Show ContentsRuddyeard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ruddyeard is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in Rudyard, Staffordshire. The place-name Rudyard means "yard where rue was grown" derived from the Old English words rude + geard. [1]

Rue is a perennial evergreen shrub common in Europe with yellow flowers. The plant is psychoactive; the leaves of the shrub were used as a stimulant in the Middle Ages. The leaves were noted for their strong smell and bitter taste.

Early Origins of the Ruddyeard family

The surname Ruddyeard was first found in Staffordshire at Rudyard, a small village west of Leek on the shores of Rudyard Lake. The lake is quite recent, built in 1797 by the engineer John Rennie, for the Trent and Mersey Canal company. [2]

But the placename dates back to at least 1002 when it was listed as Rudegeard, yet a few years later it was listed as Rudierd in the Domesday Book of 1086. [1] At that time, it was part of the Pirehill Hundred and owned by the King. [3]

William de Rodyard, de Rodiard, or de Rudyard (c.1275- c. 1349) was an English-born juristy and cleric. He held office as Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas. He was also Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, and briefly Deputy Lord Treasurer of Ireland. He was the first Chancellor of the Medieval University of Dublin. He is generally thought ot have been born in Rudyard, Staffordshire.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), the famous English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist was born in India but his parents named their son after the village.

Early History of the Ruddyeard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ruddyeard research. Another 84 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1030, 1066, 1572, 1620, 1621, 1630, 1640, 1648, 1658, 1682, 1683 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Ruddyeard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ruddyeard 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 Ruddyeard family name include Rudyard, Rudgard, Rudyer and others.

Early Notables of the Ruddyeard family

Distinguished members of the family include Sir Benjamin Rudyerd (Rudyard) (1572-1658), an English poet and politician, sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1621 and 1648, one of the incorporators of the Providence Company (1630)...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ruddyeard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Ruddyeard family

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 Ruddyeard surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Thomas Rudyard who settled in New Jersey in 1664; Thomas Rudyard arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682; Albert M. Ridgard, aged 36, who arrived at Ellis Island from Liverpool, in 1906.



  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)


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