Ravenhill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Ravenhill reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Ravenhill family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ravenhill family lived in Herefordshire. Their name, however, is a reference to Revenel, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. [1] The place name in Normandy literally means "hanneton, small rave, yellow flower, clove."[2] However, another source claims the name is from Ravenhill in the North Riding of Yorkshire "or some other 'raven-hill.'" [3]

"Jordan de Revenell and Thomas his son witnessed a charter of Richard de Luvetot, confirming his father's grants to Worksop Abbey. This was in the reign of Stephen. The name occurs in the Duchy. " [1]

Two sources claim the name is a local name as in "the Hill frequented by Ravens." [4] [5] And another source comments on this claim "this is easy enough to write, and, of course, it is well-nigh impossible to contradict the statement. At the same time I cannot discover a hill so called, nor any entry with a local prefix. Yet the surname is a familiar one, there being eight in the London Directory alone. The following entries prove the surname is patronymic from the persona name, Ravenchil. There may also be connections to Rauenchil, Yorkshire. " [6]

Early Origins of the Ravenhill family

The surname Ravenhill was first found in Herefordshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Rovenhall.

However, we must look to the ancient county of Kent, "The Garden of England," home of Canterbury Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury for this first records of the family. For it is there, that the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Mariota Ravenild and Robertus Ravenild. [6]

Later in Yorkshire, the Subsidy Rolls of 1297 listed Willelmus filius Rauenilde. In Cheshire, Matilda Rafenild was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1279. The Pipe Rolls of 1230 included an entry for Nicholas de Rauenhill in Herefordshire. [3]

Early History of the Ravenhill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ravenhill research. Another 190 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1743, 1700, 1787, 1813 and 1904 are included under the topic Early Ravenhill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ravenhill Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Ravenel, Ravenell, Ravenhill, Ravenhall, Ravenholl and many more.

Early Notables of the Ravenhill family (pre 1700)

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

United States Ravenhill migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Ravenhill name or one of its variants:

Ravenhill Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henry Ravenhill, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [7]
  • John Ravenhill, who settled in Virginia in 1740

New Zealand Ravenhill migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Ravenhill Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Isabella Ravenhill, (b. 1827), aged 35, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [8]
  • Mr. Henry Ravenhill, (b. 1828), aged 34, British farm labourer travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [8]
  • Mr. Edward Ravenhill, (b. 1851), aged 11, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ravenhill (post 1700) +

  • Major General Philip Ravenhill CB (1828-1891), English Royal Engineer from Warminster who rose to be the commanding royal engineer in Gibraltar
  • George Ravenhill VC (1872-1921), English recipient of the Victoria Cross for his heroic actions of 15 December 1899 at the battle of Colenso, South Africa
  • Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994), English Christian evangelist and author
  • Richard John 'Ricky' Ravenhill (b. 1981), English professional footballer
  • Leonard Raven-Hill (1867-1942), English artist and illustrator
  • Mark Ravenhill (b. 1966), English playwright and journalist
  • Alice Ravenhill (1859-1954), Canadian (emigrated from England 1910), educational pioneer, a developer of Women’s Institutes in British Columbia

  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Dionne, N.-E., Les Canadiens-Francais Origine Des Familles. Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 1969. Print
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html

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