This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name for a "dweller in the clearing". The derivation of the name is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "ried, ryd", a clearing in a woodland, from the Middle High German "(ge)riute", clearing. The final "s" indicates the genitive case. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname was first recorded in the latter half of the 12th Century (see below). Robert de la Ryde was noted in the Calendar of Letter Books, Cambridgeshire (1294), and Richard ate Rude was listed in the Ministers Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall (1297). In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Ride, Ryde, Rude, Rudes, Rides and Rydes. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Charles Rydes and Elizabeth Cooke on April 15th 1567, at St. Mildred Poultry, London; the marriage of Margaret Rides and William Hilton at Swillington, Yorkshire, on January 25th 1572; and the christening of William, son of Thomas and Catherine Rides on February 15th 1727, at Alton, Staffordshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger de la Rude, which was dated 1176, in the "Pipe Rolls of Surrey", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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.