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

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

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Rakestraw has been recorded under many different variations, including Rackstraw, Rakestraw, Rexstraw, Reckstraw and others.

First found in Lancashire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the 13th century when they held estates.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rakestraw research. Another 209 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Rakestraw History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Rakestraw or a variant listed above:

Rakestraw Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Joseph H. Rakestraw, aged 39, who settled in America, in 1906
  • William O. Rakestraw, aged 28, who landed in America, in 1911
  • Florentine Rakestraw, aged 64, who settled in America, in 1913
  • Harry H. Rakestraw, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1920
  • Hollis Rakestraw, aged 27, who emigrated to the United States, in 1922


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  • Wilbur Rakestraw (b. 1928), American retired automobile racer from Dallas, Georgia
  • Larry Clyde Rakestraw (b. 1942), retired American NFL football quarterback
  • Priscilla Rakestraw, American Republican politician, Member of Republican National Committee from Delaware, 2004-05, 2008; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Delaware, 2004, 2008
  • Jean Rakestraw, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Florida, 1964


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  1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  3. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  4. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. 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. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  11. ...

The Rakestraw Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rakestraw 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 10 December 2015 at 11:05.

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