This most interesting and unusual name may derive from any of several distinct origins. Firstly, it may be a variant of "Riddell", a topographical name for "a dweller by a small hill", from the old French "ridel", a small hill. Secondly, it may be of Scottish locational origin from "Ridell", in Roxburghshire. From this source the personal name "Ridal" Papillun appeared in the 1163 Pipe Rolls. Thirdly it may be of English topographical origin, describing "a dweller by the red hill" from the old English elements "reod", red and "hyll", hill. Finally there are places called "Redhill" in Surrey and Somerset, the former meaning "red slope", from "reod", plus "helde", the old English word meaning "slope", while the latter derives from the old English elements "ra-ecg", roe-hill plus "hol", hollow. The surname itself first appears in the late 11th Century (see below). One William Ridell was recorded in the Pleas before the King and his Justices (Northumberland) in 1205. Margarett Reddell married Roger James on November 1st 1618 at St. Augustine, Watling Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Goisfridus Ridell, which was dated 1086, The Domesday Book, during the reign of King William 1st "William the Lion", 1066 - 1087. 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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