Show ContentsRodway History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Rodway surname is a habitational name, taken on from any of various place names, such as Radway in Devon, Radway in Warwickshire, Rodway in Somerset, or Roadway in Devon. These place names are all from the Old English words "re-ad," meaning "red," and "waye," meaning "road." [1]

Another source claims the name denotes "a descendant of the Anglo-Saxon personal name Rœdwíg = Fleet Warrior [Old English (h)rœd, swift + wíga, warrior]" [2]

Early Origins of the Rodway family

The surname Rodway was first found in Somerset where Henry de Radeweie was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of 1205. Thomas de Radeweye was recorded at Roadway, Devon in the Feet of Fines for 1242. The same rolls listed Geoffrey de Radeweye in Reddaway, Devon in the same year. A very rare name, we must move to the 16th century to find the next entry for the family, that of Stephen Rodweye or Radwaye who as listed in Oxfordshire in 1581. [1]

The Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum, temp. Henry III-Edward I listed Geoffrey de Radeweye, Devon and Thomas de Radeweye, Devon. [3]

Back in Somerset, we found John de Radewaye and Henry de Radewaye, listed 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III) [4]

Early History of the Rodway family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rodway research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1525, 1581, 1385 and 1642 are included under the topic Early Rodway History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rodway Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Rodway family name include Radway, Rodway, Radaway, Rodaway, Reddaway, Roadway and many more.

Early Notables of the Rodway family (pre 1700)

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

United States Rodway migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Rodway surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Rodway Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Rodway, who arrived in Maryland in 1670 [5]

Canada Rodway migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rodway Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • William Rodway, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • William Rodway, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750

Australia Rodway migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Rodway Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Rodway, (b. 1792), aged 46, English blacksmith who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for life, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 25th June 1838, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Mr. William Francis Rodway, English convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the ""Blenheim"" on 24th July 1850, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) and Norfolk Island, Australia [7]

West Indies Rodway migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [8]
Rodway Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Stephen Rodway, who was on record in Barbados in 1685

Contemporary Notables of the name Rodway (post 1700) +

  • A. N. Rodway, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1916 [9]
  • Leonard Rodway (1853-1936), English-born Australian dentist and botanist, made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 1917 New Year Honours and awarded the Clarke Medal of the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1924
  • Eduardo Rodríguez Rodway (b. 1945), Spanish singer and musician, guitarist of the rock band Triana
  • Steve Rodway, known by his stage names Motiv 8 or Motiv8, a British Electronic dance music record producer, songwriter, remixer and sound engineer
  • Norman Rodway (1929-2001), Irish actor who joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1966

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Archie  Rodway (1862-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [10]
  • Mrs. Ida  Rodway (1896-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [10]
  • Mr. Herbert  Rodway (1904-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [10]

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  4. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th March 2021). Retrieved from
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th October 2020). Retrieved from
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 5) . Retrieved from
  10. Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from on Facebook