Recorded in many spelling forms including Raddenbury, Raddenberry, Rattenberie, Rattenbury, Rattenberry, Rattenberry, and Rottenbury, this is an English locational surname. It is believed to originate from a now "lost" medieval village situated near the little town of Hatherleigh in the county of Devonshire. The placename is composed of the Olde English pre 7th century elements "ra", meaning roe (deer), and "denu", valley, with "burh", a fortified place or castle, hence "the fort in the roe valley". The place in Somerset called Rodden, recorded as "Reddene" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Radena" in the Pipe Rolls of 1166, has the same meaning and derivation as the first two elements of the "lost" Raddenbury. It is said that in all spellings the name is popularly recorded in the counties of Devon and Cornwall, and it is from this region that we have managed to obtain a number of early church recordings. These include the marriages of Mary Radenbery and Thomas Stogdan on January 6th 1713, at Broad Clyst, near the city of Exeter, and that of Joan Raddenbury and Thomas Small, at Stockleigh Pomeroy in South Devon, on May 1st 1737. One of the earliest recordings of the surname is that of John Ratenburye. This was dated July 24th 1541, when he was a witness at the christening of his son, Michell, at Iddesleigh, also in Devon, during the reign of King Henry V111 of England, 1509 - 1547. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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