Ruddell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ruddell is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ruddell family lived in Yorkshire at Ryedale or in Westmorland at Rydal with Loughrigg. The name Riddell and its variants occur in both locations. Ruddell 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 Ruddell family

The surname Ruddell 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 Ruddell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ruddell 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, 1652 and are included under the topic Early Ruddell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ruddell Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Riddell, Riddle, Riddall, Riddells, Ridel and others.

Early Notables of the Ruddell 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...
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ruddell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ruddell Ranking

In the United States, the name Ruddell is the 15,679th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Ruddell family to Ireland

Some of the Ruddell 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.


United States Ruddell migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, travelling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Ruddell or a variant listed above:

Ruddell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Sara Ruddell, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [6]
Ruddell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Isaac Ruddell, who arrived in Texas in 1835 [6]

New Zealand Ruddell 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:

Ruddell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Sarah Ruddell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ernestina" in 1865
  • Eliza Ruddell, aged 24, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Halcione" in 1870 [7]
  • Margaret Ruddell, aged 29, a cook, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Parsee" in 1873
  • Mary Ruddell, aged 26, a housemaid, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Parsee" in 1873
  • Richard Ruddell, aged 22, a tailor, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Countess of Kintore" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Ruddell (post 1700) +

  • Captain Isaac Ruddell (1737-1812), 18th century American Virginia State Line officer during the American Revolutionary War
  • Gary Ruddell (b. 1951), American artist
  • David Frederick Ruddell (1871-1957), Irish Anglican priest and hymnist
  • George Ruddell (1865-1866), unionist politician in Northern Ireland
  • Cecil A. "Cec" Ruddell (1917-1990), Australian rules footballer
  • Brigadier George Ruddell Gilpin (1895-1971), British Deputy Chief Engineer, North Western Army (1942-1945) [8]


  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. ^ 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)
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 12th December 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 5) George Gilpin. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Gilpin/George_Ruddell/Great_Britain.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook