Russell (surname)

Russell, also Russel or Rossell, is a British surname. The origin of the name has historically been subject to disagreement, with two distinct origins proposed. Early genealogists traced the Russel/Russell family of Kingston Russel from Anglo-Norman landholders bearing the toponymic surname 'de Rosel' or 'du Rozel', deriving from Rosel, Calvados, Normandy (not, as has also been claimed, Le Rozel, Manche). However, J. Horace Round observed that these flawed pedigrees erroneously linked toponymic-bearing men with unrelated men who instead bore the Anglo-Norman nickname ''rus[s]el'' (represented in contemporary Latin documents as ''Rosellus''), given men with red hair. This nickname was a diminutive of the Norman-French ''rus'' (Old French ''ros'', Modern French ''roux''), meaning 'red', and was also an archaic name for the red fox. Round concluded "there is no reason to suppose that the surname Russell was territorial at all," and surname dictionaries have preferred to derive the surname from the nickname.

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Published in 2014
Record ID: 2015092640
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Published in 2011
doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.2010.01198.x
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Record ID: 2011082978
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