Rule History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Rule surname evolved from two sources. In some instances, it came from the medieval personal name Roul. It was also a habitational name derived from a place so named in Roxburghshire.

Early Origins of the Rule family

The surname Rule was first found in Roxburghshire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Saint Rule or Regulus ( fl. 8th century?), was the legendary founder of the see of St. Andrews. "He is a leading character in the story of the journeyings of the relics of St. Andrew. Accordingly to ancient writings, "after some wandering, Regulus reached Scotland, and on a hill called Rigmond (Kil-rymont, or St. Andrews) met the king of the Picts at the head of an army. The king was Ungus, son of Urguist, who had already been warned in a vision to offer the tenth part of his inheritance to St. Andrew in order that he might be victorious in the war he was waging against the Britannic nations. The king then dedicated that place to St. Andrew, to be head of all the Pictish churches." [1]

Early History of the Rule family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rule research. Another 188 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1249, 1296, 1335, 1629, 1701, 1690 and 1701 are included under the topic Early Rule History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rule Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Rule, Wrule, Roul, Rulle, Roulle, Roull and others.

Early Notables of the Rule family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Rule family to Ireland

Some of the Rule family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Rule migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rule Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Rule, who settled in St. Christopher in 1635
  • William Rule, aged 20, who arrived in St Christopher in 1635 [2]
  • Dorothy Rule, who landed in Virginia in 1639 [2]
  • Dorothy Rule and her husband, who settled in Virginia in 1639
  • Anthony Rule, who settled in Virginia sometime between 1671 and 1672
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Rule Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Nicholas Rule, who settled in New York in 1710
  • Judith Rule, who landed in Virginia in 1711 [2]
  • Peter Rule, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1727 [2]
  • James Rule, who arrived in Virginia sometime between 1734 and 1735
Rule Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Rule, aged 47, who arrived in Vermont in 1812 [2]
  • James Rule, aged 47, who landed in Massachusetts in 1813 [2]
  • John Rule, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1819
  • Jane Rule, aged 11, who arrived in New York, NY in 1842 [2]
  • Robert Rule, who landed in New York in 1842 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Rule migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rule Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Rule, (b. 1858), aged 45, American miner returning from Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Lucania" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 1st August 1903 en route to British Columbia, Canada [3]

Australia Rule migration to Australia +

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

Rule Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Rule, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • John Rule, a sawyer, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • James Rule, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839 [5]
  • Thomas Rule, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839 [5]
  • Edwin Rule, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Bruce" in 1846 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Rule 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:

Rule Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Rule, aged 27, a miner, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburgh" in 1840
  • James Oliver Rule, aged 11 months, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburgh" in 1840
  • Mrs. Sarah Rule, (b. 1843), aged 19, Cornish settler departing on 2nd September 1862 aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [7]
  • Mr. William Henry Rule, (b. 1841), aged 21, Cornish farm labourer departing on 2nd September 1862 aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [7]
  • Mr. William Henry Rule, (b. 1841), aged 21, British farm labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Rule (post 1700) +

  • Albert "Bert" Lyman Rule (b. 1891), American composer & arranger
  • Bobby Frank Rule (1944-2019), American NBA basketball player center who played from 1967 to 1974
  • Ann Rae Rule (1931-2015), née Stackhouse, an American true crime author of The Stranger Beside Me, the true story of her co-worker Ted Bundy
  • William Rule (1839-1928), American newspaper editor and politician, founder of the Knoxville Journal
  • Janice Rule (1931-2003), American actress
  • Jane Vance Rule CM OBC, (1931-2007), American-born, Canadian writer
  • Jack Rule Jr. (b. 1938), American PGA professional golfer
  • Elton Rule (1916-1990), American television executive, former president of the American Broadcasting Company
  • Christopher Rule (1895-1983), American comic book artist, the first regular Marvel Comics inker
  • Albert Leroy Rule (1886-1943), American World War I documentary film producer & director
  • ... (Another 16 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Dorsetshire
  • Albert Henry Rule (d. 1945), British Stoker 1st Class aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [9]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Samuel James Rule, aged 58, English Bathroom Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 15 [10]


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  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. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BUCKINGHAMSHIRE 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Buckinghamshire.htm
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LADY BRUCE 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846LadyBruce.htm
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  10. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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