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Meaning and Origin of: Randolph

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First name origins & meanings:

  • Anglo-Saxon : Shield; wolf

Last name origin & meaning:

  • English and German : classicized spelling of Randolf, a Germanic personal name composed of the elements rand ‘rim’ (of a shield), ‘shield’ + wolf ‘wolf’. This was introduced into England by Scandinavian settlers in the Old Norse form Rannúlfr, and was reinforced after the Norman Conquest by the Norman form Randolf.
  • An American family bearing the surname Randolph are descended from William Randolph (?1651–1711), a planter and merchant, a member of a family that originally came from Sussex, England, who emigrated from Warwickshire to VA c.1673. He was a forebear of Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee. Randolph had seven sons, each of whom inherited an estate, the name of which was sometimes added to their own, such as Sir John Randolph of Tazewell. His great-grandsons included Edmund Randolph (1753–1813), first attorney general of the U.S. and one of the framers of the U.S. Constitution, and the diplomat and statesman John Randolph of Roanoke (1773–1833), who served as U.S. minister to Russia.