTER, ROITER, ROTTMAN and ROITMAN. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. A minor notable of the name was David ROTHMAN, born on the 11th April 1911. He was a physician and his appointments included Director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gyneaology at the Jewish Hospital of St. Louis. He was assistant Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine. He was the author of several journals in obstetrics and gynecology journals. When traditional Jews were forced to take family names by the local bureaucracy, it was an obligation imposed from outside traditional society, and people often took the names playfully and let their imaginations run wild by choosing names which corresponded to nothing real in their world. No one alive today can remember the times when Jews took or were given family names (for most Ashkenazim this was the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the 19th) although many remember names being changed after emigration to other countries, such as the United States and Israel in recent years. The Rose depicted in the arms is used as a distinction for the seventh son. The Distinction of Houses are used to distinguish the younger from the elder branches of a family, and to show from which line each is descended.
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