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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the English Richards family come from? What is the English Richards family crest and coat of arms? When did the Richards family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Richards family history?

Richards is one of the names carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is based on the Old German name Ricard, meaning powerful and brave.


Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Richards, Richard, Ricard, Rycard and others.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat at Hatfield being ancient Lords of the manor of Ricard or Rycard.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Richards research. Another 261 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1379, 1817, 1641, 1668, 1643, 1705, 1694, 1692 and 1728 are included under the topic Early Richards History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 111 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Richards Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Richards family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 89 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Richards or a variant listed above:

Richards Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Richards, who settled in Virginia in 1620
  • Thomas Richards Jr. who arrived in Nantasket, Massachusetts in 1630, aboard the "Mary and John"
  • James and Ann Richards, who settled in Nantasket in 1630
  • Robert Richards, who arrived in Barbados in 1634
  • Anne Richards, who landed in New England in 1634

Richards Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Hendry Richards, who arrived in North Carolina in 1748
  • Alexander Richards, aged 70, arrived in Massachusetts in 1755
  • Abraham Richards, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1772
  • Henry Richards, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1791
  • Hudnol Richards, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798

Richards Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Adam Richards, who arrived in South Carolina in 1811
  • George Richards, who arrived in New York, NY in 1828
  • Guadalupe Richards, who arrived in Texas in 1835
  • Catharine Richards, who landed in New York in 1835
  • Isaac Richards, who arrived in New York in 1837


  • Theodore William Richards (1868-1928), American chemist, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1914
  • Dickinson Woodruff Richards (1895-1973), American physician
  • Paul William Richards (b. 1964), NASA Astronaut with over 307 hours in space
  • Captain (USN Ret.) Richard Noel "Dick" Richards (b. 1946), former NASA astronaut with over 33 days in space
  • Denise Lee Richards (b. 1971), American actress and former fashion model
  • Deke Richards (1944-2013), born Dennis Lussier, American songwriter and record producer
  • Sir Gordon Richards (1904-1988), English highly successful Jockey
  • Keith Richards (b. 1943), English rock musician and songwriter, member of the Rolling Stones
  • Frank Richards (1875-1961), English children's writer
  • Ivor Armstrong Richards (1893-1979), English scholar and literary critic



The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Honore et amore
Motto Translation: With honour and love.


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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  9. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  11. ...

The Richards Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Richards Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 October 2014 at 14:21.

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