This is an Anglo-Irish surname. Recorded in a wide range of spellings including Rahill, Real, Rayhill, Riall, and Ryle, it has at least two possible origins, and probably more. It may be of medieval English origin, and locational from either of two places in Northumberland called Ryal and Ryle. Ryal is first recorded in the rolls of that county in 1242 as Ryhil, whilst Ryle is recorded as Parva Rihull in 1212, and as Ryhull in 1254, and again in the Assize Rolls of 1256 as Ryel! The derivation of both these places is from the Old English pre 7th Century word ryge, meaning rye grass, and hyll, a hill. The second origin is Irish where it is usually found as Rahill, Real and Ryall. In general the name is found in County Cork where it is believed to be a derivative of O'Rahill and O'Reale, but may be an English import. Apparently as Riall, the nameholders possessed extensive estates in County Tipperary as late as 1880, whilst Judge Patrick Real of Queensland, Australia, was born in Limerick in 1828. Early examples of the name recording include: on January 18th 1545, Alys Ryall who married Robert Baker at St Margarets church, Westminster, whilst Mary Rahill was believed to have been a passenger on the ship Virginian of Liverpool on May 15th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Cecyll Ryall who married Edward Wilgrysse, at St Margarets, Westminster, on November 2nd 1544, 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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