Origins of the Runcie name
Although the use of family names originated in China, it was about the time of the Dark Ages that their use came to Europe. Initially family names were used by the landed gentry before coming into use with the lower classes. Often these classes used their daily occupation in forming their name. This was the case with the name Runcie and it is believed that the original name was French, being derived from Rouncy meaning keeper of horses.
At one time it may have been introduced into England by the Normans but it appears that this line died out, or returned to France There have been various spellings of the name Runcie namely Runcy, Runsy Runsey, Runcey and many others. The family name is also linked with the name Runciman.
It would appear that all the existing Runcie families worldwide originated in the North East coast of Scotland in the Banffshire region, especially around the fishing village of Cullen, or the nearby villages of Fordyce and Deskford. Mention of a William Runcie is made in the Annals of Cullen 1613. The original Runcies in that area worked as fisherman. It is thought that they may have been sailors from a French ship which foundered and sank of the coast at Cullen. For more details on Cullen and Fordyce click here.
An early instance of the name Rouncy can be found in the Burke’s Peerage 1896, “Laurence Rouncy Oxfordshire 1276”. This is also where there is reference to the armorial bearings attributed to the name Runcie, having as a motto ‘By Sea ’ with the crest being ‘ a Seahorse erect Or, holding in the fore fins a Thistle leaved’ shown on our home page.
Notes on the Name
French metonymic occupational name for someone in charge of horses used as pack animals rather than for riding.
Roncin workhorse of obscure etymology. The word also developed the meaning drudge and so may have also been a nickname for a hard pressed servant Rouncy ‘ Rouncy nag’ Runcieman Runchman 1676 Bardsley ‘ Man in charge of the Rounces (Dict of British Surnames P.H. Reamey).
Variations of the Name
Variation Ronsin Dictionary of British Surnames P.Hanks F Hodges (Oxford Press)
Other variations including Runcie, Runcy, Runcey, Runsey, Ronsin - Runchman, Runcieman, Runciman
Roger Laurence Rouncy Eynsham 1276
Runcie Runcy oldest long standing name in Cullen (New Statistical Accounts of Banffshire Page 331)
Alex Runcie in Briach Aberdeenshire 1786 Aberdeen (Surnames of Scotland Black New York Public Library)
The French Connection
We are indebted to Nicole Saulnier, Paris for her help in researching the Rouncy name. She discovered that there was a Count Rouncy in 905 so we may all have some connections to the aristocracy even although we may have only worked for them.
Using Geneanet she found Eblo de Rouncy born about 990 AD Ebio Eblo Roucy / Rouncy and his daughter Alice de Roucy was born circa 1014 at Roucy, Aisne.
For more details click here.
This tree can be extended to some 15 generations. Large numbers of sites with the name Rouncy can be found at geneanet.
Nicole was also able to find out the following Rouncy derivatives from the Paris telephone directory.
Raincy one family and Rancy five families.
Although as in the UK the name Rouncy may have died out, as has possibly the French Rouncy, and Roucy the above families would certainly appear to be derivatives.
The village of Roucy still exists near Aisne, Picardy, France.