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

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

The name Ruffner was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Norman given name Rudolph.

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Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Roffe, Rolfe, Rolph, Roalph, Roff, Ruff, Rouf and others.

First found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from early times, soon after the Norman Conquest by Duke William of Normandy in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ruffner research. Another 278 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1297, and 1332 are included under the topic Early Ruffner History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Ruffner or a variant listed above were:

Ruffner Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Thomas Ruffner, who landed in New York, NY in 1710-1714

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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. 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. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  4. 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.
  5. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  8. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  9. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  11. ...

The Ruffner Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ruffner 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 26 March 2014 at 13:38.

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