G. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) Ridlon.

History of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 online

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Online LibraryG. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) RidlonHistory of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 → online text (page 3 of 103)
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these will, no doubt, be discovered after the book is in print and when too
late to correct them. Of course, many of the original letters and old doc-
uments were nearly illegible and difficult to read; these have been transcribed
as carefully as possible, and when discrepancies appeared I have adopted that
rendering which seemed most reliable; where documentary evidence was want-
ing, statements have been made as probabilities and approximates. Traditions
have been given as historically true only when well authenticated by according
testimony. Errors caused by the carelessness of those who furnished me rec-
ords, I am in no way responsible for; some are, no doubt, the result of over-
sight upon my own part.

It has been my purpose to incorporate a generous biographical element into
this book, but it has been impossible to obtain sufficient interesting materials
of that class to give the composition anything like uniformity in appearance.
The biographical sketches of members of the Scottish and English families were
largely taken from local papers and popular magazines, but some of them have
passed through the hands of the family and received their approval ; many of the
sketches in the American families have been written or revised by the relatives,
and were endorsed as substantially correct.


The author does not claim to have compiled a full history or complete
genealogy of all branches or sub-branches of those families whose names are
found in this book: such a work was never accomplished by the most enthusi-
astic and successful genealogist, and can never be expected. I have sought
diligently and continuously for fourteen years for everything that could in
any way add to the interest and value of this book, and do not know how I
could have done more under existing circumstances. As before mentioned,
I have respectfully applied to many representatives of the several branch fam-
ilies whose records, in part, stand on the pages of this work, and they have
obstinately declined to render the least assistance when it was in their power,
by devoting only a few hours to correspondence, to have placed in my hands
data that would have largely enhanced the value of the book both in histor-
ical matter and literary appearance. These families will undoubtedly regret,
when they shall see the book, that they did not appreciate my scheme enough
to furnish their quota of records; but the opportunity has passed, the links of the
chain are missing, and will never be placed historically where they belong. A hun-
dred discouragements not proper to particularize here have been thrown in the
author's way while engaged on this work, and one less determined would have for-
saken the enterprise years ago. In humble circumstances at the beginning, with
a family to support, he has many times applied himself so assiduously to this
favorite employment that an overworked brain was warned him of the necessity of
rest, and finally, to add the most painful embarrassment that could have been
inflicted, he had a slight paralytic shock, which has so impaired the use of
the right hand as to incapacitate him from all study and literary work for
many months, and from which there is no hope of full recovery.

The cash expense devoted to this undertaking during the past twelve years
has been heavy, and was principally sustained by money earned by professional
duties, writing for the press, and the sale of small publications that have been
prepared within the same time. Many times I have spent my last dollar for
stationery and postage stamps, and sometimes could not continue my corres-
pondence for want of means. Two or three gentlemen who have possessed an
interest in what I was seeking to accomplish, have generously forwarded money
to assist me, and these have my grateful acknowledgments.

At the family meeting held in Philadelphia in 1876, a plan was adopted to
raise twelve hundred dollars toward the expense of completing my work, and
five hundred dollars were pledged by responsible men, but the arrangement
was not fully consummated aud proved abortive. This was a very unfavorable
result, as engravings had been ordered on the strength of pledges made, and
when the money was needed the men were not willing to contribute their pro-
portion unless the whole amount could be raised.

But my work is done, and imperfect as it is, must show for itself the result
of my toil. I feel that my object has been a commendable one, and that I have
faithfully used the materials placed in my hands. Those who know the least
about such a work will have the least forbearance when they discover any mis-
take in the book, while others will appreciate the attempt made to preserve in
permanent form so many records and incidents belonging to our widely scattered
kindred. Acknowledging my indebtedness to hundreds who have so kindly and
promptly assisted me in various ways, and hoping every book placed in the
hands of the family may be preserved with sacred care for the rising genera-
tions, I commit the work to the custody of those whose names are embalmed
within its pages. G T RIDLO x.

