Show ContentsRudge History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Rudge date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence near a ridge. Also, some examples of the name are of nickname derivation. This makes Rudge 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 local variant of the surname is derived from the Old English word hrycg, which means ridge. In Old English, thish word became rugge, regge, and rigge in various dialects of the language. The surname Rudge is derived from the rugge variant of the word. The nickname variant is derived from the Anglo French word rugge (rouge in Modern French) which means red, and would have been the nickname of someone with brilliant red hair.

Early Origins of the Rudge family

The surname Rudge was first found in Shropshire at Rudge, a township, in the parish of Pattingham. "The surname is doubtless derived from a township in Shropshire so called. " [1] The place name was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Rigge [2] and was derived from the Old English word "hrycg" which means "place at the ridge." [3] There are few other places named Rudge in Britain, specifically in the counties Devon, Wiltshire and Somerset and all are very small locals and have remained small through the centuries. An early member of the family was John de Rugge, of Seysdon, Staffordshire who was living, 17 Edward II.

Early History of the Rudge family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rudge research. Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1320 and 1637 are included under the topic Early Rudge History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rudge Spelling Variations

Rudge has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Rudge have been found, including Rudge, Ruidge, Roidge, Rutdge, Rutge, Rudych, Rutch, Rutche, Ruitge and many more.

Early Notables of the Rudge family (pre 1700)

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

United States Rudge migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Rudges to arrive on North American shores:

Rudge Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Rudge, who settled in New York in 1679
Rudge Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George and John Rudge, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1820
Rudge Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Albert Rudge, aged 2, who landed in America from Belston, England, in 1907
  • Charles Henry Rudge, aged 17, who landed in America from Bristol, England, in 1909
  • Edward Rudge, aged 40, who immigrated to the United States from Sandown, England, in 1912
  • Edwyn Ross Rudge, aged 38, who settled in America from Auckland, New Zealand, in 1920
  • Amelia Rudge, aged 55, who settled in America from Birmingham, England, in 1921

Australia Rudge migration to Australia +

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

Rudge Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Rudge, English convict who was convicted in Shrophsire, (Salop), England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 16th January 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Mr. William Rudge, English convict who was convicted in Worcester, Worcestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 5th June 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Mr. George Henry Rudge, English convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Camden" on 21st September 1832, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Miss Elizabeth Rudge who was convicted in Kent, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Emma Eugenia" on 16th November 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Henry Rudge, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Agincourt" on July 6, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [7]

West Indies Rudge 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]
Rudge Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Joe Rudge, who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Jo Rudge, aged 42, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [9]
  • Mr. John Rudge, (b. 1593), aged 42, British settler travelling aboard the ship "Expedition" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Rudge (post 1700) +

  • William Edwin Rudge (1876-1931), American publisher and printer
  • Olga Rudge (1895-1996), American-born concert violinist and long-time mistress of the poet Ezra Pound
  • Thomas Rudge (1754-1825), English antiquary, son of Thomas Rudge of Gloucester, matriculated at Merton College, Oxford
  • Edward Rudge (1763-1846), English botanist and antiquary, son of Edward Rudge, a merchant and alderman of Salisbury, who possessed a large portion of the abbey estate at Evesham
  • Myles Peter Carpenter Rudge (1926-2007), English songwriter, best known for writing the lyrics for "Hole in the Ground" and "Right Said Fred," both British Top Ten chart hits in 1962
  • Selena Rudge (b. 1975), English female rugby union player who played for England at the 2006 Women's Rugby World Cup
  • Mary Rudge (1842-1919), English female chess master
  • Edward John Rudge M.A. (1792-1861), English barrister and antiquary, Fellow of the Royal Society in 1847, son of Edward Rudge
  • Lloyd Maurice Rudge (1934-1990), English cricketer who played a single first-class match for Worcestershire
  • William Douglas "Will" Rudge (b. 1983), English cricketer
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Rudge Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: In cruce fides
Motto Translation: Faith in the cross.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 2nd December 2020). Retrieved from
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 31st March 2022). Retrieved from
  7. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Agincourt voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1844 with 226 passengers. Retrieved from
  9. 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)
  10. Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. Retrieved from on Facebook