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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The origins of the Ridley name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived in the region of Ridley in the counties of Northumberland, Cheshire and Kent. Ridley 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. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
The surname Ridley was first found in Northumberland where one of the first records of the name was Nicolas de Ridley who executed a charter in 1250. Later, Nicolas de Redley or Ridley lived in 1306 at Ridley in this county. Another early record reveals Odard Ridley as Coroner of Tyndale in 1278. His grandfather was probably brother of John Fitz-Odard, Baron of Emildon (living 1161-1182) and son of Odard, Viscount of Northumberland. The township of Melkridge was an early home to the family. "It belonged at an early period to the Ridleys, of whom Sir Nicholas Ridley was proprietor in the 16th century; the chief estate afterwards came to the Nevilles, of Chevet, and from them passed to the Blacketts, the present owners. "  Wall-Town again in Northumberland was home to another branch of the family since early times. "In Henry VIII.'s time Wall-Town was the property of the Ridleys, who continued here till the reign of Charles I., if not later. The tower of Wall-Town, which was a castellated building, is described, in 1542, as the inheritance of John Ridley." 
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Ridley were recorded, including Ridley, Ridly and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ridley research. Another 335 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1547, 1560, 1624, 1500 and 1555 are included under the topic Early Ridley History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ridley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Ridley family emigrate to North America:
Ridley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Ridley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Ridley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Ridley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Ridley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Ridley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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: Constans fidei
Motto Translation: Constant to honor.
The Ridley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ridley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 29 February 2016 at 11:01.