M w in -i eb, n. ii.. March 12, 1884,


The embellishment of this book has been very expensive. Works of a gene-
alogical and biographical character are seldom illustrated, except by portraits
and autographs, but I have deemed it advisable to insert views of the ancient
residences of the principal families in England and Scotland, as well as some of
the homestead houses in the United States. Original copies have been hard to
obtain, especially in Great Britain, and those now having a place in this book
were procured after the author had nearly exhausted his patience in uusuccessful
efforts to secure them. Many of these ancient houses had never been photo-
graphed, and being far from an artist, original views could only be had by paying
considerable sums of money to induce photographers to go from their rooms to
make negatives. In some instances proprietors kindly forwarded views made es-
pecially for my use, at their own expense. Several of them furnished views taken
from different standpoints, that I might make a choice. The views of residences,
mills, and monuments were all lithographed from original photographs, with the
exception of three, viz., " Friar's Carse," which was copied from a plate in a book,
" Glen-Riddle Mills," made from a wood-engraving used for bill-heads by the
owner, and " Hillside Farm," which was from a crayon-drawing by the author,
consequently known to be correct representations of the places. A few individ-
uals having an interest in my undertaking have paid for the views of their resi-
dences, the others were printed for me at an expense of five hundred dollars,
and paid for from my own pocket. These are all full-page plates in lithography
and pen-drawing, printed in three tints, and in the judgment of many who
possess artistic taste and culture are pronounced the most beautiful illustrations
for a book of this class they have ever seen. I have photographic views of
many more old residences of families whose records are in this book, but could
not have them printed.

The coats-of-arms, of which there are eight pages, representing twenty different
shields, were engraved on box-wood from photographic copies, pen-drawings
forwarded from England and Scotland, or from heraldic descriptions found in
books, and are printed from color-blocks in gold and tints, at an expense of
two hundred and eighty dollars, paid by the author. That with the motto, —
"Jamais Arriere," — is copied from a photograph taken from a very fine framed
drawing made many years ago for Thomas Ridlon of Boston, but I do not know
whence he procured it. That with the two greyhounds for supporters was made
from a drawing furnished me by Sir Walter-Buchanan Riddell, Bart., of Hep-
pie, England, but the colors were assigned by the engraver. The arms of


Riddell-Carre, combining the quarterings of the two families, was engraved from
a wax seal forwarded by Mr. Riddel! Carre from Scotland.

The portraits in this history were mostly engraved on steel by Messrs. F. T.
Stewart and J. A. J. Wilcox, of Boston, Mass., and are line specimens of art as
well as excellent likenesses of the individuals. These have cost, — the large-
sized heads, — from seventy-five to one hundred dollars each, and were paid for
by the originals or their families. The group of seven heads of European mem-
bers of the family, was engraved at my own expense, and cost, with prints, one
hundred and eighty-seven dollars. The group engraved on steel, of seven Amer-
ican members of the Riddell and Riddle family, was subscribed for by the men
themselves or their relatives, but as two died before the plate was finished, I
have been obliged to pay nearly one hundred dollars on the same. The Ridlon
group, comprising seven heads, was paid for by individuals. Four of the litho-
graphic portraits were printed at my expense, and cost one hundred and twenty
dollars. The portraits of Bishop Ridley, the martyr, — one on steel by John Sar-
taiu, and one by the heliotype process, — were made to my order, at a cost of one
hundred dollars. That of Mark Ridley, m. d., was lithographed from a copper-
plate print found in London, Eng. ; and with the one of GlosterRidley, d. d., which
was also made from a copper-plate found on the title-page of a book of his poems,
were made to my order at an expense of fifty dollars.

The portraits now engraved, with those ordered for this book, including prints,
will cost rising two thousand dollars.

Origin and changes of Surnames.

