Ruddle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's generation of the Ruddle family bears a name that was brought to England by the migration wave that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ruddle family lived in Yorkshire at Ryedale or in Westmorland at Rydal with Loughrigg. The name Riddell and its variants occur in both locations. Ruddle 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 Ruddle family

The surname Ruddle 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 Ruddle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ruddle 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 Ruddle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ruddle Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Ruddle include Riddell, Riddle, Riddall, Riddells, Ridel and others.

Early Notables of the Ruddle 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 Ruddle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Ruddle family to Ireland

Some of the Ruddle 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.


Canada Ruddle migration to Canada +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Ruddles to arrive on North American shores:

Ruddle Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. David Ruddle, aged 66 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Yorkshire" departing 9th June 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 10th August 1847 but he died on board [5]

Australia Ruddle migration to Australia +

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

Ruddle Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Ann Ruddle, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Stebonheath" in 1850 [6]
  • Emily Ruddle, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Stebonheath" in 1850 [6]
  • George Ruddle, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Stebonheath" in 1850 [6]
  • James Ruddle, aged 28, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Stamboul"

New Zealand Ruddle 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:

Ruddle Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Ruddle, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cairngorm" in 1863
  • Samuel W. Ruddle, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cairngorm" in 1863
  • John Ruddle, aged 23, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dorette" in 1874 [7]
  • Mr. John Ruddle, (b. 1851), aged 23, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Dorette" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th April 1874 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ruddle (post 1700) +

  • Mark Ruddle, English former commander of HMS Iveston in 1965, a Ton-class minesweeper in the Royal Navy
  • Thomas Ruddle, English headmaster at Shebbear College, in Shebbear, Devon (1864-1909), eponym of Ruddle Day House and Ruddle Boarding House located there
  • Francis Ruddle (1798-1882), English master builder and carpenter, known for his choir stalls in Westminster Abbey
  • George Ruddle, English brewer who founded G. Ruddle & Co in 1912, later known as Ruddles Brewery, now owned by Greene King
  • James Johnson Ruddle (b. 1981), Canadian painter and performance artist
  • Priscilla Ruddle (b. 1976), Australian female volleyball player at the 2000 Summer Olympics


  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. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 94)
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The STEBONHEATH 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Stebonheath.htm
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 5th November 2010). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ 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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