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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

The surname Ragsdale comes from the place name Ragdale, in Leicestershire. The place dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Ragendele, located in Goscote Wapentake and held by Robert de Bucy. It consisted of 30 acres of meadows and held enough property for 6 ploughs. [1] The name was derived from the Old English hraca + dael, which probably meant "valley of the gully or narrow pass." [2]


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 Ragsdale include Ragdale, Ragsdale and others.

First found in 1202, when one Stephen de Raggedal made a plea before the King or his justice.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ragsdale research. Another 35 words(2 lines of text) covering the years 1530 and 1591 are included under the topic Early Ragsdale History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 33 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ragsdale Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


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 Ragsdale or a variant listed above:

Ragsdale Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Godfrey and Anthony Ragsdale, who settled in Virginia in 1673 and 1690

Ragsdale Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Peter Ragsdale, who immigrated to Texas in 1830
  • Peter Ragsdale, who landed in Texas in 1830

Ragsdale Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • J.W. Ragsdale, who landed in America, in 1909
  • Elisabeth Ragsdale, aged 8, who emigrated to the United States, in 1910
  • Alin Hulett Ragsdale, aged 32, who landed in America, in 1912
  • Harry Ragsdale, aged 37, who emigrated to the United States, in 1914
  • Harry B. Ragsdale, aged 37, who landed in America, in 1914


  • William Ragsdale (b. 1961), American actor, best known for his roles in Herman's Head (1991) and Fright Night (1985)
  • Isaac Newton Ragsdale, American politician
  • Virginia Ragsdale (1870-1945), American teacher and a mathematician specializing in number theory, creator of the Ragsdale conjecture
  • James Willard Ragsdale (1872-1919), American politician, U.S. Representative from South Carolina
  • David Lasater Ragsdale (b. 1958), American violinist for the rock band Kansas
  • Lincoln Johnson Ragsdale Sr. (1926-1995), American leader in the Phoenix-area African-American Civil Rights Movement
  • George Ragsdale (b. 1951), former professional American running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Jeff Ragsdale, American author, activist, actor, best known for his 2012 book Jeff, One Lonely Guy
  • Heather Ann Ragsdale (b. 1981), American retired soccer player from Arlington, Texas


  • Elijah Ragsdale: Born Virginia, November 1, 1778 to South Carolina by June Hart Wester.
  • Through the Orchard: Arteberry, Hillsberry, Lemmons, Ragsdale by Nova A. Lemons.

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

Other References

  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. 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.
  3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  4. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Ragsdale Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ragsdale 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 14 March 2014 at 21:34.

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