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2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

The Ringham One-Name study was begun in 2005 and has its origins in research I have been doing for the past sixteen years into my own family history, an interest which was aroused by the discovery of an old tobacco tin full of documents relating to my great-uncle Charles Ringham who was killed in WW1. As I started tracing the name further back in time I found that most early occurrences of it fall within a fairly small geographical area and, as a result, began collecting every Ringham entry in every record I came across in the hope of eventually linking all the various branches of the family. My own studies have been greatly aided by earlier research carried out by the late John Norman, and I am very grateful to Mrs. Eileen Norman for providing me with a copy of her husband's typescript 'The Ringham Family'. The name was registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies in the summer of 2005.

Variant names

The only variant of the name is Wringham but this is of very infrequent occurrence. Ringgam and Ringem seem to be occasional quirks of spelling rather than true variants.

Name origin

The origin of the name Ringham is obscure; no place of that name appears to exist in Britain today and I have not found it listed in any dictionary of surnames. There is some slight evidence to suggest that the name might derive from the surname Wrangham, which originates from a Scottish place name and is therefore of predominantly northern distribution. Some present-day Ringhams, particularly in North America, are of Scandinavian or German descent and were originally called Ringheim; there is a place of this name in Bavaria and possibly another in Norway, although I do not know for certain. I would be grateful for any further information on this subject.

Name frequency

In 1881 the population of England and Wales was just under 26 million. The 1881 census index produced by the Church of Latter Day Saints records 281 Ringhams, giving a frequency of 1 in 92,435. My own count for this census is 329 Ringhams and a frequency of roughly 1 in 79,000.

Distribution of the name

Most early occurrences of the name are found in south Lincolnshire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire, and many Ringhams in other parts of Britain and in other countries- New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States-have their origins here. In every British census roughly half of all Ringhams are found in Lincolnshire.


The following data for the name Ringham has been fully indexed:

  • IGI (Britain and USA).
  • Civil Registration for England and Wales-births, marriages and deaths 1837-2003. These records can now be searched on-line; please note that, whilst every care has been taken with their transcription, complete accuracy cannot be guaranteed and you should always check the original yourself before ordering a certificate.
  • Civil probate for England and Wales 1858-1943. Now available for on-line search with the same disclaimer as above.
  • UK census for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901. All households that I have found containing Ringhams have also been fully transcribed.
  • US census 1800-1930.

Additional data includes:

  • Baptisms, marriages and burials from a large number of parish records (Lincolnshire, Rutland, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire).
  • Transcripts of wills proved in the Consistory Courts of Lincoln and Peterborough 1677-1857.
  • Monument list for Lincolnshire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, together with digital images and transcriptions of the monuments.
  • 'The Ringham Family' by John C. Norman- contains several substantial family trees.

If you would like a free look-up in any of the above or a digital image of a monument I will be glad to email the relevant material, or supply paper copies for the cost of printing and postage. If you have any Ringham data to share I would be delighted to hear from you.