Earliest Wrathall Records
In 1998, Tana Willis Johnson provided the following citation from Redmonds Yorkshire
In June 2007, The
Original Record.com had the following result for search term "wratholff":
Both these surnames have Ribblesdale origins. Rathmell is the name
of a hamlet but Wrathall's origin is obscure. It may refer to a lost place-name
or an insignificant locality in the Lancashire section of the dale, e.g.
1379: Richard Wratholff (Long Preston) [P. T. Y. = Yorkshire Poll Tax Returns].
Inhabitants of Yorkshire: Staincliff wapentake (1379)
Also in June 2007, GENUKI:
Subsidy Roll (Poll Tax) for 1379 for the Yorkshire parish of Long Preston
had this data:
The poll tax returns for this wapentake, the area around Keighley, Settle
Ricardus Wratholff & uxor iiij.d.
which was transcribed from The Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical
Journals (The Yorkshire Archaeological Society).
In May 2001, Derek Wrathall and Myra Symmonds attended the WFHG
annual family history day. Derek related the following about the event:
One of the speakers, George Redmonds, had as his subject Yorkshire
surnames. Apparently this is a topic he has been interested in for 50 years.
I asked him a question and he asked for my surname. When I told him he
said "ah yes, Ribblesdale, Long Preston". I said "no, Linton", to which
he replied "that was in the 16th century, in the 13th century they were in
the Long Preston area". I didn't have the chance to get more detail from
him but it would appear that there is information somewhere which allows
him to make such a statement so convincingly. He also said that there are
many variations in the spelling including Wrathmell, Rathmell, Rathmill and,
interestingly, Wratholgh. As it happens, Rathmell is a village quite near
to Long Preston. I don't know if I will ever get the opportunity to find
out more about this 13th C link but his statement rather bowled me over at
the time. Myra was also there and was also quite staggered. Food for thought!
Perhaps Richard Wratholff can be tied in somehow with the inhabitants of
whatever castle is or was located near Rathmell and Long Preston. My sources
don't show any castle in their vicinity. Dr. Redmonds got the name "Richard
Wratholff" (and possibly others) from "The Returns of the Poll Tax for the
West Riding of Yorkshire 1379" (published by The Yorkshire Archaeological
and Topographical Assn., 1882). These taxes were assessed in coinage per
head (poll) on an ascending scale, by clergy and whatever civil government
existed, and were extremely unpopular with the peasants. The earliest records
may have been for 1377 (1 groat per head minimum,10 pounds for John of Gaunt),
and the next levy was in 1379. The tax in 1380 lead to the peasants' revolt
under Wat Tyler. The poll tax was assessed sporadically for several hundred
years, often to finance wars with France.
In Feb. 2009, the Internet Surname
Database had the following entry [edited]:
This interesting name is of Olde English pre 7th Century origins. It is
locational and describes a person who was resident by a red sandbank, or
was a former inhabitant of the village of [Rathmell], in the Yorkshire Dales,
between Skipton and Settle. The name derives from the ancient words "raud-melr"
, the village being recorded in the 1086 Domesday [Book] as "Rodemele" ...
. The modern surname is usually Wraith or Wraythe, a foreshortening in the
same way that many Smiths were originally Blacksmiths, Greensmiths, and the
like. The name in its spellings of Wrathall, Wrathmall, Wrathmell, Wrathnell,
and Wrathmill, was originally only found in Yorkshire. Examples from these
early recordings include William Wrathall of Linton in Craven, who married
Margaret Hebden on October 1st 1584, [Margaret Wrathmell], of Mirfield, a
witness there on August 28th 1677, and James Wrathmill, married at Thornhill,
near Dewsbury, on July 18th 1830. The first recorded spelling of the family
name is shown to be that of Thomas Wraythwell. which was dated 1528, in the
ancient rolls of Yorkshire known as "The Friary Rolls", during the reign
of King Henry VIII, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1510 - 1547.
Also in Feb. 2009, C. W. Book sent the following citation:
Rodemele (Domesday Book for Yorkshire [ed. Skaife], 196 ).
Routhemel, Routhmel (Calendar of Charter Rolls, iii., 181, 195 [1311-12]).
Routhemell (Kirkby's Inquest etc., 199, 355 [1285-1316]).
Rob. Rawthemell (Yorkshire Deeds, 44, ).
Rathmell (Camden's Britannia, map ).
This is a pure Scandinavian name, compounded out of O.N. rauthr,
rautha, = red. and O.N. melr = sandhill. Under the form Raudamelr,
it occurs in the Icelandic Landnamabok (Pt. ii., c. 5).
THE PLACE-NAMES OF THE WEST RIDING OF YORKSHIRE (p. 153)
INVESTIGATED BY F. W. MOORMAN, B.A., PH. D., Assistant Professor of English
Language and Literature in the University of Leeds.
PRIVATELY PRINTED FOR THE THORESBY SOCIETY, LEEDS (1910)
The following is a list of early records that might yield