This name derives from the Olde German and Anglo-Saxon personal name 'Rolf'. Originally derived from the Norse-Viking pre 7th Century 'Hrolfr' meaning 'Fame-Wolf'. This personal name was rare as a surname in England before the 13th Century. In the modern idiom the surname has at least thirty spelling variations including Rawls, Rawll, Raves, Ralphs, Ralfe, Rall, Ralls, Ralphson, Raw etc. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Turstinus Filius Rolf. which was dated 1086 - The Domesday Book of Norfolk. during the reign of King William 1 - William The Conqueror 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.