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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 209 words(15 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. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  4. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  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 29 May 2014 at 13:27.

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