(1997: 12714;2007: 29427; 2010: 41129)English and German: from Randolf, an ancient Germanic personal name composed of the elements rand ‘rim (of a shield), shield’ + wolf ‘wolf’. This was introduced into England by the Normans in Old French forms of two different ancient Germanic personal names which became confused with each other: Randulf (from rand ‘(shield-)edge’ + wulf ‘wolf’) and Rannulf (from hraf(a)n ‘raven’ + wulf ‘wolf’).History: An American family bearing this surname are descended from William Randolph (c. 1651–1711), a planter and merchant, a member of a family that originally came from Sussex, England. William Randolph 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 US and one of the framers of the US Constitution, and the diplomat and statesman John Randolph of Roanoke (1773–1833), who served as US minister to Russia.