The use of established surnames cannot be traced much earlier than the mid-
dle of the tenth century. They first came into use in Normandy, in France,
and at the coming of William the Conqueror were quite generally introduced
into England. Many of the Norman adventurers who assisted in the Conquest,
had taken the names of their residences, or of villages near their ancestral
chateaux, names that were used with the French preposition de before them.
Nearly all of the soldiers of William's army went back to their homes in Nor-
mandy, and bestowed the lands awarded them in Eugland upon their younger
sons, who came over and settled upon them, giving to these new estates their
own names. When the Norman-French disappeared from England, the prefix
de was completely discarded, unless retained for euphony, and the word "of"
used as a substitute. The Scotch have a more expressive designation
which they apply to families who have a territorial name; they say, "of that
ilk." In Scotland, surnames were seldom used till the twelfth century,
and were for a long time variable. The assumption of surnames by the
common people is everywhere of later date than that by the gentle families.
In England, the number of surnames is about forty thousand, or one to every
five hundred individuals; in Scotland, far fewer surnames in proportion to the
population. Surnames may be divided into several classes, as territorial, char-
acteristic, mechanical, and personal. The names, Fairbanks, Burbank, Burn-
ham, Washburn, Woodbridge, Woodbury, Bradbury, Mansfield, Kilburn, Swin-
burn, and Riddell, are all territorial in origin. The names, Carpenter, Turner.
Weaver, Brewer, Boulter, Chaplin, Goldsmith, Wheelwright, Gardner, Baxter,
and Usher, are all derived from the occupation of ancestors of those families.
Among the surnames taken from some characteristic of the individual who first
used them, are Walker, Sleeper, Springer, Armstrong, Longstaff, Goodman,
Lockheart, Douglass, Broadhead, and Longfellow.

The reasons for the use of surnames are obvious. In localities where there
were individuals of the same Christian name, they were distinguished by
such names as "John the Cartwright " and "John the Carpenter"; and in a
short time these becamed fixed family surnames. This would be true of two
persons of one Christian name, dwelling in the same community, the one at
Fairbanks, and the other at Mansfield ; one would be known as " William of
Fairbanks," the other as " William of Mansfield," hence these names, so common
in England and America.

The original surname from which the various forms of orthography now used
by the numerous branches of the family whose genealogy is found in this book


are supposed to have been derived, was local or territorial. Much discussion
has been had respecting the origin and changes of the surnames Rydale and
Ridel, and men of equal scholarship and research do not agree in their conclu-
sions. How, then, can it be expected, that an author writing from an Ameri-
can standpoint, will be able to lift this veil that has for so many generations
held the subject in comparative obscurity? I shall only follow those whose
advantages have qualified them to write with the claims of accuracy. The Sieur
de Ridel, or Monsieur Ridel, whose name appears on the roll of Battle Abbey,
the earliest record of the Normans who came with "William the Conqueror,
was said to be the ancestor of all branches of the Riddell and Riddle family
subsequently settled in England and Scotland, and that he was such, some very
able antiquaries have maintained during the present century. The surname
appears on the pages of the Domesday Book, and in a variety of forms, such
as "Ridle," " Ridel," and " Ridell." We must look to Norway or Normandy for
the origin of the name. An English authority says, " The name is a local
one, from a place in Scandinavia called Rugdal, that is Ryedale, the valley of
rye." This has been the opinion held by nearly all writers, and certainly has
the best of grounds in history. Members of this Norman family settled in
Yorkshire, and named their landed possessions "Ryedale": thence they settled
in Scotland and called their lands there by their own surname.

John Riddell, one of the greatest antiquaries ever known in Scotland, pos-
sessed the deepest interest in this subject, and traced the name back to Nor-
man records to procure every item of proof bearing upon its derivation and
original orthography, and in his publications he claims for the " Riddells of
Riddell," Roxburghshire, Scotland, the "Riddells of Cranstown-Riddell," the
"Riddells of Ardnamurchan," and families of the name in England, a common
origin. This gentleman, in one of his literary discussions with Mr. Cosmo
Innes, who was considered by some equally eminent in the same line of
research, took that gentleman to task for asserting in his preface to the " Char-
tulary of Melrose," that the Riddells only acquired their surname from their
lands in Roxburghshire, instead of giving it to their estate. In a work pub-
lished by John Riddell, Esq., in 1843, called " Stewartiana," he has treated the
subject of his family name with great fulness of illustration and instances the
Gervase Ridel, who witnessed an inquisition of David, when Prince of Cumbria,
A. D. 1116, as of the same family as Walter de Rydale, and mentions Chalmers'
" Caledonia " as authority that the Riddells of Roxburgh spread into Mid-
Lothian, and gave the name of "Cranstown-Riddell" to their lands there. More
recent genealogists, with some claims to consideration, have taken exception to
John Riddell's view of the case, and endeavor to prove that the Ridels and
Rydales were originally distinct families. An examination of ancient papers
has proved that the Riddells of Roxburgh, denominated "of that ilk" in deeds
and monastic records, for several centuries from their first appearance in Scot-
laud, are invariably * styled " de Ridale," and the other stock, now represented
by the Riddells of Sunart, in Argyleshire, always had their surname spelled
"Ridel" without the prefix de. Several authors claim " de Ridale" to be a
local surname and "Ridel" as strictly persoual in its origin and significance.
The same writers identify the Ridels of Cranstown with the Ridels of England ;
these families having sided with the English in the Wars of the Succession,

