Runciman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Runciman family

The surname Runciman was first found in Oxfordshire where they held a family seat since the arrival of their Norman ancestors with Duke William the Conqueror in 1066. The name, being of Norman origin comes from an Old French word: "roncin," meaning "workhorse." Undoubtedly of occupational origin, the name was probably given to someone who tended to workhorses. Another possibility is that it was given to a "workhorse" of a person, ie one who did hard physical labor for a living.

Early History of the Runciman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Runciman research. Another 51 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1230, 1276, 1697, 1736, 1744, 1766, and 1785 are included under the topic Early Runciman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Runciman Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Runciman, Runcie, Runcieman, Runchman, Runcy and many more.

Early Notables of the Runciman family (pre 1700)

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


United States Runciman migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Runciman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Runciman, who settled in Michigan sometime between 1845 and 1848
  • John Runciman, who settled in Ohio in 1851
  • Elizabeth Isabella Runciman, who settled in Argentina sometime between 1855 and 1918
  • William Runciman, who settled in Baltimore in 1871
  • James Runciman, who arrived in Mississippi in 1894 [1]
Runciman Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • James Thomson Runciman, who settled in Kansas in 1920

Canada Runciman migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Runciman Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Isabella Runciman, who settled in Ontario in 1869
  • Andrew Runciman, who settled in Ontario in 1871

New Zealand Runciman 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:

Runciman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Runciman, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1851 [2]
  • B. Runciman, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1851 [2]
  • Walter Runciman, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1851 [2]
  • Mr. Richard Runciman, (b. 1799), aged 54, Scottish settler, born in Haddingtonshire, Scotland travelling from London aboard the ship "Rajah" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 6th October 1853 [3]
  • Mr. James Runciman, (b. 1827), aged 26, Scottish settler, born in East Lothian, Scotland travelling from London aboard the ship "Rajah" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 6th October 1853 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Runciman (post 1700) +

  • Charles Runciman, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives from Livingston County, 1938 [4]
  • James Runciman (1852-1891), English teacher, author and journalist, son of a coastguardsman, born at Cresswell, a village near Morpeth in Northumberland
  • Walter Garrison Runciman CBE, FBA (1934-2020), 3rd Viscount Runciman of Doxford, usually known informally as Garry Runciman, a British historical sociologist
  • Alexander Runciman (1736-1758), Scottish painter, born at Edinburgh, son of a builder, who encouraged his early inclination to painting
  • Robert William "Bob" Runciman (b. 1942), Canadian politician, former provincial Leader of the Opposition in the Ontario Legislature
  • Sir James Steven Runciman (1903-2000), British mediaeval historian
  • Walter Runciman (1870-1949), 1st Viscount Runciman of Doxford, Liberal and later National Liberal MP and government minister
  • Walter Runciman (1847-1937), 1st Baron Runciman, shipping magnate, Liberal MP, and peer
  • Ryan Runciman (b. 1982), New Zealand actor
  • Dame Ruth Runciman DBE, former Chair of the UK Mental Health Act Commission
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 5th November 2010). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook