Show ContentsRuffner History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Ruffner was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Norman given name Rudolph.

Early Origins of the Ruffner family

The surname Ruffner was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from early times, soon after the Norman Conquest by Duke William of Normandy in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Ruffner family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ruffner research. Another 148 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1297, 1332, 1510, 1521 and 1557 are included under the topic Early Ruffner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ruffner Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Roffe, Rolfe, Rolph, Roalph, Roff, Ruff, Rouf and others.

Early Notables of the Ruffner family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Rough (died 1557), Scottish Protestant martyr, is stated to have been born in 1510, but as he was incorporated in St. Leonard's College in the university of St. Andrews in 1521. He was a close friend of John Knox and was soon summoned before Winram, the vicar-general of St. Andrews. Rough managed...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ruffner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ruffner Ranking

In the United States, the name Ruffner is the 8,105th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Ruffner migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Ruffner or a variant listed above were:

Ruffner Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Ruffner, who landed in New York, NY in 1710-1714 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ruffner (post 1700) +

  • Pattie Ruffner Jacobs (1875-1935), American suffragist from Birmingham, Alabama, inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1978
  • Lewis Ruffner (1797-1883), American merchant, magistrate and politician who helped found the state of West Virginia
  • Viola Knapp Ruffner (1812-1903), American schoolteacher, the second wife of General Lewis Ruffner
  • Paul Ruffner (1948-2022), American ABA and NBA basketball player
  • Mason Ruffner (b. 1947), American blues and rock singer, guitarist and songwriter who has worked with many musicians including Bob Dylan, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Page and many more
  • Henry Ruffner (1790-1861), American educator and Presbyterian minister, President of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) (1837-1848)
  • Ginny Ruffner (b. 1952), American glass artist based in Seattle, Washington
  • Frederick Gale Ruffner Jr. (1926-2014), American publisher and founder of Gale Research in 1954
  • Major-General David Lewis Ruffner (1896-1972), American Commanding General 45th Division, Korea (1952-1953) [3]
  • General Clark Louis Ruffner (1903-1982), American US Representative to NATO Military Committee (1960-1962) [4]
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  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. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) David Ruffner. Retrieved from
  4. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) Clark Ruffner. Retrieved from on Facebook