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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The history of the Rigel family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living in a settlement called Wrigley, which experts theorize was in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The surname Rigel belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Rigel include Wrigley, Wrigly, Rigley, Riggeley and others.

First found in Staffordshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, before and after the Norman Conquest in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rigel research. Another 212 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rigel History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Rigel or a variant listed above:

Rigel Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Jacob Rigel, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Kristiaan Rigel, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Godfrey Rigel, who landed in New York in 1710
  • Gertrouy Rigel, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733
  • Abraham Rigel, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733


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  2. 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.
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  5. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 27 October 2010 at 14:05.

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