The history of the name Rao begins in the Scottish/English Borderlands with a family of Strathclyde-Briton ancestry. It is a name for a person known as a timid
person. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English word ray,
that referred to a roe
or female deer.
Early Origins of the Rao family
The surname Rao was first found in Cumberland
at Gill, in the parish of Bromfield which belonged to the family from the time of William the Lion, king of Scotland
(died 1214.) "Tradition says, that the original Ray was a faithful adherent of the Scottish monarch, by whom he was greatly esteemed, for his extraordinary swiftness of foot in pursuing the deer and who gave him the estate. The tenure was by a pepper-com rent, with the stipulation, that the name of William should be perpetuated in the family. This was strictly observed from generation to generation, until the latter half of the last [of the 18th] century, when the Mr. William Reay in possession gave to the ' hope of the house ' the name of John. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Ray witnessed confirmation by Alexander, son of Walter, of his father's gift to the church of Paisley in 1239. CITATION[CLOSE]
Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
While there is no doubt of the family's origin in the north of England
, the Hundredorum Rolls
of 1273 list Reginald le Raye, in Oxfordshire; Nicholas le Ray in Suffolk; and Richard le Ray in Cambridgeshire
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Early History of the Rao family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rao research.Another 319 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1487, 1465, 1530, 1558, 1350, 1612, 1376, 1627, 1705 and are included under the topic Early Rao History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Rao Spelling Variations
The variation in the spelling of Medieval names is a result of the lack of spelling rules in the English language prior to the last few hundred
years. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound, often varying the spelling of name within a single document. Rao has appeared as Rae, Rea, Ree, Ray and others.
Early Notables of the Rao family (pre 1700)
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rao Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Rao family to Ireland
Some of the Rao family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 127 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Rao family to the New World and Oceana
As the persecution of Clan
families continued, they sailed for North America in increasing numbers. In most cases, they found the freedom and opportunity they sought. Land was often available and the American War of Independence
allowed Scots an opportunity to solidify their independence from the English crown. These settlers and their ancestors went on to play essential roles in the forging of the nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:
Rao Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Salvatore Rao, aged 26, originally from Prizzi, Palermo, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Belvedere" from Palermo, Italy CITATION[CLOSE]
"New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J67X-13Y : 6 December 2014), Salvatore Rao, 25 Nov 1919; citing departure port Palermo, arrival port New York, ship name Belvedere, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- Giorgia Rao, aged 8, originally from Piana Greci, Italy, who arrived in New York City, New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Dante Alighieri" from Napoli, Italy CITATION[CLOSE]
"New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J647-GQM : 6 December 2014), Giorgia Rao, 02 Oct 1919; citing departure port Napoli, arrival port New York City, New York, New York, ship name Dante Alighieri, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
The Rao Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: In omnia promptus
Motto Translation: Ready for everything.