Ridgard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Anglo-Saxon name Ridgard comes from when the family resided in Rudyard, Staffordshire. The place-name Rudyard means "yard where rue was grown" derived from the Old English words rude + geard. 
Rue is a perennial evergreen shrub common in Europe with yellow flowers. The plant is psychoactive; the leaves of the shrub were used as a stimulant in the Middle Ages. The leaves were noted for their strong smell and bitter taste.
Early Origins of the Ridgard family
The surname Ridgard was first found in Staffordshire at Rudyard, a small village west of Leek on the shores of Rudyard Lake. The lake is quite recent, built in 1797 by the engineer John Rennie, for the Trent and Mersey Canal company. 
But the placename dates back to at least 1002 when it was listed as Rudegeard, yet a few years later it was listed as Rudierd in the Domesday Book of 1086.  At that time, it was part of the Pirehill Hundred and owned by the King. 
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), the famous English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist was born in India but his parents named their son after the village.
Early History of the Ridgard family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ridgard research. Another 84 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1030, 1620, 1572, 1658, 1621, 1648, 1630, 1640, 1692, 1682 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Ridgard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ridgard Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Ridgard include Rudyard, Rudgard, Rudyer and others.
Early Notables of the Ridgard family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Sir Benjamin Rudyerd (Rudyard) (1572-1658), an English poet and politician, sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1621 and 1648, one of the incorporators of the Providence Company (1630)...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ridgard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ridgard migration to the United States +
A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:
Ridgard Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Albert M. Ridgard, aged 36, who landed in America from Liverpool, in 1906
- Clarie Ridgard, aged 36, who immigrated to the United States from Nottingham, in 1906
- Doris Ridgard, aged 5, who settled in America from Nottingham, in 1906
Related Stories +
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)