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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The Rall surname is a patronymic from a medieval form of the personal name Ralph.


The surname Rall was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Kennet and Trevil in St.Juliet. Cornwall was a land set apart, a land of mystique and quaint customs, more strongly related to Brittany and Wales than to England. It was not until the 10th century that they submitted to the Saxon rule of England. Since then, their influence has moved east into Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Rawle, Rawles, Rorles, Ralls, Rall and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rall research. Another 175 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1632, 1658, and 1660 are included under the topic Early Rall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early Rall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Rall:

Rall Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Christ Rall, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1805
  • Magdalene Rall, aged 8, landed in New York, NY in 1854
  • John Rall, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1860
  • Gottlob Friedrich Rall, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1867
  • Carl Rall, aged 19, who settled in America, in 1893

Rall Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Jane Rall, aged 40, who landed in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1907
  • Emil J. Rall, aged 41, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Harris F. Rall, aged 39, who settled in America, in 1909
  • James Rall, aged 18, who emigrated to the United States from Bellshill, Scotland, in 1921
  • Alf Rall, aged 35, who landed in America, in 1921
  • ...

  • Harris Franklin Rall Ph. D. (1870-1964), American academic, the 1st President of Iliff School of Theology
  • David Platt Rall (1926-1999), American cancer specialist and a leader in environmental health studies
  • Thomas Edward "Tommy" Rall (b. 1929), American ballet dancer, tap dancer and acrobatic dancer
  • Johann Gottlieb Rall (1726-1776), German colonel, Commander of Hessian troops in Trenton, New Jersey at the Battle of Trenton during the American War of Independence
  • Wilfrid Rall (b. 1922), American neuroscientist, considered one of the founders of computational neuroscience
  • Ted Rall (b. 1963), American columnist, syndicated editorial cartoonist, and author, former President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (2008-2009)
  • Dr. Ing. Viktor Rall (1896-1984), German engineer, veteran of both World Wars, awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
  • Lieutenant-General GŁnther Rall (1918-2009), German fighter pilot, the third most successful fighter ace in history with 275 aerial victories; he was shot down 8 times and wounded 3 times

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    Other References

    1. 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).
    2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
    4. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    5. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
    6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
    7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
    8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    10. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
    11. ...

    The Rall Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Rall 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 19 March 2015 at 19:31.

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