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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Belgium, English

Where did the Belgium Riddle family come from? What is the Belgium Riddle family crest and coat of arms? When did the Riddle family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Riddle family history?

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Riddel, Riddle, Riddall, Ridal, Ridel, Riddle, Riddler, Riddell, De Riddler and many more.

First found in Belgium, where the name became noted for its many branches in the region, each house acquiring a status and influence which was envied by the princes of the region. Riddle is of Norman origin, the surname having been created from the personal name Ridel. The source of this personal name is somewhat uncertain: some scholars think it may come from the Old French word 'ridel,' which meant "small hill," others cite the Germanic word 'rid,' which meant "ride." The Normans, originally of Viking origin established their presence in Normandy in the 900s, and by the second half of the 11th century held present day Belgium, Holland, most of France, much of the British Isles, Southern Italy, and parts of Spain. Forms of this surname likely traveled amongst Norman controlled territories. The name was a baronial name in Aquitaine, France, where the first recorded instance of Riddle is of Gerard Riddell, Baron of Blaye, who was granted lands of the Abbey of Fons Dulcis near Bordeaux in circa 1030. One branch of the family possessed estates in Normandy in 1165. A Geoffry Ridel, recorded in Normandy in 1180 was later recorded in Scotland and received grants from King David I. The name is also known to have accompanied William I's Norman Conquest of England, which began in 1066. Bearers of Riddle were certainly a most influential family.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Riddle research. Another 227 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 162 and 1628 are included under the topic Early Riddle History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Riddle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Riddle Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Eliz Riddle, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Thomas Riddle, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Robert Riddle, who arrived in New England in 1718
  • Hugh Riddle, who arrived in New England in 1718
  • Margaret Riddle, who arrived in Virginia in 1722


Riddle Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Johan Riddle, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1803
  • Johan Riddle, who arrived at Philadelphia in 1803
  • Christopher Riddle, aged 30, landed in New York in 1812
  • Samuel Riddle, who landed in Norfolk, Va in 1817
  • Charles Riddle, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838


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  • Almeda Riddle (1898-1986), American folk singer
  • Jeff C. Riddle (1863-1941), American Indian historian of the Modoc War
  • Johnny Riddle (1905-1998), American baseball player
  • Nelson Riddle (1921-1985), American band leader and arranger, best known for his work for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and many more
  • Robert M. Riddle (1812-1858), American politician, Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1853 to 1854
  • Theodate Pope Riddle (1867-1946), American architect
  • George Read Riddle (1817-1867), American engineer lawyer and politician, U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Delaware
  • Haywood Yancey Riddle (1834-1879), American politician and University professor, member of the United States House of Representatives from Tennessee
  • Oscar Riddle (1877-1968), American biologist
  • Stu Riddle (b. 1976), New Zealand footballer

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  • Descendants of Hampton and Nancy Riddle, 1814-1972 by Norma Simpson.
  • A Partial History of the Riddle-Beavers Families: of Botetourt County, Virginia, Highland County, Ohio, Decatur and Page Counties, Iowa by Andree Sieverin Hoeman.
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  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  6. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  11. ...

The Riddle Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Riddle Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 18 June 2014 at 15:00.

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