The surname of REDGEWELL was a locational name 'the dweller at the ridgewell' the road over the back of the hill. There is also a place called 'Ridgewell' in the County of Essex. The name was originally derived from the Old English word HREOD (reed) and WELL (stream or spring), literally meaning the dweller by such a place. Habitation names, which are by far the largest group, usually denoted where the original bearer of the name held his land, and where he actually lived. These local surnames derive (with a few occasional exceptions) from English, Scottish or French places, and were originally preceded by a preposition such as 'atte' or 'bye'. The earliest local surnames of French origin are chiefly from Normandy, particularly from the departments of Calvados, Eure, Seine-Inferieure and La Manche, although some Frenchmen, arriving in England early acquired surnames from English places. Local names may derive from the manor held, the place of residence, and occasionally from a sign like an Inn or Tavern, or a particularly unusual shape of rock, hill, tree, stream or river. Early records of the name mention Lucia atte Ruggewell who was documented in the year 1273 in County Somerset. Thomas de Redeswell appears in County Essex in the year 1281, and Johannes del Ruggwell of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas de Redgewell, was mentioned in the year 1400 in County Essex. When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day.
The name is also spelt Redgewell and Redgwell.
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