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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The German surname Ruley emerged in the lands that formed the modern state of Lower Saxony, which is presently bordered by the North Sea, the Hartz mountains and the Elbe and Ems rivers.German surnames developed at a time when most of Lower Saxony, and most of the German provinces, were states of the Holy Roman Empire. At first people used only a single name, but as the population grew and people began to travel, they began to find it necessary to take on an additional name to more clearly identify themselves. Fairly general principles guided the development of hereditary surnames in Lower Saxony. Two of the common types of family names found in Prussia are patronymic surnames, which are derived from the father's given name, and metronymic surnames, which are derived from the mother's given name. The surname Ruley derived from the given name Rudolf. The name Ruehle was adopted by a town near Meppen and Holzmunden in East Friesland near the Dutch border.

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The surname Ruley was first found in East Friesland, where the name was anciently associated with the tribal conflicts of the area. They declared allegiances to many nobles and princes of early history, lending their influence in struggles for power and status within the region. They branched into many houses, and their contributions were sought by many leaders in their search for power. The name is thought to have originated as a short form of Rudolf. A town near Meppen and Holzmunden in East Friesland took on the name Ruehle, and this region near the Dutch border is probably the place of origin for many of the branches bearing this name.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Ruhle, Ruhler, Ruehle, Ruhle, Ruehler, Ruele, Ruelle, Ruhl, Rule, Rulle, Ruler, Ruller, Roul, Rool, Roole, Rooler, Roohler, Roohle, Ruel, Ruehle and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ruley research. Another 199 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1743, 1789, 1761, 1789 and 1847 are included under the topic Early Ruley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 185 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ruley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: J.P. Ruehl, who sailed to America in 1709. Among the many family members to follow this first settler were: Nicolaus Ruhl, who sailed to New York in 1710.

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  • Amy Ruley (b. 1955), American former women's head basketball coach at North Dakota State University, inductee into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004
  • Mary Etta Ruley, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Indiana, 2008


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  1. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
  2. Strassburger, Ralph B. German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  3. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
  4. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  5. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  6. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
  7. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  8. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
  9. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Ruley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ruley 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 9 November 2015 at 11:34.

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