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Our 2,744 members have registered
2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

The aim of the RAVENSCROFT One-Name study is to collect family history data on the name RAVENSCROFT and RANGECROFT and to share this with others researching these names.

The study was started in 2011  in support of my own Ravenscroft Family History research using information gathered since mainly in UK

The objectives are to:

  • Collect and cross-reference available data about holders of the name RAVENSCROFT
  • Identify and document family trees.
  • Make this data available to genealogical researchers and family historians researching their Ravenscroft ancestors.
  • Exchange data with other researchers of the name willing to share data
  • Analyse the data to establish regional links and origins.


Variant names

There is only one known variant RANGECROFT which seems to have originally arisen due to errors or inconsistencies in parish registers in Shropshire and Hedgerley in Buckinghamshire.  There has been some variation in spelling of RAVENSCROFT in early centuries – including Rainscroft, Revenscroft, Ravenscraft and sometimes in more recent documents  the ‘s’ has been omitted.

Name origin

The surname appears to have originated  on Flintshire/Cheshire border  – it is extremely frequent in early parish registers in Cheshire.

Supposedly a Norman knight Warin de Bevile took the name of Ravenscroft but there may have been earlier instances of the name. Many Ravenscrofts can claim royal descent from Anne Stanley  who married Ralph Ravenscroft of Bretton in the fifteenth century.

Arms were granted to George Ravenscroft  of Bretton (Flintshire)  in 1422

Historical occurrences of the name

Several Ravenscrofts from Hawarden (Flintshire) were sheriffs and MPs in sixteenth century .

Thomas Ravenscroft (c 1588 – 1635) musician

James Ravenscroft, a Roman Catholic, murdered and robbed in 1649.

 Edward Ravenscroft (1654 – 1707) dramatist

Ede and Ravenscroft – wig and gown suppliers based in London

DJ John Peel – real name John Robert Parker Ravenscroft – (1939 – 2004).

Name frequency

The name is uncommon but not rare.

The England and Wales censuses indicate totals of about 700 in 1841, 740 in 1851, 850 in 1861, 1000  in 1871, 1180 in 1881, 1300 in 1891, 1500 in 1901 and 1650 in 1911. The uncommon variant Rangecroft accounting for 100 of these.

Distribution of the name

In the England and Wales 1881 census, using the surname atlas software, the major clusters of the name are in Yorkshire and Lancashire.
There are also  a significant number in Westmorland with a smaller group in the London area

There have been Ravenscrofts in London since mediaeval times including several citizens of different guilds.

In the USA there were already 320  Ravenscrofts  by 1860….


All of the Ravenscroft (and variant) entries from the General Register Offices for England & Wales (1837 - 1911) and censuses 1841-1911 have been recorded . This data can be found on the Guild web site .

The one-name study also includes numerous entries from English Parish Registers as well as reconstructed trees including those from the Ravenscroft pedigree found in the book The family of Ravenscroft by William Ravenscroft and Raymond Bathurst Ravenscroft (Familysearch)