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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Ridyard surname lived in Rudyard, Staffordshire. The place-name Rudyard means "yard where rue was grown" derived from the Old English words rude + geard. [1] 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.

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The surname Ridyard 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. [2] Rudyard Kipling's parents named their son after the village.

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Ridyard are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Ridyard include: Rudyard, Rudgard, Rudyer and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ridyard research. Another 167 words (12 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 Ridyard History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 137 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ridyard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ridyard Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • James Ridyard, aged 33, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Conflict" in 1874
  • Eliza Ridyard, aged 30, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Conflict" in 1874
  • Arthur C. Ridyard, aged 3, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Conflict" in 1874

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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  5. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  6. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  7. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  8. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  9. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  10. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  11. ...

The Ridyard Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ridyard 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 30 July 2014 at 20:25.

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