The RUDDELL family name has invariably experienced similar evolutions to that of all words. From translations to varying pronunciations, individuals throughout our history have adopted the forms which best suit themselves. So beyond John Ruddell (often Ruddle,) of the Shenandoah Valley there is a bit of guess work.
RUDDELL or RUDDLE is believed to be a version of surnames which are descended from Ryedale, Yorkshire, England.
(Below: Extract of Riddell Name History.)
Family Name History
The surname Riddell, which is found in both England and Scotland, is derived from both a personal name and also from a place name. In early records it is relatively easy to distinguish the exact origin of Riddell as in instances where the name is of place name origin it is invariably prefixed by "de" meaning "of or from".
The place name from which Riddell is derived is the "wapentake" of Ryedale in Yorkshire although it has also been said that in some cases Riddell may derive from Rydel, in Westmoreland.
The Scottish Riddells are in no doubt that their name is either derived from Ryedale in Yorkshire or from the personal name Ridel, an old French forename meaning, liberally, "small hill".
Indeed some of the Riddells of Scotland claim descent from a French family named Ridel who came from Gascony and who settled in Scotland in the eleventh century when the name, as Ridel, was introduced by Galfridus Ridel de Blaye who is first recorded in 1048.
The first Riddell of Craneston (in Midlothian) was Gervasius Ridel a witness in the Inquisition of Earl David and in charters of kings Alexander 1 and David 1. The first Riddell of Rydale, Yorkshire was one Walter de Riddale who received a charter from King David of Scotland circa 1150.
He died in 1155 leaving his property to his brother Ansketil de Riddel (confirmed by Pope Adrian 10). It is interesting to note that the property stayed in the hands of the Riddell family for twenty-five generations, until 1819.
English references to this name first occur in the eleventh century, when the "Domesday Book" makes mention af one Geva Ridel in 1086. Notable bearers of this name include Robert Riddell, the friend and early patron of Robert Burns, John Riddell (1785-1862), the peerage lawyer and genealogist and Henry Scott-Riddell (1798-1870), the renowned statesman.
BLAZON OF ARMS: Argent, a chevron gules between three ears of rye slipped and bladed proper.
Translation: These are canting arms the ears of rye being a pun on the original spelling of the name (Ryedale).
Crest: A demi-greyhound proper.
Motto: I hope to share.