Riordon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Riordon has changed considerably in the time that has passed since its genesis. It originally appeared in Gaelic as O Riordain. The original form of the surname was O Rioghbhardain, which was originally derived from the words "riogh bhard," meaning "royal bard."

Early Origins of the Riordon family

The surname Riordon was first found in County Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster.

Early History of the Riordon family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Riordon research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1750 are included under the topic Early Riordon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Riordon Spelling Variations

Individual scribes in the Ireland during the Middle Ages would often record a person's name various ways. How the name was recorded depended on what that particular scribe believed the proper spelling for the name pronounced to him was. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Riordon family name include O'Riordan, Riordan, O'Rearden, Rearden and others.

Early Notables of the Riordon family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Riordon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Canada Riordon migration to Canada +

Many destitute Irish families in the 18th and 19th centuries decided to leave their homeland, which had in many ways been scarred by English colonial rule. One of the most frequent destinations for these families was North America where it was possible for an Irish family to own their own parcel of land. Many of the early settlers did find land awaiting them in British North America, or even later in America, but for the majority of immigrants that arrived as a result of the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s the ownership of land was often a long way off. These Irish people were initially put to work on such industrial projects as the building of bridges, canals, and railroads, or they worked at manufacturing positions within factories. Whenever they arrived, the Irish made enormous contributions to the infant nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the earliest immigrants to bearer the name of Riordon were found through extensive research of immigration and passenger lists:

Riordon Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Riordon, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Levant Star" from Cork, Ireland

New Zealand Riordon 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:

Riordon Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Margaret Riordon, (b. 1845), aged 20, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Greyhound" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 7th May 1865 [1]
  • Miss Ann Riordon, (b. 1847), aged 18, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Greyhound" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 7th May 1865 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Riordon (post 1700) +

  • Ryan Riordon (b. 1982), Canadian politician who served the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, MLA for Nepisiguit (2010-2014)


The Riordon 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: Pro Deo et patria
Motto Translation: For God and country.


  1. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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