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Origins of the RODRIGUE surname

Where does the Rodrigue surname come from?

The name is of Germanic origin: HROD-RIC . HROD means GLORY; it is used to construct many other names, like HROD-WULF, which became RUDOLF. RIC means WEALTH or POWER; it would seem that the word RICH came from it (in Frankish, RIKI meant POWERFUL).

So the Rodrigue have a Germanic origin. As the surname is quite widespread in the Iberian Peninsula, one could hypothesize that the name came there with the Wisigoths, a Germanic people which settled in Spain and in the south of France from the VIth century. For that matter, on of their kings (the last one, in fact) was named RODRIGUE (RODERIC). With the latinization of the Wisigoths, the name RODERIC was also itself latinized into RODERIGO, and then RODRIGO. From that name, which was in fact a first name, came the Spanish surname RODRIGUEZ (son of RODRIGO), which became RODRIGUES in Portugal.

The RODRIGUEZ surname is, as we said, very common in the Iberian world; it was even adopted in the Jewish population of the Peninsula. Because of the Inquisition there after the Reconquest from the Moors, many Spanish Jews decided to flee their country; c'est ainsi que l'on peut retrouver en France à cette époque des juifs nommés RODRIGUEZwe can thus find in France of that period some Jews named RODRIGUEZ . Some even went much further: I have been in contact with a RODRIGUE (and yes, without the final Z) of Spanish Jewish origin who lives in Ankara, Turkey, and whose ancestors had settled in that country in the XVth century.

Réal Rodrigue




© Réal Rodrigue & Association des Familles Rodrigue, inc.