Rule Family

The surname Rule first appears in my ancestry with the marriage of Jeremiah James Aves (who was a tailor, in Burrough Green, Cambridgeshire) to Susan Rule. Susan was the daughter of Daniel and Maria Clarke, and Daniel's ancestry is here. All the events listed here are recorded in the Balsham parish register, so the place is not given, unless different.

Members of the Rule family lived in Balsham from before 1550 until about 1820. In the nineteenth century either all the men moved away, or the family produced only girls, who did not pass the surname on to their offspring, Either way, by the time the 1881 census was taken, there is no-one with that surname recorded in the village. I suspect that the move away is the more likely event, as my own ancestor Susan Rule who was born in Balsham in 1818 and married there in 1838, to Jeremiah James Aves of Burrough Green, is found in London by the time her daughter (my ancestor) Louisa Aves was born in 1846.

The entry for the surname Rule in the The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland published in 2016 says that in 1881 the name is strongest in Cornwall, followed by Cambridgeshire, Lanark and Durham. The dictionary offers three possible sources, all 'locative' (based on place names): (1) Norman-French, for which the places of origin may may be: Reuil (Aine, also spelt Rueil in C12), Reuil (Marne), RĂ©au (Seine et Marne), Rueil (Seine et Oise, Eure et Loire). Reuil-sur-Breche (Oise) has a different source (Reliam in 1210). The name occurs in the Devonshire Lay subsidy of 1322. Alan de Rule occurs in the Curia Regis Rolls for Cambridgeshire, William Rule occurs in the London letter books of 1384. The Balsham group (this family) is also mentioned under this origin. (2) Reule, a settlement near Haughton, Staffs, giving rise to the names Rohale in 1168, Rewe in 1272, Rule in 1363. This origin gave rise to a group of Rule families in Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire. (3) The Scottish group from the lands of the Rulewater in Roxburghshire (Hallrule, Bedrule, Abbotrule), which spreads into Lanarkshire, Midlothian and Dumfries. The dictionary floats the idea that the Alan de Rule recorded in the Coldstream cartulary of 1203-09 might be the same Alan de Rule as appears in the 1212 Curia Regis Rolls for Cambridgeshire. [But I ask, if he headed south, why would he have stopped in Balsham, and not go on to London; at that time the soils around Balsham were heavy clay and difficult to work with the equipment of the time.]

I had thought to add here a table of the Rule family, but I found this site which has an extensive listing, and more that I had.