England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Ranston comes from the Anglo-Norman given name Randolph. The name also derives from the Old English word randim, meaning riverbank, and indicates that the original bearer of the name live near such a geographic feature.
Early Origins of the Ranston family
Suffolk where the name was derived from a place named Ransham, "though I find no place so called." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print. With regard to the more contemporary meaning of the word ransom, and continuing from this source, the author sites Mr. Ferguson "what curious changes, the whirligig of time brings round. We take our money to the descendant of the old sea-robber to take care of for us - Ramson & Co., bankers, Pal Mall. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Early History of the Ranston family
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Ranston Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Ransom, Ransome, Ranson and others.
Early Notables of the Ranston family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Ranston family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Ranston or a variant listed above: Robert Ranson, who came to Virginia in 1635; Jonas Ranson settled in New York in 1659; James Ransome settled in Virginia in 1682; Elizabeth Ransom, who arrived in Virginia in 1768 with her husband.
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