(The Following was quoted from "Records of the Rudd Family", Collected and Arranged by Mary Amelia Rudd, Printed by: J. W. Arrowsmith Ltd., Quay Street, Bristol, England, 1920.
TRADITION OF THE RUDSTON -- FIRST RECORDED RUDDS -- ARMS OF THE FAMILY
The first point to be considered in the history of a family is the origin of the name. There can be little doubt that the name Rudd is Danish in form, and if so, that its meaning is red, fierce, or bloody. The earliest mention of a Rudd as recorded in the authorized pedigrees affected to this work is that of William Rudd, Lord of Meath in Ireland in 1076. There is nothing in the name to lead us to think it is of Irish origin, and the presence of a Danish Lord of Meath at that period is easily accounted for. From the eighth Century onwards, the Danes had managed to settle themselves on the sea-coast much in the same was as they did in England. (Haverty. National History of Ireland.)
Tradition however, suggest an earlier date than 1076 as a possible time at which a remote ancestor first formed a connection with the British Isles. I quote from Notes and Queries the following interesting statement:
“The Scandinavians planted near the graves of their great men and warriors large upright stones called Beanta Stones, and it seems probable that the huge monolith in Rudston Churchyard may be one of these. An ancient saga still preserved at Copenhagen states that a Viking called Rudd died and was buried in the “Yorkshire Wolds”; and that afterwards his Beanta Stone was sent over from Denmark and erected at his place of sepulchre, which ever after was called Rudston, having before borne another name.” (Notes and Queries, 4th Nov., l871.)
This interesting monument, which undoubtedly gives its name to the village, still stands in the churchyard, appearing for fully 25 feet above ground, and sunk, as we ascertained during excavations an equal distance in the ground. Its weight has been computed at upwards of 44 tons, and the stone sparkles in the sun and is unlike any local stone. Two large round stones were found near its base, which may have been wagon wheels used in its transit. I endeavored to confirm the tradition by searching for the saga at Copenhagen, But Mr. Sigfus Blondal, the Sub-librarian of the Royal Library there, was unable to find one on that subject. He thought the name Rudd sounded decidedly Scandinavian, and stated that in Icelandic it would be Rutr, and that in the latter part of the tenth century there was a famous Icelandic chief of that name, one of the principal persons in the Laxadala Sage and in the first part of the Story of the Burnt Nial. Moreover, the brother of that chief was married to the daughter of an Irish king.
Some people have thought that the name was of Saxon origin. and in allusion to this possibly the crest which the Lincolnshire and Cumberland Rudds assumed was a “rood or cross bottone”'. One does not, however, find any connection with any Saxon Part of the country in early times. In fact. the Rudds have always been settled in the North of England chiefly, and Yorkshire was the home of the family after it had left Ireland, and after the short Welsh episode of which I shall write in due course. From Yorkshire the family spread to Cumberland and Westmorland, to Lincolnshire and Norfolk, to Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire, and fitfully to the south and farther regions.
The name is found spelt in various ways in old documents -- Rud, Rudde, Rhudde, and sometimes Rude, Rood, or even Reed; but these forms must be received with caution, and only taken to mean Rudd when there is ample evidence that it was so written by mistake for the real name, as sometimes happens in parish registers, etc., in places where Rudds are known to have existed.
The arms which the Rudds have borne from time immemorial are: “Azure, a lion rampant, or, a canton of the second.” The crest is: “A lion rampant, or, holding an escutcheon azure, charged with a canton or.” These arms are given in all the copies of Heralds’ Visitations in which the family appears as the ancient arms of the Rudds of Yorkshire, from whom all the Rudds arc descended. They will not be found entered at the present Heralds College, as I discovered when I visited that institution in 1895. The herald whom I interviewed, however, admitted the authenticity of the pedigree of the Rudds of Northamptonshire which I had copied from one made at the Heraldic Visitation of 1623 (reproduced at the commencement of this volume). wherein the arms are given as I have stated. I suggested that the arms had existed long before the Heralds' College. and that therefore no grant of them was likely to be recorded, and this he was bound to admit was so. Unfortunately, in common with numberless families of similar antiquity, the origin of whose coat armor is lost in far-off-ages, the present Heraldic College is slow to recognize the undoubted right of the family to them. As nearly all the ancient records of the College were lost in the Great Fire of London this seems rather unreasonable. The authority of William Camden, Clarenceux King-of Arms. and of Augustine Vincent. Rouge Crois, suffice. Various branches of the family have assumed other arms at different times.