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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, German

Where did the English Rule family come from? What is the English Rule family crest and coat of arms? When did the Rule family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Rule family history?

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.

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

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rule research. Another 375 words(27 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.

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Another 39 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rule Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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.

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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
  • Wm Rule, aged 20, arrived in St Christopher in 1635
  • Dorothy Rule, who landed in Virginia in 1639
  • Dorothy Rule and her husband came to Virginia in 1639
  • Anthony Rule, who came to Virginia sometime between 1671 and 1672


Rule Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Nicholas Rule, who came to New York in 1710
  • Judith Rule, who landed in Virginia in 1711
  • Peter Rule, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1727
  • James Rule, who arrived in Virginia sometime between 1734 and 1735

Rule Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Henry Rule, aged 47, arrived in Vermont in 1812
  • James Rule, aged 47, landed in Massachusetts in 1813
  • John Rule, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1819
  • Jane Rule, aged 11, arrived in New York, NY in 1842
  • Robert Rule, who landed in New York in 1842


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, Austraila
  • John Rule, a sawyer, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • James Rule arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Thomas Rule arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Edwin Rule arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Bruce" in 1846


Rule Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • James Rule, aged 27, a miner, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburgh" in 1840
  • James Oliver Rule, aged 11 months, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburgh" in 1840
  • William Rule, aged 22, a sawyer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • William Rule, aged 42, a farm labourer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Chile" in 1874
  • Elizabeth Rule, aged 43, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Chile" in 1874


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  • 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
  • Bobby "Bob" Frank Rule (b. 1944), American NBA basketball player
  • Albert "Bert" Lyman Rule (1891-1878), American composer & arranger
  • Albert Leroy Rule (1886-1943), American World War I documentary film producer & director

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  1. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  4. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  9. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  10. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  11. ...

The Rule Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rule Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 26 August 2015 at 14:27.

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