Read your message which was very interesting. Who was your Ruscoe ancestor that first migrated to New Zealand? I see you believe your ancestors came from Lancshire England. In the United States we had Roscows (Roscoes) who came from around Chorley in Lancshire England and settled in Virginia in the mid to late 1600's. On checking some of the early records of Lancshire I do not find any spelling of Ruscoe but only Roscow or Roscoe. We also had families named Ruscoe or Rusco which cam from Hertford and Essex in England to Massachusetts and Connecticut in the 1630's.
Over the years some of our Ruscoe families have changed the spelling of their sur-name to Roscoe. A few have changed to Rascoe.
It is my understanding that the name Ruscoe is a Scandinavian form of the name Roscoe which is possiby a corruption of the Cornish name Roscrowe. The name Rusco may also be a Celtic variation of Rusky. There is a hamlet in Kirkcudbrightshire Scotland named Rusco.
At any rate the records in fifteenth centure England indicates that the Ruscoe family that was in Hertford and Essex Counties England were not native to England. There is indication that they were French Hugonots from Belgium and possible of Flimish origin.
The name Rasco or Rascoe is very rare in England and I have only found it onced in the old records of Norwich in the early 1600's.
I am told that the name Rasco as I spell it was Spanish or Italian but that it had originally came from tha Balkins near the Russian boarder back during the dark ages. Members of a Slovic family called Rascovich crossed over the Adriatic into Italy and dropped the sur-fix "Vich" leaving only Rasco. Descendant of these migrated to Spain. Some of these later found their way into England where some of them changed to Roscoe.
The French variation of the name is Rascoff and Rasicot.
All of the varior spelling of the name have the meaning of "One who lives in a woods frequented by deers or Roes"
James R. Rasco
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