Surname “Riddle”

Where did it come from...?

Where did it come from...?


Before English spelling  standardized, hundreds of years ago, spelling variation of names were common occurrences.  The variations of the surname Riddle are: Ridule, Riddell, Riddle, Riddall, Riddells, Riddle and other spellings.  The linguistic origin of the name is Scandinavain, the original name, “Ryedlae,” means “valley of the rye.”  When the Scottish got a hold of the name, the spelling adapted to the way that they pronounced the name.

The first Riddle to America was James Riddle (1695-1770).  Married to Mary Neal in 1720 in Scotland, he migrated from Scotland to Orange County, Virginia.  James and Mary were early settlers in Orange County, Virginia. James became a wealthy planter and slave owner.  G.T. Ridlon in his book History of the Ancient Ryedales in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, page 374, states that "James Riddell was born in Scotland and came to Virginia to settled in Orange County early in the 1700’s."

Most of the Riddle's in America came from Scotland.   Before this time, they were in Aquitaine (former province in southwestern France, on the Bay of Biscay) before France, Switzerland and Germany.  This family led the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes in their invasion of Britain in the 5th Century.  As we go back further you will find a relation to Óðinn of Asgard and before him the kings of the Trojans and Troy. Finally to the beginning -- to Shem (Shalah), son of Noah (the Ark).  Brother to Japheth, Shem was considered the ancestor of the Semitic peoples.

"The people living in the Scandinavia region today are slightly admixed, which means that when creating genetic ethnicity estimates for people native to this area, we see some similarities to DNA profiles from other nearby regions. We’ve found that approximately 84% of the typical natives DNA comes from this region."