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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. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  2. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  3. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  8. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  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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