Reidhead History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Reidhead surname are uncertain. In some instances, it was no doubt derived from the Old English word "read," meaning "red," and was a nickname that came to be a surname. Either way, we may conclude that it meant "red-haired" or "ruddy complexioned." [1] [2]

To confuse matters more, there are also instances where the surname Reidhead is thought to be derived from one of various place names, such as Read in Lancashire, and Rede in Suffolk.

Early Origins of the Reidhead family

The surname Reidhead was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland where the name has been found since the 14th century. Ancient charters show the name as Rufus (Latinized,) records include an Ada Rufus who witnessed resignation of the lands of Ingilbristoun in 1204; and a William Rufus, who was a juror on an inquest on the lands of Padevinan in 1259. "Gilbert 'le Rede' of Coul was committed to prison and died there in 1296. Red is found as a surname in Aberdeen in 1317, and it is one of the oldest in the parish of Kildrummy. Patrick dictus Rede was on an assize at Rane in 1335, John Reed was collector of tithe in the deaneries of Stormonth and Atholl in 1362, and James Reed was bailie of the burgh of Stirling in 1364. Reeds were at one period a numerous Clan in Kyle. The first of the name there recorded is probably William Rede, son of John Reede. who had a confirmation of the lands and pertinents of Bairskemyn in Kyle in 1375. " [3]

For the purposes of Clan identification, the family name Reidhead is officially a sept of the Clan Robertson and as such is entitled to the Clan Badge and Crest of the Robertsons.

Early History of the Reidhead family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reidhead research. Another 359 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1296, 1335, 1362, 1364, 1375, 1494, 1376, 1558, 1543, 1357, 1439, 1639, 1558, 1624, 1586, 1641, 1625, 1618, 1721, 1806, 1843, 1917 and 1806 are included under the topic Early Reidhead History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Reidhead Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Ried, Reid, Read, Reed and others.

Early Notables of the Reidhead family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Robert Reid (died 1558), Scottish abbot of Kinloss and bishop of Orkney, son of John Reid of Aikenhead, who was killed at Flodden; Thomas Redi, Read or Rhaedus (died 1624), Latin secretary to King James I, second son of James Reid, minister of Banchory Ternan, Kincardineshire; Alexander Rhead or Reid (1586-1641), a Scottish anatomist and surgeon, whose surname is variously spelt Reid, Read, Reade, Rhead, or Rhaedus, the third son of James Reid, minister of Banchory Ternan, Kincardineshire; and Thomas Reid (d. 1625), who was appointed Latin secretary to King James I of...
Another 162 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Reidhead Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Reidhead family to Ireland

Some of the Reidhead family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 45 words (3 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 Reidhead family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Readhead, aged 23, who arrived at Ellis Island, in 1892; Albert Readhead, aged 46, who arrived at Ellis Island, in 1922; and Albt. Readhead, aged 47, who arrived at Ellis Island, in 1922.


Contemporary Notables of the name Reidhead (post 1700) +

  • Paris Reidhead (1919-1992), American Christian missionary, teacher, writer, and advocate of economic development in impoverished nations
  • P. W. Reidhead, American politician, Village President of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, 1911-15 [4]


The Reidhead 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: Fortitudine et labore
Motto Translation: By fortitute and exertion.


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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