This interesting and unusual surname has three possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be of early medieval English origin, and is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a large variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes and peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, including supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress and occupation. The derivation of the name is from the Middle English "readi", "redi", prepared, prompt, quick, and would have been given in the first instance to someone considered to be a provident, quick-acting person. In Scotland the surname would be a locational name from "Reedie" in the former county of Angus, whose name is of uncertain origin. In Ireland the surname is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O'Rodaigh", composed of the elements "O", descendant of, with "Rodach", a personal name derived from "rod", hearty, lively, spirited. John Rady is noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Essex (1327), and James Reddy was noted as a witness in Perthshire (1549). On January 13th 1652, Margery Reddy married John Walker at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a blue shield with three silver swans wings endorsed, the Crest being an arm in armour couped at the shoulders, embowed and resting on the elbow, holding a scymitar all proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert le Redye, which was dated 1260, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Yorkshire", 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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