*There was one exception. "Walter Ridel " witnessed a charter by William the
Lyon, Bay A. l >. I L66-] 174.


lost their estate in Scotland. The cle Riclales, who do not appear prominently
of that era, though they were near the Border, retained their lands until they
sold them at a comparatively recent date. The name of Sir Hugh Ridel stands
on the "Ragman's Roll," but none of the other families appear there.

The Ridels of England were chiefly connected with Northamptonshire and
Essex. In the "Pipe Roll" (1184) Hugh Ridel is found in possession of the
land of Wittering, in the former county, and in the year 1192 Richard Ridel
owned the same estate. A century later (1315) a Hugh Ridel petitions Edward II
that the lands of Wittering, which had been taken from him by Edward I
(because at the request of Simon Frizel, he stayed in Scotland with John de
Balliol), and had been given to the petitioner's son, Geoflry Ridel, during the
king's pleasure, might be restored to him. Thirty years afterwards (1348)
another Hugh Ridell, son and heir of " Mons. Gefl'rei Ridell," petitions Edward
III, for restoration of his lands of " Craneston in Loudion " (Cranstown-Riddell,
Mid-Lothian, Scotland), out of which his father had been expelled by the Scots
for his allegiance to the English crown, styling this property the "heritage of
his ancestors." According to Bridges, they held Wittering till the reign of
Edward IV, when the family ended in an heiress.

At the same time the Ridels of Wittering and Cranstown appear in the "Pipe
Rolls " of Henry II, and Richard I, the de Ridales of Roxburghshire, Scotland,
are conspicuous in the "Chartulary of Melrose." One deed in that record gives
remarkable evidence of four generations of this family co-existent in the twelfth
century. Patrick de Ridale ; Walter, his son and heir; William, the son and heir
of Walter; and William, son of William and grandson of Walter, all appear in
this grant to Melrose. The deed that follows the one before mentioned is a con-
tinuation by Eustace cle Vesci, their overlord, of the de Ridales grant. Singu-
larly enough, one of the witnesses to this document was Gaufridus Ridel, who
is not styled consanguineus, as he would have been had he been a relative. Hugh
Ridel (before mentioned) also attests a confirmation by William the Lyon, of
a grant by Patrick de Ridale to Melrose. At the same period the "Pipe
Rolls" show that a Patrick and Roger de Ridale flourished in the County of
York. Chalmers claims that the first of the Scotch de Ridales came from York-
shire, and the Christian name Patrick favors that origin. Jordan Ridell of Til-
mouth, in Northumberland, in 1230, had in his arms "three bars wavy" the same
as the Ridels of Wittering, while the de Ridales had the "chevron between
three ears of rye." Another authority claims the surname of the family of Rid-
ded of Sunart, in its original orthography to have been personal and not terri-
torial ; that its true form appears to be Rudellus or Rudel, though frequently
spelled Ridel at an early date, but in no instance as de Ridel. He believes
in three original branches, or distinct families, of the name, but his quotations
do not sustain the arguments of others as to the identity between the English
Riddells, and those of Argyleshire and Cranstown in Scotland.

In Berwick-on-Tweed and Newcastle-on-Tyne the name has a continuous
history. In "Historical Documents, Scotland, 1286-1306," under date Dec. 10,
A. D. 1293, letters of safe conduct for " Phillipus de Ridall, burginsis et merca-
tor de Berewyk" trading within the kingdom of England, were granted. In the
"Wills and Inventories," edited by the Surtees Society, there is the name of a
de Ridell continuing the tradition of Philip de Rydale as a burgess of Ber-
wick-on-Tweed. Thomas de Ridell, who was a burgess of Berwick, in his
will, 1615, names among his legatees, his nephew, Alexander de Ridell, together
with William, a son, and Agnes, daughter of Alexander; and it may be worth


mention as a probable indication of consanguinity with the Eidalea of that ilk,
that among his bequests occurs "live pounds to the building of the stone bridge
of Tweed, at Rokisburgh," together with' " lxxx bordar" and "c bordar" to
the chapel of the B. V. M. at Rokisburgh, besides a "donation to the Abbot
and Convent of Kelkow." (Kelso.)

