Riddle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Riddle reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Riddle family lived in Yorkshire at Ryedale or in Westmorland at Rydal with Loughrigg. The name Riddell and its variants occur in both locations. Riddle is a classic example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently.

Early Origins of the Riddle family

The surname Riddle was first found in Aquitaine where this baronial name was derived from a Gothic race. It was here that the Baron of Blaye (c. 1030) granted lands to the Abbey of Fons Dulcis near Bordeaux. This grant was confirmed by Gerald de Blavia and one of his sons Geoffre Rudelli (Ridel.) The latter lived 1079-1099 and left for Scotland during the time of King David I. Upon his arrival, he received grants of lands. He was the ancestor of the Riddells, Baronets.

Another Geoffrey Ridel from the preceding generation went to England from Apulia with William Bigod and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. He was Crown Commissioner in 1106. In 1120, he succeeded Ralph Basset as Justiciary.

Stephen Ridell was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1186 and years later Stephen Riddel was Lord Chancellor of Ireland (c. 1313-1318). A member of the family of Picard changed his name to Ruddle, at the instance of King Edward IV., to denote his birthplace. [1] "Almost all versions of the Battle Abbey Roll include the name of Ridel." [2]

Early History of the Riddle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Riddle research. Another 224 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1030, 1106, 1124, 1577, 1582, 1590, 1595, 1601, 1604, 1616, 1663, 1632, 1669, 1700, 1664, 1747, 1674, 1595, 1602, 1652 and are included under the topic Early Riddle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Riddle Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Riddle include Riddell, Riddle, Riddall, Riddells, Ridel and others.

Early Notables of the Riddle family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Riddell, 1st Baronet (d. 1632); Sir Walter Riddell, 2nd Baronet (d. c. 1669); Sir John Riddell, 3rd Baronet (d. 1 April 1700); and Sir Walter Riddell, 4th Baronet (1664-1747.) James Riddell (died 1674), was a Scottish merchant and manufacturer, the son of James Riddell. His father, also James Riddell, claimed descent from the Norman Baron Galfridus Riddell of Blaye in Guienne, the first of the English Riddells...
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Riddle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Riddle family to Ireland

Some of the Riddle family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 69 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Riddle migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Riddles to arrive on North American shores:

Riddle Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliz Riddle, who arrived in Virginia in 1704 [3]
  • Thomas Riddle, who arrived in Virginia in 1704 [3]
  • Robert Riddle, who arrived in New England in 1718 [3]
  • Hugh Riddle, who arrived in New England in 1718 [3]
  • Margaret Riddle, who arrived in Virginia in 1722 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Riddle Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Johan Riddle, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1803 [3]
  • Johan Riddle, who arrived at Philadelphia in 1803
  • Christopher Riddle, aged 30, who landed in New York in 1812 [3]
  • Samuel Riddle, who landed in Norfolk, Va in 1817 [3]
  • Charles Riddle, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Riddle migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Riddle Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Riddle, who was recorded in Nova Scotia in 1750
Riddle Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Riddle, aged 30, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • Isabella Riddle, aged 30, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • Walter Riddle, aged 6, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • William Riddle, aged 24, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Perseus" in 1834

Australia Riddle migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Riddle Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Riddle, a baker, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Thomas Riddle, English convict from Nottingham, who was transported aboard the "Agincourt" on July 6, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [4]
  • Matilda Riddle, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Stebonheath" in 1850 [5]
  • Thomas Riddle, aged 37, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Calabar" [6]
  • George Henry Riddle, aged 36, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nimroud"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Riddle 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:

Riddle Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Riddle, aged 27, a farm servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bengal Merchant" in 1840
  • Mr. James Riddle, Scottish ploughman from Glasgow travelling from Leith aboard the ship "Strathallan" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 8th January 1858 [7]
  • Mrs. Mary Riddle, Scottish settler from Glasgow travelling from Leith aboard the ship "Strathallan" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 8th January 1858 [7]
  • Miss Ann Riddle, Scottish settler from Glasgow travelling from Leith aboard the ship "Strathallan" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 8th January 1858 [7]
  • Mr. George Riddle, Scottish settler travelling from Leith aboard the ship "Strathallan" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 8th January 1858 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Riddle (post 1700) +

  • Nelson Riddle (1921-1985), American band leader and arranger, best known for his work for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and many more
  • Robert M. Riddle (1812-1858), American politician, Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1853 to 1854
  • Oscar Riddle (1877-1968), American biologist
  • Haywood Yancey Riddle (1834-1879), American politician and University professor, member of the United States House of Representatives from Tennessee
  • George Read Riddle (1817-1867), American engineer lawyer and politician, U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Delaware
  • Theodate Pope Riddle (1867-1946), American architect
  • Johnny Riddle (1905-1998), American baseball player
  • Jeff C. Riddle (1863-1941), American Indian historian of the Modoc War
  • Almeda Riddle (1898-1986), American folk singer
  • Robert H. Riddle, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 11 aerial victories
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Albert Riddle, British Boy, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [8]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Howard George Aubrey Riddle, British Blacksmith 3rd Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [9]


Suggested Readings for the name Riddle +

  • 879 "Descendants of Hampton and Nancy Riddle, 1814-1972" by Norma Simpson, "A Partial History of the Riddle-Beavers Families: of Botetourt County, Virginia, Highland County, Ohio, Decatur and Page Counties, Iowa" by Andree Sieverin Hoeman.

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Agincourt voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1844 with 226 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agincourt/1844
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The STEBONHEATH 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Stebonheath.htm
  6. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 2nd August 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Calabar 1853. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/williamstuart1853.shtml.
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  9. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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