Ryder Surname Genealogy

of the Ryder surname is the place-name
Ryther in north Yorkshire
between Selby
and Tadcaster.  This gave rise to the
medieval Ryther family where
the spelling became Ryder in the 16th century.
Ryder could also have been the
name for a messenger or a mounted warrior – from the Old English word ridere, meaning “to ride,” or from the
old German word rutter of similar
meaning.  An old song went as

has come into our town

a cloak without coat or

a rugged hood to cover his crown

a rider.”

The main
spellings today are Ryder and Rider.
German and Dutch equivalent names are Ridder and Ritter.  The
name here may also have originated from an area known as Reiderland on
German/Dutch border

Ryder Resources on

Ryder Ancestry

Ryther family in Yorkshire, based initially at Ryther near Selby,
dated back to the mid-12th century.

de Rythre witnessed a charter of Alice
de St Quintin to Nun Appleton priory around the years 1148-61, the date
after the death of the grantor’s first husband and at the latest before
death of archbishop Theobald who had confirmed the gift.”

.  His
produced knights, including a Crusader knight, and barons of the
realm.  Sir William Ryther
who died in 1440 was
several times Sheriff of Yorkshire.

In 1563 the family estates devolved
to James Ryther, a distant cousin who had been born in Kent and brought
up in
Northamptonshire.  However, his Catholic
sympathies made him unpopular in Yorkshire and he ended up indebted and
prison where he died in 1595.  There were two related lines who
adopted the Ryder
name and had better fortunes:

  • one
    line led to William Ryder who was Lord Mayor
    of London in 1600.  He held London for
    Queen Elizabeth against the rebellion of the Earl of Essex and was
    with a knighthood.  He died without
    surviving male issue.
  • another
    line led to John Ryder, also in royal favor.  He
    moved to
    Ireland in 1597 where he became Dean of St. Patrick’s in Dublin and
    later the
    Anglican Bishop of Killahoe.

Ryders.  Ryther became Ryder in
the 16th century also at Epworth in Lincolnshire, Newbury in
Berkshire, and Wisbech in Cambridgeshire.
The Rev. Dudley Ryder from Wisbech lost his estate in 1661 when
as a
nonconformist minister he was ejected from his living at Bedworth in
Warwickshire for refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance.
His two sons became tradesmen, one in
Warwickshire and the other in London; his grandson Dudley later rose to

Dudley Ryder, the second son of a London draper, was a lawyer and MP
who became the Attorney General in 1737 and was the forebear of the
Ryders of
Harrowby Hall in Lincolnshire.  He was
offered a peerage in 1756, but died the following day.
A later Dudley Ryder, a political supporter
of William Pitt, served as his Foreign Secretary and was made Earl
Harrowby in 1809.  His family seat was at
Sandon House in Staffordshire.  There
were some distinguished Ryders in
this family in the 19th century.

has remained very much a north of England name.
Some 40% of the Ryders were to be found in Lancashire and
Yorkshire in
the 1891 English census.  The spelling in
Lancashire was invariably Ryder.  In
Yorkshire it was about 50/50 Ryder and Rider.

One Ryder family resided at Blackley near
Manchester in the 18th century and were prominent bleachers of wool and
cotton.  The first of these Ryders was
Robert Ryder who moved into the area with his family in 1717.  A later Robert Ryder started his bleachworks
at nearby Bradford in 1780.  Thomas Ryder
was listed as an iron founderer in the 1772 directory for Manchester
Salford.  It appears that he came
originally from Great Budworth in Cheshire.

Ryders and Riders in America
could be of Dutch, English, German, or Irish origin.

Dutch.  Some
early Ryders
in America were Dutch.  Peter Hollander
Ridder, as the name suggests, was the Dutch-born governor of the
Swedish colony
of New Sweden in Delaware from 1640 to 1643.
Barent Ryder from Reiderland emigrated to New Amsterdam in 1658
and was
a Justice of the Peace in Brooklyn, New York in the late 1600’s.  His descendants were to be found on East 28th
Street in Brooklyn until the late 19th century, as well as elsewhere in
York state.

Ryder and his family lived on the Dutch Van Rennsselaer estate in
eastern New
York in the late 1700’s.  His son David
migrated to new lands in Livonia township, Michigan in the 1820’s.  Alfred and John Ryder, both born there, perished in the Civil War.
pioneer to Michigan was Joseph Rider, born in New York of Dutch roots,
who had
come via Pennsylvania to Michigan in 1833, settling in Genoa township.  He and his wife Isabella raised ten children

English.  Samuel
Ryder from Buckinghamshire in England was first recorded at
Yarmouth on Cape Cod in 1639.  His
descendants often adopted the Rider spelling.
Many of these Riders were seamen (Thomas Rider drowned at sea in
1778).  The line was covered in Fremont
Rider’s 1959 book Genealogy of Rider
(Ryder) Families

to family lore, John Rider was the son of one of three Rider brothers
who had
come from England in the 17th century.
John himself was born in 1698 and made his home on the eastern
shore of
Maryland.  He allegedly lived to be a
hundred.  His descendants settled in Bath
county, Virginia.  Gordon Ryder’s 1993 book The
Rider-Ryder Family from Virginia
reviewed the Bath county line.

has been the more common spelling in Pennsylvania.
Many of these have been of German origin.  Here
the early spelling was Reider or Reiter,
as with Heinrich Reiter who came to Pennsylvania from Germany in 1732.  Later Riders farmed in Columbia county.  Lloyd Rider was a veteran of the Civil
War.  Also of German origin was Michael
Rider who came to Fayette county to farm in the 1830’s.  Meanwhile
Wilhelm Reyder
became William Rider in Texas
he immigrated there in 1846.

Irish.   Andrew
and Mary Ryder came to America from Ireland in 1833 and later settled
and Elizabeth Rider were also Irish
immigrants, first to Pittsburgh and then in 1851 to Iowa.

.  Solomon Ryder was a sea
captain who was
thought to have migrated from Massachusetts to the Argyle region of
Nova Scotia
sometime in the 1780’s.  His son John was
a Yarmouth merchant engaged in West Indies trade, a shipbuilder, and a

and New Zealand
.  William Ryder from
London tried his luck in the Australian
goldfields and then emigrated in 1854 with his new wife to New Zealand.  They made their home at Riwaka in Nelson, SI.  He and his sons were butchers there later.  A Ryder descendant penned memories of the old
homestead in 1960

Select Ryder Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Select Ryder Names

Sir Dudley Ryder
appointed Lord Chief
Justice of the King’s Bench in 1754, was the forebear of the Ryder
peers of
an English businessman
and golf enthusiast who donated the cup for the first Ryder Cup golf
between Britain and America in 1927.
Jim Ryder founded the American truck
rental company Ryder in Florida in
Leeds in Yorkshire
developed the Sue Ryder charities of homes and hospices after World War
Two for
those displaced or later for those with life-threatening illnesses.

Winona Ryder, born Winona Horowitz, is a well-known

Select Ryders Today

  • 14,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Lancashire)
  • 13,000 in America (most numerous in New York)
  • 8,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)




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