Iu the "Correspondence, Inventories, etc.," of the Priory of Coldingham, the
rental shows (1298) "Johannas Rydell" holding two curucates "in domonico"
in Flemington. William de Hylton, the nuns of Berwick, and Matthew de Red-
man are severally recorded as holding lands of the said J. Rydell. Under
Lamberton, in the same rental, "Alicia quce fuit uxor Johannis Rydell,' is
mentioned as having her dower of the third part of Flemington forfeited. " vx
dicitur." Among the witnesses to the solemn excommunication pronounced at
Norham, after the gospel at high mass of the feast of the translation of St.
Cuthbert, 1467, against Patrick Home, Protonotary of our Lord, the Pope, and
John Home, " assertus canonicus" in the collegiate church of Durham, Johan-
nis Eidell is named among the "well-known Mends and kinsmen" of the said
Patrick and John, who were present on the occasion. In another of the same
series of documents may be found evidence that seems to point to the descenl
of the Ridells of Flemington. It is taken "Ex Institutus, Thomce Prioris Dun-
elmensis, A. D. MCCXXXV," and mentions among those who owed service to
the Priory of Durham, from Coldinghamshire, " hoiredes Galfrid Ridel, et arum
hoeredes de Flemington." It is in evidence that Galfridus Ridel was the name
of the contemporary Lord of Blaye, in Aquitaine, whose letters to Benry III,
are in "Royal Letters, Roll Series," under date 1247. The form of the name
then given, and which is the prevailing form in " Gascon Rolls," Galfridus
Rudelli " is suggestive of an eponymous hero, Ruddellus, or Rudel, and not of a
territory the name of which had been taken by its owners. Nigellus Ridulli
was one of the barons of Gascony, perverted to the king of France by the court
of La Marche. Helias Ridell was one of Henry Ill's faithful barons and
men, of whom Geoffrey Neville, Seneschal of Poitou and Gascony, makes suppli-
cation in April, 1219. "Galfridus Rydel," "Galfridus Ridelli," and "Gaufridus
Rudelli," such are the forms under which appear the Lords of Blaye (in France),
senior and junior, who bore that Christian name during the reign of Henry III
and Edward II, whose names are found in many public documents in England
and Gascony.

At what date the Roxburghshire family gave their name to their lands is not
precisely known. Walter de Ridale got his lands from David I, between 1124
and 1153, by charter, and these wen- subsequently denominated the "Baronies
of Riddell and Whittou." Quintin Ridale is the first of this house styled "of
that ilk"; he died in 1471. It will be seen that the family at Berwick-on-Tweed
and others at Flemington, evidently derived from the family of Blaye, used the
prefix "de" with their surname, proving that their possessions in Scotland and
England were called Ridell or Rydale. The several branches <>f the family seem
to have followed out their early custom of bestowing their own names upon
their lands whenever and wherever acquired, and we have " Cr.-instown-Riddell,"
" Glen-Riddell," " Mount-Riddell," " Minto-Riddell," in Scotland: and "Glen-
Riddle," "Riddle's Banks," ••Riddle'- Station," "Riddleton," and - Riddle's
Cross-roads," in the United State-.

The Norman ancestors held their earldoms for several generations as a dis-
tinct family, before a surname was assumed by them, each .successor being known
by his Christian name; but there are abnndant evidences to prove that the sur-


name used by the Roxburghshire and Northumberland families was originally
derived from a place known as Ryedale, and the ears of rye and sheaves of
grain, almost universally found in their coats-of-arms from their earliest his-
tory, should be a sufficient proof, supplemented by the orthography of the name,
without looking any further. In early times there was no established form of
spelling surnames, and those of the same individual are frequently found in old
records in a variety of forms, written undoubtedly according to the fancy of
the recorder, and not by authority of the one who bore the name.

Nearly all branches of the Scottish families have spelt the name " Riddell,"

Online LibraryG. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) RidlonHistory of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 → online text (page 3 of 103)