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

Where did the English Ridyard family come from? What is the English Ridyard family crest and coat of arms? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Ridyard family history?

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Ridyard surname lived in Rudyard, Staffordshire. The place-name Rudyard means "yard where rue was grown" derived from the Old English words rude + geard. [1] Rue is a perennial evergreen shrub common in Europe with yellow flowers. The plant is psychoactive; the leaves of the shrub were used as a stimulant in the Middle Ages. The leaves were noted for their strong smell and bitter taste.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Ridyard are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Ridyard include: Rudyard, Rudgard, Rudyer and others.

First found in Staffordshire at Rudyard, a small village west of Leek on the shores of Rudyard Lake. The lake is quite recent, built in 1797 by the engineer John Rennie, for the Trent and Mersey Canal company. But the placename dates back to at least 1002 when it was listed as Rudegeard, yet a few years later it was listed as Rudierd in the Domesday Book of 1086. At that time, it was part of the Pirehill Hundred and owned by the King. [2] Rudyard Kipling's parents named their son after the village.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ridyard research. Another 167 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1030, 1620, 1572, 1658, 1621, 1648, 1630, 1640, 1692, 1682 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Ridyard History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 137 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ridyard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Ridyard or a variant listed above:

Ridyard Settlers in the 19th Century


  • James Ridyard, aged 33, arrived in Wellington aboard the ship "Conflict" in 1874
  • Eliza Ridyard, aged 30, arrived in Wellington aboard the ship "Conflict" in 1874
  • Arthur C. Ridyard, aged 3, arrived in Wellington aboard the ship "Conflict" in 1874

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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. 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.
  4. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  5. 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.
  6. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  8. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  11. ...

The Ridyard Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ridyard 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 30 July 2014 at 20:25.

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