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Rideout Family History

Origins of the Rideout Name

Historic and Presumed Meaning of the Name "Rideout"

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The following are copies of posts from genforum.com:
One post says: The French Rideouts were Huguenots, Protestants, who fled religious persecution during the late 1600s and settled in the south and east of England at Canterbury, in Kent, and Sherborne, Dorset. There were others with French sounding surnames like Ridou and Ridour. The town of Ridout in Canada is named after Thomas Ridout who emigrated to North America and became prominent in the government of Canada in 1794. Perhaps it is significant that Canada had a large number of French-speaking people.

The English Rideouts (Ridut, Rydhut, Rydhout, Rideway, Ridoutt, etc) go back to the early 1200s in Somerset and Yorkshire with Ridout, Rideout, etc being fairly numerous later in Dorset and Wiltshire. Those authorities which make suggestions for the origin of the surname assume it has a connection with horsemen and was either a nick name or 'some forgotten joke'. Another suggestion is that the first person to use the name lived in a red hut. Still another suggestion is that the spellings ending in 'hout' indicate that the clerk was trying to emphasize a 'ride out' rather than a 'rid ut' pronunciation.

Further support for the horseman origin comes from Heraldry. A John Ridout (or Ridden, Ryden, Royden) of Exeter was granted arms in 1518 which featured 'a Griffin Passant'. Later Ridout/Rideout men were granted Knighthoods and bore arms including 'a White Horse Passant' topped by a wild looking negro head. It was very similar to those of John Ridout. In each case the motto was 'Tout Toit Chevalier' which means 'Always a Knight'. The motto is said to be a play on words for the surname Rid(e)out which is said to derive from Knight or mounted rider.
Someone else posts: May have some French but went on to England back to the feudal days when the "outriders" of a community went out to clear the way of any "Robin Hood" types for royalty or other notables that would travel between countrysides. Thus one of our ancestors had this job of an "outrider" which later became known as Rideout.

And yet another post on the topic: The best explanation (I) have seen is from a small booklet of Rideout genealogy by Mary W. Glenn. Here is an excerpt:
"The name Rideout is explained in History through Surnames by W.O. Hassell. The author uses Chaucer's description of the monk in the Shipman's Tale:
'an officer, out for to ryde, To see hir graunges and hire bernes wyde'
and by that of the monk in the Prologue:

'An outridere, that lovede venerie'

These monks were officers of a monastery whose duty it was to visit and supervise the outlying manors, but the term was not necessarily limited to ecclesiastics.

Posted by Linda  |   April 4, 2008

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