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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.
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.
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).
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)