A Reddell Family Story
The Reddell Name

From Josephine Lindsay Bass and Becky Bonner. 2000

"One of the most difficult things for some genealogists to accept is that others may not spell the surname as we expect it to be spelled. This has given the researchers of this particular family, and especially the editor, a great many problems. 

G. T. RIDLON in his "HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT RYEDALES AND THEIR DESCENDANTS IN NORMANDY, GREAT BRITAIN, IRELAND, AND AMERICA FROM 804 TO 1884" (Manchester, N. H., Published by Author, 1884) lists sixty (60) variations in the spelling of the name. 

Dr. Nettie Lee BENSON, noted researcher of the family and Editor of "THE RIDDELL, REDDELL, RIDDLE, RUDDLE TRAIL", mentions finding as many as seven different spelling by brothers and sisters in the same family. The editor has found three different spellings within the same family. The problem has been compounded by family members who could not read and write, census takers and clerks who spelled the name as they "heard" it and individuals who chose to spell it a given way. 

The most common spellings of the name, as found by the researchers for this book are: Raddell, Reddell, Riddell, Riddle, Riedell, Ruddell and Ruddle. However, it must be noted that the name also is sometimes spelled with a single "d" or "l" or both and with a variety of combinations of vowels. 


We have attempted to use the spelling given to us at the time the research was compiled. If there was doubt regarding it, the spelling most often used by that particular family or other families in that area was used. 

The origin of the name (however it may be spelled) is also just as confused. However, most think it came from a field (dale) where rye was grown. Thus, Ryedale.

 Others, generally those of Scottish descent, say it came from an instrument, the "riddell or riddle", used in harvesting grain. There is one consistent pattern which has been found in the research. Whenever a Crest or Coat of Arms of any branch of the family has been found, stalks of grain, generally defined as rye, appear. 

Another question which cannot be answered with certainty is "Where did they come from?" Nettie Lee BENSON in "THE RIDDELL, REDDELL, RIDDLE, RUDDLE TRAIL", Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 1 says "They came from France into the British Islands with William the Conqueror. Later they came to the United States from Germany, France, Holland, and elsewhere; however, they came to this nation predominantly from Scotland, Ireland and England. 

Generally speaking most of them claim to be of Scotch-Irish descent, even when they came from England." [S105] Sources

Main menu

Go to: email, or top




Email Dan Reddell: bayshoredan@aol.com