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

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

A multitude of prestigious family names, such as the surname Richter, were formed in the lands which became the modern German state of Prussia, which is known for its beauty, industry and military power. However, in the medieval era, Prussia was fragmented and inhabited by numerous barbarian tribes, who fought amongst themselves for control of the land. The borders of the barbarian kingdoms, which were established after the fall of the Roman Empire, changed repeatedly. The region that came to be known as Prussia was roughly divided between the territories of Brandenburg-Prussia, West Prussia and East Prussia. The Richter family emerged in Brandenburg-Prussia, and by the 19th century, Brandenburg-Prussia had incorporated East Prussia, West Prussia and many other German territories. Moreover, in the late 19th century, it led the German states in the German Unification.


In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Richter include Richter, Ricter, Rickter, Rychter, Rycter and many more.

First found in Brandenburg, where this family became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. Always prominent in social affairs, the name became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the feudal system.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Richter research. Another 257 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1767, 1755, 1676, 1711, 1763, 1825, 1749, 1813, 1803 and 1884 are included under the topic Early Richter History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 113 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Richter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Prussia played an extremely influential role in shaping modern German history. It remained a part of Germany until after the Second World War. Prussia was divided among the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany. Many Prussians became residents of these new countries after the War, and many migrated to other parts of Germany or Europe, as well as to North America. In the United States, the majority of settlers landed in Philadelphia, and moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Many German settlers also migrated to Canada, particularly to Ontario and the Prairies. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Richter were

Richter Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Eberwein Richter, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1709
  • Andreas Richter, who arrived in New York State in 1710
  • Andreas Richter, aged 47, arrived in New York in 1710
  • Hans Jacob Richter, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Joanis Richter, aged 26, landed in Pennsylvania in 1734

Richter Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Jan Hendk Richter, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1805
  • Peter Richter emigrated to New Orleans in 1820
  • Ernst Stef Richter, who landed in North America in 1832-1849
  • Karoline Richter, aged 30, landed in America in 1839
  • John Richter, aged 38, arrived in Missouri in 1844


  • Burton Richter (b. 1931), American physicist shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1976
  • Charles Francis Richter (1900-1985), American seismologist, who developed the Richter magnitude scale (Richter scale) to assign a single number to quantify the energy that is released during an earthquake
  • First Lieutenant Karl Wendell Richter (1942-1967), American fighter pilot during the Vietnam War; at the age of 23 he was the youngest pilot in that conflict to shoot down a MiG in air-to-air combat and was awarded the Air Force Cross in 1967
  • Conrad Michael Richter (1890-1968), American author awarded the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 1961 National Book Award for Fiction
  • Ryan Richter (b. 1989), American soccer player
  • Hans Werner Richter (1908-1993), German founder of the literary group "Gruppe 47"
  • Gerhard Richter (b. 1932), German visual artist, one of the pioneers of the New European Painting
  • Hieronymus Theodor Richter (1824-1898), German chemist
  • Jeremias Benjamin Richter (1762-1807), German chemist
  • Johann Paul Friedrich Richter (1763-1825), German novelist



  • Richter Genealogy: the Ohio Branch by Charles Boardman Richter.

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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
  6. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
  7. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Hopeful Journeys German Immigration, Settlement, and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  8. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  9. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
  10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Richter Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Richter 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 22 June 2014 at 19:33.

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