This unusual and interesting name is found in both England and Scotland and is an example of the common medieval practice of creating a surname from a nickname. In this instance the nickname was for an unpredictable, wild individual, from the Middle English and Old French word "ramage" meaning "wild", used of a hawk or other bird of prey "living in the branches". The derivation is from the medieval Latin "ramaticus", from "ramus", branch. The first recorded instance of the surname in Scotland is that of "Peter Ramage", messenger to the Sheriff of Perth, who was paid for his expenses in 1304. A family by the name of "Ramage" has long been connected with Peebleshire. An interesting namebearer listed in the National Biography is one Craufurd Tait Ramage (1803 - 1878) who was a writer and a tutor, for fifteen years, in the family of Thomas Spring-Rice, first baron Monteagle. He became rector of Wallace Hall Academy and published many works including, "Beautiful Thoughts". A Coat of Arms was granted to the Ramage's of Edinburgh in 1796. This has a blue field with the blazon of a saltire chequy in silver and black, on a black chief three silver escallops. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Ramage, which was dated circa 1240, witness in the "Fees Court of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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