Blazons & Genealogy Notes1) Ar. on a bend gu. three crescents of the first. Crest—A hand vested sa. cuffed or, holding a roll of paper.
2) Sa. on a chev. engr. ar. three escallops of the field.
Surname Meaning, Origin, and Etymology
The surname Ring has a very interesting history, one that counts on more than just one place of birth as well as more than one etymological origin. Ring is a derived form of the Old English word “hring” which can be translated to current English as “ring”, however, the words “hring” and “hringr” in High German and Old Norse respectively, also have can have that same meaning, so there is also the possibility that the last name Ring have a Germanic, Norse and English origin.
Ring is an occupational surname, specifically a metronymic one. This means that the surname is associated with the specific main object used on the job, in this case, a ring, in other words, this last name was given to someone who worked as a maker of rings or any other piece of jewelry. In the region of Scandinavia, it also had the use of an ornamental name.
In England there was a Ring family who held a family seat in Norfolk as Lords of the Manor, this was the first known seat associated with this surname. After this country was invaded by William the Conqueror in 1066, it was divided among all the important subordinates of this monarch. This led to many conflicts and rebellions because of the lands, and to solve this, William the Conqueror ordered the census of Domesday Book, to keep a good record of the owners of the lands. It is in this book that appears the bearers of the surname Ring, who were descendants from the tenants of the lands of Ringstead, which means that this is also a local surname because it is derived from the name of a place.
The surname Ring, can also be traced until Leitrim, at the west of the kingdom of Breifne in the northeast of Ireland, where this family was descendant of Billrain, who was a chief from the Herber line of Kings that are connected to Lughaidh, a King of Muster. After the Normans took England, Ireland was invaded by Strongbow in 1172 and the Iris mixed with the Normans and with them, their surnames. The first record of this surname belongs to Eilwinus Ring in 1207, who can be found in The Chartulary Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of Kin John, who ruled from 1199 until 1216.
With an origin so complex, it is not rare that the surname Ring has some spelling variations. During the middle age, the languages weren’t the organized systems that they are today. In that time, many languages didn’t have grammatical rules, and in some cases, they didn’t even have a written format. This meant that at the moment of writing the surnames in the records, the scribes had to do it according to how they heard them because there wasn’t any guide that told the right way of doing it. If each scribe heard the surname differently, then each one of them would also write them differently, thus spelling variations were created.
There were other reasons for this phenomenon, like the evolution of languages, the wrong translations from one language to another, the mix of cultures, and there were families in which some branches added suffixes and prefixes to their surnames to be easily distinguished. All of this caused that one person could have more than one way of writing his name. The most common spelling variations of Ring were: Ringstead, Ringsted, Ring, Wring, Ringe and Rings. Thanks to the Irish lines of the family, there other spelling variations in that language like McRinn, Rinn, Ring, McCran, Cran, Crann and Rynne.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
According to the census of 2014, the surname Ring is the 11,916th most common surname in the world and it has approximately 44,740 bearers. The country where there is the biggest amount of bearers of Ring is the United States, followed by Germany with the second biggest amount and England in third place. The nation with the highest density of users of this last name is the Marshall Islands.
Early Bearers of the Surname
There are records that let us know the names of some of the old bearers of the surname Ring, such as Anna Ringe, who on July 10, 1598, got married to Robitus Crifte in Saint Martin-in-the-Fields, at Westminster, London, John Ring, a child who was made Christian on November 14, 1624, in Dulwich College in London, a different John Ring (1572-1821) who was surgeon who made important contributions in the field of vaccines.
History, Genealogy, and Ancestry
Thanks to the nature of the surname Ring, whether it is a local surname or an occupational one, the total of its bearers are not related, which causes that this last name counts on many different branches and some of them are very well recorded. Such is the line that started with William Ring from Pettistree, county of Suffolk, England. He was born in 1581 and on May 21, 1601, got married to Mary Durant, and together they had 3 children, Susanna Ring, Elizabeth Ring and Andrew Ring. Then William Ring died in 1629 in Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands.
The first child of William, Susanna Ring was born in 1605 and arrived in Plymouth in 1629 with her mother and her two siblings. She grew up and got married to Thomas Clarke, son of John Clarke and Mary Morton. Together, Susanna and Thomas had 7 children, William Clarke, Andrew Clarke, Thomas Clarke, Susanna Clarke, Thomas Clarke Jr., John Clarke and Nathaniel Clarke. Susanna died in 1664.
The second child of William Ring was Elizabeth Ring, she was born in 1609 in Ufford, Suffolk, England. She got married to Stephen Deane and after his death on September 6, 1634, she got married for a second time to Josias Cooke on September 16, 1635, in Plymouth. Elizabeth Ring had six children, Elizabeth Deane, Miriam Deane, Susanna Deane, Anne Cooke, Bethia Cooke and Josiah Cooke. Then, Elizabeth died on May 3, 1687, in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts.
