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RIDLEY Family HistoryThis interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of various places in England so called. Ridley in Cheshire, recorded as "Riddeleg" in 1255, and in Northumberland, recorded as "Ryddeley" in 1268, derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century "rydde", cleared, and "leah", wood, clearing; hence, "cleared wood". Ridley in Essex, recorded as "Retleia" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and in Kent, recorded as "Redlege" in the Domesday Book, has as its first element the Olde English "hreod", reed, "reedy wood or clearing".
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