Ridgearde History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancestors of the bearers of the Ridgearde family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found 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 Ridgearde family
The surname Ridgearde 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 Ridgearde family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ridgearde 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 Ridgearde History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ridgearde Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Ridgearde include Rudyard, Rudgard, Rudyer and others.
Early Notables of the Ridgearde 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 Ridgearde Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ridgearde family
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Ridgearde or a variant listed above: 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.
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)