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

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

The origins of the Ridley name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived in the region of Ridley in the counties of Northumberland, Cheshire and Kent. Ridley is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Ridley were recorded, including Ridley, Ridly and others.

First found in Northumberland where one of the first records of the name was Nicolas de Ridley who executed a charter in 1250. Later, Nicolas de Redley or Ridley lived in 1306 at Ridley in this county. Another early record reveals Odard Ridley as Coroner of Tyndale in 1278. His grandfather was probably brother of John Fitz-Odard, Baron of Emildon (living 1161-1182) and son of Odard, Viscount of Northumberland.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ridley research. Another 335 words(24 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1547, 1560, 1624, 1500 and 1555 are included under the topic Early Ridley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 61 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ridley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Ridley family emigrate to North America:

Ridley Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Richard Ridley settled in Boston in 1635 along with Anne
  • Elizabeth Ridley settled in Bermuda in 1635
  • Elizabeth Ridley, aged 30, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • Rich Ridley, aged 16, arrived in America in 1635
  • Ann Ridley, who arrived in Virginia in 1638

Ridley Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Thomas Ridley, who arrived in Virginia in 1702
  • Nathl Ridley, who landed in Virginia in 1702
  • John Ridley, who arrived in Virginia in 1716
  • John Ridley settled in South Carolina in 1716
  • Alexander Ridley, who landed in Virginia in 1716

Ridley Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • William Ridley, who landed in New York in 1846
  • Robert Ridley, who landed in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in 1863
  • James Ridley, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1870

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  • Jack Ridley (1915-1957), American USAF test pilot
  • Clay Ridley, American founder of Ridley Motorcycle Company, a privately held motorcycle manufacturing company in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, active from 1995 to 2010
  • Major-General Clarence Self Ridley (1883-1969), American Chief of US Military Mission to the Iranian Army (1942-1946)
  • William Ridley (1836-1911), English missionary for the Church of England in Canada
  • Harold Ridley (1906-2001), English ophthalmologist who pioneered intraocular lens implants
  • Henry Nicholas Ridley (1855-1956), English botanist largely responsible for establishing the rubber industry on the Malay peninsula
  • John Ridley (1806-1887), English inventor, best known for "Ridley's Stripper"
  • Mark Ridley (b. 1956), English zoologist
  • Henry Nicholas Ridley CMG, FLS, F.R.H.S. (1855-1956), was an English botanist and geologist
  • Alfred Gregory 'Greg' Ridley (1947-2003), English rock bassist, founding member of the rock band Humble Pie

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  • Genealogy of John Ranks of England and his Descendants: Including the Ridley Genealogy of hi Wife Annie Ridley by Emme Clement Ranks.
  • A Ridley of Southampton by Lyndon H. Hart.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Constans fidei
Motto Translation: Constant to honor.

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  1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  3. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  7. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Ridley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ridley 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 3 September 2014 at 20:09.

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