Ridlon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

When the ancestors of the Ridlon family emigrated to England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They lived in Yorkshire at Ryedale or in Westmorland at Rydal with Loughrigg. The name Riddell and its variants occur in both locations. Ridlon is a classic example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently.

The family is "descended from the ancient Counts of Angouleme, who claim to have received their fief from Charles the Bald in 866. The surname was first assumed about 1048 by Galfrid or Geoffrey, the second son of Count Galfrid,who had for his inheritance the barony of Blaye in Guienne, and married the heiress of Perigord." [1]

Early Origins of the Ridlon family

The surname Ridlon was first found in Aquitaine where this baronial name was derived from a Gothic race. It was here that the Baron of Blaye (c. 1030) granted lands to the Abbey of Fons Dulcis near Bordeaux. This grant was confirmed by Gerald de Blavia and one of his sons Geoffre Rudelli (Ridel.) The latter lived 1079-1099 and left for Scotland during the time of King David I. Upon his arrival, he received grants of lands. He was the ancestor of the Riddells, Baronets. [2]

"Almost all the versions of the Battle Abbey Roll include the name of Ridel. By reference to the first volume of "Pipe Rolls," edited by Mr. Stapleton, it will be seen at p. 119, that Geoffrey Ridel rendered account for himself and for Geoffrey de St. Denis of forty shillings for two copes. It was by this tenure that the fief of Blosseville in the pays de Caux, was held, which gave to the possessor in later times the title of Vicomte hereditaire, Chatelain et Seigneur Haut Justicier de Blosseville. This entry proves that the Ridels originally existed in Normandy. The first of the race, explicitly proved to have been settled in Scotland, is Gervasius Ridel, the earliest High Sheriff of Rosburghshire. The Norman Ridel was ancestor also of the eminent Northumbrian House of Riddell of Fenham and Swinburne Castle." [3]

Stephen Ridell was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1186 and years later Stephen Riddel was Lord Chancellor of Ireland (c. 1313-1318). A member of the family of Picard changed his name to Ruddle, at the instance of King Edward IV., to denote his birthplace. [2]

"Hugh de Ridel was one of the hostages given to Henry II. for William the Lion, King of Scots, having acquired through his wife, Margaret de St. Medard, the manor of Cranston in Scotland, which was lost in the subsequent Scottish wars, and Withering in Northamptonshire, held for three hundred years and upwards by his descendants." [1]

In Scotland, "the Ridels never prefixed de, and the de Rydales invariably did so because they came from a place so-called. The first Ridel of Craneston was probably Gervasius Ridel who appears as a witness in the Inquisttio of Earl David as to the extent of the lands of the church of Glasgow, c. 1124, and was most probably a descendant of the Galfridus Ridel de Blaye of 1048. At this day the name is a strictly personal one in Normandy. Gervasius also appears as a witness to charters in the reigns of Alxander I and David I. The first of the Riddells of that Ilk was Walter de Ridale or Riddale who received a charter from King David, c. 1150, of the lands of Whitimes (an error for Whittune), Eschetho I to which he transferred the name of his Yorkshire property, and Lilislive (now Lilliesleaf). He also appears as a witness in many charters in the cartularies of Dryburgh, Holyrood, Glasgow, Newbattle, Cambuskenneth, Dunfermline, etc. He died without issue, c. 1155, and left his property to his brother Anschetil or Ansketil de Riddel by a will which was confirmed by Pope Adrian IV." [4]

Early History of the Ridlon family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ridlon research. Another 224 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1030, 1106, 1124, 1577, 1582, 1590, 1595, 1601, 1604, 1616, 1663, 1632, 1669, 1700, 1664, 1747, 1674, 1595, 1602, 1652 and are included under the topic Early Ridlon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ridlon Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Ridlon has been recorded under many different variations, including Riddell, Riddle, Riddall, Riddells, Ridel and others.

Early Notables of the Ridlon family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Riddell, 1st Baronet (d. 1632); Sir Walter Riddell, 2nd Baronet (d. c. 1669); Sir John Riddell, 3rd Baronet (d. 1 April 1700); and Sir Walter Riddell, 4th Baronet (1664-1747.) James Riddell (died 1674), was a Scottish merchant and manufacturer, the son of James Riddell. His father, also James Riddell, claimed descent from the Norman Baron Galfridus Riddell of Blaye in Guienne, the first of the English Riddells...
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ridlon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ridlon Ranking

In the United States, the name Ridlon is the 16,028th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Ridlon family to Ireland

Some of the Ridlon family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 69 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Ridlon family

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Ridlons were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: William Riddell settled in Virginia in 1635; Archibald Riddell settled in New Jersey in 1685; Sarah Riddall settled in Virginia in 1640 with her husband.


Contemporary Notables of the name Ridlon (post 1700) +

  • James Arthur Ridlon (b. 1934), American NFL football safety who played from 1957 to 1964
  • Horace Denver Ridlon (b. 1876), American Republican politician, Member of Maine State House of Representatives from Penobscot County, 1919-20 [6]


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 24) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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