Andrew Ring was the last child of William Ring and Mary Durant. He was born in 1618 in Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands. He got married twice, the first time to Deborah Hopkins, daughter of Stephen Hopkins and Elizabeth Fisher in 1645, and the second time to Lettice Kempton, daughter of Ephraim Kempton and Elizabeth Wilson in 1674. The children of Andrew Ring were William Ring, Deborah Ring, Elizabeth Ring, Samuel Ring, Eleazer Ring, Mary Ring and Susanna Ring. Andrew Ring died on March 4, 1694, in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
William Ring was the first child of Andrew Ring, he was born in 1647 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He got married to Hannah Sherman, daughter of William Sherman Jr. and Desire Doty on July 13, 1693. There are not records that show if they had offspring. Then there was Deborah Ring, who was born in 1650, in the same city, but it is unknown if she got married or had children. Next was Elizabeth Ring, who was born on April 19, 1652, in Plymouth and got married twice, the first time to John Mayo, and the second time to William Mayo in 1677. She didn’t have any children and died in December of 1691.
Samuel Ring was born in 1653 in Plymouth and there are not records that show if he got married or had children. Mary Ring was born in 1658 in the same city as her siblings and got married to John Morton, son of John Morton and Lettice Kempton on March 4, 1687. The children of Mary and John were; John Morton, Mary Morton, John Morton, Hannah Morton, Ebenezer Morton, Deborah Morton and Persis Morton. Then, Mary Ring died on October 31, 1731, in Middleboro, Massachusetts. The last child of Andrew Ring was Susanna Ring, who was born in 1661 and got married to William Walker Jr. in 1690. They had two children Susanna Walker and William Walker III.
The record of the family continued with the fifth child of Andrew Ring, Eleazer Ring, who was born in 1657. He got married to Mary Shaw, Jonathan Shaw, and Phebe Watson, on January 11, 1688. The children of Eleazer and Mary were Eleazer Ring Jr. who was born on November 7, 1688, Andrew Ring who was born on November 14, 1689, Phebe Ring who was born on January 26, 1692, Samuel Ring who was born in 1694, Andrew Ring who was born on March 28, 1696, Deborah Ring who was born on July 10, 1698, Mary Ring who was born on December 9, 1700, Jonathan Ring who was born on December 23, 1702, Susanna Ring who was born on April 9, 1705, Elkanah Ring who was born on October 19, 1706, Elizabeth Ring who was born on May 9, 1708, and Lydia Sturtevant who was born on November 20, 1710.
Not all the children of Eleazer Ring had offspring, but some of them did. The ones that had offspring were Phebe Ring, who got married to Ichabod Standish, son of Alexander Standish and Desire Doty, on November 26, 1719, and their children were Mary Standish, Desire Standish, Phebe Standish and Ichabod Standish Jr. The second Andrew Ring got married to Zerviah Standish, daughter of Ebenezer Standish and Hannah Sturtevant on May 20, 1724, and their children were Mary Ring, Andrew Ring Jr., Susannah Ring, Sarah Ring and Deborah Ring.
Deborah Ring got married to John Fuller on February 7, 1723, and their children were Eleazer Fuller, Issacher Fuller, John Fuller, Debora Fuller, Susannah Fuller, Noah Fuller, Ezra Fuller, Consider Fuller, Eleazer Fuller and Hannah Fuller. Mary Ring got married to Peleg Sampson on November 7, 1722, and their children were Priscilla Sampson, Mary Sampson, Peleg Sampson, Mercy Sampson, Simeon Sampson and Priscilla Sampson. Susannah Ring got married to Nehemiah Bosworth on January 27, 1726, and their children were Debora Bosworth and Susannah Bosworth.
Samuel Ring was the fourth child of Eleazer Ring and he got married twice, the first time to Lucretia Chipman and the second time to Ruth Sylvester on January 28, 1725, in Plymouth. The children of Samuel were Elizabeth Ring, Grace Ring, Lydia Ring, Mary Ring, Samuel Ring, George Ring and Grace Ring. Then, Samuel died on May 8, 1768, in Kingston, Massachusetts.
Early American and New World Settlers
May Europeans traveled to America to start a new life after it was found by Christopher Columbus. Some of them brought their children and others had them in the new continent, and this how the surnames of the old continent started to be used here. Some of the first bearers of Ring in arriving at the United States in the 17th century were Andrew Ring, Who landed in Massachusetts in 1629, William Ring who also arrived in Massachusetts but in 1632, Robert Ring who arrived in New England in 1640, another Robert Ring who arrived in Boston in 1640 and John Ring who arrived in Massachusetts in 1654. More bearers of Ring landed in the United States during the next century such as Joseph Ring, who landed in Virginia in 1702, Mary Ring who also arrived in Virginia but in 1703, Tobias ring, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1741 and Henry ring who also arrived in Pennsylvania but in 1753.
In the 19th century, this movement of people continued with Joseph Ring, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1804, James Ring who landed in New York in 1818 and Cornelius Ring who arrived in Missouri in 1848.
Some bearers of the surname Ring that have been remarkable in different fields are Alexander Ring (b. 1991) a football player from Finland, Jeremy Ring (b. 1970) an American politician, Thomas Ring (b. 1980) a Danish singer, Brad Ring (b. 1987) an American football soccer player, David Ring (b. 1953) an American evangelist and motivational speaker, Bob Ring (b. 1946) an American ice hockey player and Nick Ring (b. 1979) a martial artist from Canada.
See glossary for symbol meaning.