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

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

The prominent surname Ricketts was first found in England in the 16th century but traced its early origin to the country of France. Ricketts was originally associated with the Huguenots, many of whom left France in the 16th and 17th centuries, in order to escape religious persecution. England, which was a Protestant country, was thought to be more accepting of religious differences.


Huguenot surnames were only slightly Anglicized, and they remain to this day a distinct group of surnames in England. Nevertheless, Huguenot surnames have been subject to numerous spelling alterations since the names emerged in France. French surnames have a variety of spelling variations because the French language has changed drastically over the centuries. French was developed from the vernacular Latin of the Roman Empire. It is divided into three historic and linguistic periods: Old French, which developed before the 14th century; Middle French, which was used between the 14th and 16th centuries; and Modern French, which was used after the 16th century and continues to be in use today. In all of these periods, the French language was heavily influenced by other languages. For example, Old French was infused with Germanic words and sounds when the barbarian tribes invaded and settled in France after the fall of the Roman Empire. Middle French also borrowed heavily from the Italian language during the Renaissance. Huguenot names have numerous variations. The name may be spelled Ricket, Rickett, Reckitt, Ricketts, Reckitts and others.

First found in Kent where this Huguenot family, originally Ricquart or Ricard, migrated to the west and settled at Combe in the county of Hereford.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ricketts research. Another 226 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1655, 1665, 1718, and 1760 are included under the topic Early Ricketts History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Ricketts Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Ricketts or a variant listed above:

Ricketts Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Miles Ricketts, who landed in Maryland in 1640
  • Edward Ricketts settled in Virginia in 1642
  • Edward Ricketts, who landed in Virginia in 1642
  • William Ricketts, who landed in Virginia in 1650
  • John, Philip, Alice and Grace Ricketts settled in Virginia in 1660

Ricketts Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • George A Ricketts, aged 22, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Jacob and Ann Ricketts arrived in New York in 1820
  • Robert Ricketts of Dorset, England, was married in Trinity in 1825
  • James Ricketts settled in Big Island in 1864

Ricketts Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • John Ricketts, who arrived in Alabama in 1924


  • Arthur Samuel Ricketts, American Librarian, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Edward "Ed" Flanders Robb Ricketts (1897-1948), American marine biologist, ecologist, and philosopher
  • Howard Taylor Ricketts (1871-1910), American pathologist
  • James B. Ricketts (1817-1887), American Civil War general
  • Dr. Matthew Ricketts (1858-1917), first African American to be elected to the Nebraska legislature, 1892
  • Michael Ricketts (b. 1978), English footballer
  • Rohan Ricketts (b. 1982), English soccer player
  • Anthony Ricketts (b. 1979), Australian professional squash player
  • Rt. Rev. C Ricketts, Bishop of Dunwich
  • Sergeant Thomas Ricketts (1901-1967), Canadian soldier, the youngest recipient of the Victoria Cross during the First World War presented to him by King George V himself



  • The Descendants of John and Sally (Guile) Rickerd: with Notes on the Ancestors and the so-called Palatine Migration by Barbara Rickerd Thompson.
  • German Pioneers, Dhonau, Rickert, and Related Families by Robert Will-Fred Dhonau.
  • Truth and Honor: a History of the Ricketts Family by Robert Daniels Ricketts.

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: Quid verum atque decens
Motto Translation: What is true and honorable.


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  1. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  10. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  11. ...

The Ricketts Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ricketts 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 6 October 2014 at 09:10.

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