Ridgeard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Ridgeard name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived 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 Ridgeard family
The surname Ridgeard 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 Ridgeard family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ridgeard 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 Ridgeard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ridgeard Spelling Variations
Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Ridgeard has undergone many spelling variations, including Rudyard, Rudgard, Rudyer and others.
Early Notables of the Ridgeard 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 Ridgeard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ridgeard family
To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Ridgeard were among those contributors: Thomas Rudyard who settled in New Jersey in 1664; Thomas Rudyard arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682; Albert M. Ridgard, aged 36, who arrived at Ellis Island from Liverpool, in 1906.
- 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)