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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Rigby family come from? What is the English Rigby family crest and coat of arms? When did the Rigby family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Rigby family history?

The Anglo-Saxon name Rigby comes from the family having resided in the parish of Rigsby in the county of Lincolnshire. Rigby is a habitation name which forms a broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. Habitiation names were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads and indicated where a man held his land and estates.


Rigby has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Rigbye, Rigbie, Rigby and others.

First found in Lincolnshire at Rigsby listed in the Domesday Book as Rigesbi and Righesbi, land held by the Archbishop of York. Herbert the archbishop's man held one plough, three villans and four boarders with two oxen. In total it comprised ninety acres of pasture and sixty acres of woodland. [1] Today the village is part of the civil parish of Rigsby with Ailby in the East Lindsey district.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rigby research. Another 133 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1620, 1694 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Rigby History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 33 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rigby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Rigbys to arrive on North American shores:

Rigby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Robert, Dorothy and Roger Rigby, who all settled in Virginia in 1638
  • Roger Rigby, who landed in Virginia in 1639
  • Peter Rigby, who landed in Virginia in 1639
  • Edward Rigby, who arrived in Lancaster, Massachusetts in 1654
  • Catherine Rigby, who arrived in Maryland in 1659

Rigby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • James Rigby, who settled in Virginia in 1706 with his son Roger
  • John Rigby, who settled in Virginia in 1737
  • Joe Rigby, who settled in Georgia in 1737

Rigby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Rigby, who arrived in Mississippi in 1840
  • Timothy Rigby, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848
  • William Rigby, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848
  • George Rigby, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • John Rigby, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1870

Rigby Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Henry Rigby, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752

Rigby Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • William Rigby, English convict from Chester, who was transported aboard the "Adamant" on March 16, 1821, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • George Rigby, aged 25, a mason, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "William Stevenson"

Rigby Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Samuel Rigby, aged 39, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Seringapatam" in 1856
  • Emmanuel Rigby, aged 34, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Reiherstieg" in 1864


  • Cathleen Roxanne Rigby (b. 1952), former Olympic gymnast, actress and speaker
  • Mr. G. Rigby (d. 1915), English Fireman from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered
  • Mrs. Sarah Ann Rigby (1871-1914), née Bourne English Third Class Passenger from Liverpool, England, United Kingdom who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Emma Catherine Rigby (b. 1989), English actress
  • Jean Rigby (b. 1954), English opera and concert singer
  • Terence Rigby (1937-2008), English actor
  • Mr. N Rigby, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Sir Peter Rigby (b. 1943), British entrepreneur, owner of SCC, the largest privately owned technology company in Europe
  • John Rigby (b. 1922), award-winning Australian artist


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  1. ^ 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. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  4. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  5. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  9. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  10. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Rigby Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rigby 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 8 March 2015 at 18:38.

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