Show ContentsRuddy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Ruddy is derived from the Old English root "rud-," a component in the words "rudig," which means "ruddy," and "ruddoc," which means "red-breast." The surname was originally a nickname for a ruddy complexioned or red-haired person, or perhaps for someone who habitually wore the color red. The surname Ruddy may also be a local name derived from residence "at the rood;" that is, residence near a crossroads.

Early Origins of the Ruddy family

The surname Ruddy was first found in Carmarthenshire (Welsh: Sir Gaerfyrddin), located in Southwest Wales, one of thirteen historic counties and presently one of the principal area in Wales, where they held a family seat from very ancient times; some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Ruddy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ruddy research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1674, 1757 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Ruddy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ruddy Spelling Variations

Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Ruddy has occasionally been spelled Rudd, Wrudd, Rutt, Rud, Rut, Roud, Routt, Ruttle and others.

Early Notables of the Ruddy family

Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ruddy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ruddy Ranking

In the United States, the name Ruddy is the 10,710th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 1

Ireland Migration of the Ruddy family to Ireland

Some of the Ruddy family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 93 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Ruddy migration to the United States +

The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Ruddy:

Ruddy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Ruddy, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1847 2
  • John Ruddy, who arrived in Mississippi in 1854 2
  • Thomas Ruddy, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872 2
  • Catherine Ruddy, aged 20, who immigrated to America, in 1893
  • Anne Ruddy, aged 11, who settled in America, in 1896
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Ruddy Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Ellen Ruddy, who settled in America, in 1903
  • Annie Ruddy, aged 19, who landed in America from Askeaton, Ireland, in 1908
  • Annie Ruddy, aged 16, who landed in America from Manorhamilton, Ireland, in 1909
  • Elizabeth Ruddy, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1909
  • Domenick Ruddy, aged 28, who landed in America from Leeds, England, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Ruddy migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ruddy Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Barney Ruddy, aged 64, a carpenter, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Mr. Edward Ruddy, aged 17 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Greenock" departing 19th June 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 29th July 1847 but he died on board 3

Australia Ruddy migration to Australia +

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

Ruddy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Ruddy, (b. 1812), aged 19, Irish farm labourer who was convicted in County Tyrone, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Captain Cook" on 5th November 1831, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 4

Contemporary Notables of the name Ruddy (post 1700) +

  • Joseph Aloysius Ruddy Sr. (1878-1962), American two-time gold medalist competition swimmer and water polo player
  • Christopher Ruddy (b. 1965), American conservative journalist, CEO of Newsmax Media
  • Craig Ruddy (1968-2022), Australian artist, winner of the Archibald Prize in 2004 with his portrait of renowned Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil
  • Albert S. Ruddy (b. 1930), Canadian two-time Academy Award and two-time Golden Globe winning film and television producer
  • John Thomas Gordon Ruddy (b. 1986), English footballer from St. Ives, Cambridgeshire

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. John Ruddy (d. 1914), Ukrainian Third Class Passenger from Ternopil, Ukraine who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking 5
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. S Ruddy, British Engine Room Artificer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking 6

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. 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)
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from
  5. Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from
  6. HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook