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

Origins Available: English, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Randolph family come from? When did the Randolph family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Randolph family history?

In ancient Scotland, the ancestors of the Randolph family were part of a tribe called the Picts. The name Randolph is derived from the personal name, Randolph which contained elements that translated to shield and wolf. Randolph is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Many patronymic surnames were formed by adopting the given name of an ancestor of the bearer, while others came from popular religious names, and from the names of secular heroes.


The appearance of the printing press and the first dictionaries in the last few hundred years did much to standardize spelling. Prior to that time scribes spelled according to sound, a practice that resulted in many spelling variations. Randolph has been spelled Randolph, Randolf and others.

First found in Moray, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Randolph research. Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1332, 1605, and 1635 are included under the topic Early Randolph History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Randolph Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The expense of the crossing to the North American colonies seemed small beside the difficulties of remaining in Scotland. It was a long and hard trip, but at its end lay the reward of freedom. Some Scots remained faithful to England and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others fought in the American War of Independence. Much of this lost Scottish heritage has been recovered in the last century through Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Randolph:

Randolph Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Milward Randolph, who arrived in Virginia in 1621
  • Edward Randolph, who arrived in Barnstable, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Henry Randolph, who came to Virginia in 1642
  • William Randolph, who arrived in Jamestown, VA in 1672
  • Henry Randolph, who landed in Virginia in 1673

Randolph Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Merryman Randolph, who landed in Virginia in 1711
  • Richard Randolph, who landed in Virginia in 1711
  • William Randolph, who landed in Virginia in 1711
  • Timothy Randolph, who arrived in Georgia in 1737

Randolph Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Lewis Randolph, aged 28, arrived in New York in 1812
  • John and Michael Randolph settled in New York in 1822
  • John Randolph settled in New York in 1822 along with Michael
  • Thomas Randolph, who landed in America in 1828
  • Robert Randolph, who arrived in Texas in 1835


  • Samuel Fitz Randolph, American politician, Member of New Jersey State Council from Middlesex County, 1784-85, 1796
  • Julia Fitz Randolph, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Colorado, 1980
  • Lillian Randolph (1898-1980), American actress, known for It's a Wonderful Life (1946), Magic (1978) and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)
  • Barbara Randolph (1942-2002), American actress, known for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), Bright Road (1953) and Cactus Flower (1969)
  • Katherine Randolph (b. 1983), American actress and director, known for Jarhead (2005), American Joyride (2011) and Adulthood (2015)
  • Beverly Randolph (b. 1964), American actress and producer, known for The Return of the Living Dead (1985), Return of the Living Dead: The Dead Have Risen (2007) and More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead (2011)
  • John Randolph (1915-2004), American Tony Award winning actor, known for his roles in Serpico (1973), Christmas Vacation (1989) and You've Got Mail (1998)
  • Arthur Raymond Randolph (b. 1943), American jurist, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1990-2008)
  • Edmund Jennings Randolph (1753-1813), American attorney and politician, 2nd United States Secretary of State (1794-1795), 1st United States Attorney General (1789-1794), 7th Governor of Virginia (1786-1788)
  • Jane Randolph (1915-2009), American film actress, known for her roles in Cat People (1942), The Curse of the Cat People (1944) and Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)



  • Edward Fitz Randolph Branch Lines, Allied Families, and English and Norman Ancestry by Oris Hugh Fitz Randolph.
  • The Randolphs of Virginia by Jonathan Daniels.


  1. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  8. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 7 October 2015 at 11:49.

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