Ramshaw History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Ramshaw first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived at the village of Ravenshaw, in Warwickshire. Ramshaw is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. In this case the surname was originally derived from the Old English words used to refer to those individuals who lived near the raven wood, indicating that the original bearers lived near a forest that was occupied by many ravens.

Early Origins of the Ramshaw family

The surname Ramshaw was first found in Lancashire where the first on record was Stephen de Ravenshagh, listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire in 1332. [1] However, another source claims the family were from Ravenshaw, "some small but, I fear, lost spot in East Cheshire." [2]

We are somewhat cautious about the last author's claim as the first record of the family in Cheshire was relatively late: Sir Ralphe Raynshae, vicar of Potte in 1548, more that two hundred years after the aforementioned first listing in 1332. But from the 1548 listing, there are numerous listings in East Cheshire in the 16th and 17th centuries including those found in the Wills at Chester: John Ravenshaw, of Walkerton in 1673; John Rainshaw, of Sale, 1647; John Renshaw, yeoman, of Mobberley, 1661; John Renshall, of Sale, 1679; Ralph Renshall, of Mobberley, 1680; and Richard Renshaw, of Sale, 1680. [2]

Early History of the Ramshaw family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ramshaw research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ramshaw History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ramshaw Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Ramshaw has appeared include Renshaw, Ravenshaw, Renshall, Olerenshaw and many more.

Early Notables of the Ramshaw family (pre 1700)

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


United States Ramshaw migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Ramshaw arrived in North America very early:

Ramshaw Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Ramshaw, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [3]
  • Elizabeth Ramshaw, who landed in Maryland in 1680 [3]
Ramshaw Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Ramshaw, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ramshaw (post 1700) +

  • John Ramshaw, English contemporary footballer (1983-1995)and football manager (1983-)
  • Terence "Terry" Ramshaw (1943-2017), English professional rugby league footballer of the 1960s, and 1970s
  • Graham Joseph Ramshaw (1945-2006), Australian rules footballer who played for Fitzroy in 1964
  • Darrin Joseph Ramshaw (b. 1965), Australian former cricketer who played for Western Australia (1989-1990) and for Victoria (1991-1994), son of Graham Ramshaw


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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