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


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

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The surname Ralls 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.


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

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ralls Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • George Ralls, English convict from Dorset, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Thomas Ralls, English convict from Dorset, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila

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  • William Reid Ralls (b. 1938), American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Governor of Michigan, 1978; Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1984
  • Tom Ralls, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oklahoma, 1916
  • John Perkins Ralls (1812-1904), American politician, Representative from Alabama in the Confederate Congress 3rd District, 1862-64; Defeated, 1863; Member of Alabama State Legislature, 1878


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  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  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. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. 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.
  9. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The Ralls Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ralls 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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