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

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

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Rakestraw has been recorded under many different variations, including Rackstraw, Rakestraw, Rexstraw, Reckstraw and others.

First found in Lancashire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the 13th century when they held estates.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rakestraw research. Another 290 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Rakestraw History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Rakestraw or a variant listed above:

Rakestraw Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Joseph H. Rakestraw, aged 39, who settled in America, in 1906
  • William O. Rakestraw, aged 28, who landed in America, in 1911
  • Florentine Rakestraw, aged 64, who settled in America, in 1913
  • Harry H. Rakestraw, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1920
  • Hollis Rakestraw, aged 27, who emigrated to the United States, in 1922


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  • Larry Clyde Rakestraw (b. 1942), retired American NFL football quarterback
  • Wilbur Rakestraw (b. 1928), American retired automobile racer from Dallas, Georgia


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  1. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  2. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  8. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  11. ...

The Rakestraw Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rakestraw 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 1 December 2011 at 06:28.

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