Ridgerd History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancestry of the name Ridgerd dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family 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 Ridgerd family
The surname Ridgerd 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 Ridgerd family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ridgerd 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 Ridgerd History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ridgerd Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Ridgerd have been found, including Rudyard, Rudgard, Rudyer and others.
Early Notables of the Ridgerd 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 Ridgerd Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ridgerd family
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Ridgerd, 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.
- 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)