Rose and Ridout families

Both Ridout and Rose appear frequently in my tree.

The surname Ridout is a composite of  Middle English rid (ride) and out, meaning "someone who rides out" - possibly a messenger or envoy. There are a number of alternative spellings, including Rideout and Ridoutt. The English Rose surname is derived from a description of complexion - there is also a Scottish origin.

Ridouts come mainly from the south-west of England. - in 1881 the majority were registered in the Salisbury and Dorchester districts. The South-west England Roses also come from these parts.

Most of the more recent Ridouts and Roses came from the village of Okeford Fitzpaine in North Dorset. Apart from its rural charm, it claims a green phone box (as opposed to the usual Post Office red), now a Grade II listed building. It is painted in the colour of the local Pitt-Rivers Estate.

Roger Ridout was perhaps the village’s most famous (or infamous) inhabitant. He used the mill at Fiddleford to hide contraband that he and his men brought up from the Purbeck Coast, and reportedly worked for the most famous Dorset smuggler of all, Isaac Gulliver. Interestingly Gulliver came from Semington in Wiltshire, along with some of my Farr ancestors, and Roger Ridout’s son John married an Elizabeth Gulliver. I am also connected to an earlier Mary Gulliver of Semington. I haven’t found a direct connection between Mary and Isaac, but it must be there somewhere! Beresford Leavens has written an account of Isaac Gulliver's life, which features Roger prominently, available on Amazon.

Having settled in Australia myself, I am fascinated by the prospect of a connection between my Roses and Thomas and Jane Rose (née Topp), the first free settler family in Australia (more information here). The couple and their 4 children were granted land at Powell’s Creek, near the present site of the Sydney Olympic complex. When this land proved infertile, they took up land on the Hawkesbury River (north-west of Sydney) at a place called Wilberforce. This Thomas Rose was born in Blandford rather than Okeford Fitzpaine, but they’re not far apart! I do have a Thomas Rose of my own who married a Rebecca Topp in Sturminster Newton.

© Alan House 2014 - all rights reserved

Fiddleford Mill1

Roger Ridout's gravestone, St Andews, Okeford Fitzpaine

Temperance Emily Ridout

Daniel John Williams, Temperance's son

1  © Chris Spracklen (www.pbase.com/moorlands)

St Andrews, Okeford Fitzpaine