Ridings History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The history of the Ridings family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living in the village of Reading found in the county of Berkshire. The surname Ridings is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. In this case the surname was originally derived from the Old English word rydding which simply refers to an area that has been cleared.
Early Origins of the Ridings family
The surname Ridings was first found in Sussex. Some of the earliest records of the surname were: Robert de Reading (died 1325), English historian and a monk of Westminster; and John of Reading (Latin: Johannes de Reading, Johannes Radingia) who died 1346. He was an English Franciscan theologian and scholastic philosopher and follower of Duns Scotus. He wrote a commentary on the Four Books of Sentences written by Peter Lombard around 1320, at the University of Oxford. In 1322, he accepted a teaching position at Avignon and it was there that he died.
Early History of the Ridings family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ridings research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1588, 1667, 1645, 1692, 1674, 1677, 1686, 1767, 1747, 1748, 1757, 1758, 1674 and 1744 are included under the topic Early Ridings History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ridings 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 Ridings include Reading, Reding, Redding, Reddin and others.
Early Notables of the Ridings family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include John Reading (1588-1667), English Calvinist and Biblical commentator; Sir James Reading; John Reading (c.1645-1692), English composer and organist, Choir master of Chichester Cathedral (1674-1677); and...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ridings Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Ridings is the 9,780th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 
Ridings 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:
Ridings Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Percy Ridings, aged 23, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Seringapatam" in 1856
Contemporary Notables of the name Ridings (post 1700) +
- Andrew Ridings, American actor, known for his work on Hearts Unarmored (2007), Dan Is Missing (2013) and Sedona (2011)
- Major-General Eugene Ware Ridings (1899-1969), American Deputy Inspector-General US Army (1957-1958) 
- Gordon Ridings, American college men's basketball coach
- Taggart "Tag" Twain Ridings (b. 1974), American professional PGA golfer
- DeAlton J. Ridings, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1960 
- C. O. Ridings, American Democratic Party politician, Member of North Carolina State House of Representatives from Polk County, 1921-22 
- Joanna Ridings (b. 1967), English actress
- Richard Ridings (b. 1958), British actor, best known for his portrayal of Allan Ashburn in the ITV television drama Fat Friends
- Phil Lovett Ridings (1917-1998), Australian cricketer who made 107 first-class appearances for South Australia, Chairman of the Australian Cricket Board from 1980 to 1983
Related Stories +
The Ridings Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Dieu defende la droit
Motto Translation: God defends the right.