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

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

The name may be of patronymic origin, derived from the first name of the father. The name Ritz would indicate the "son of Ritz," a pet form of either Richard or Heinrich. The personal name Richard is derived from the Old High German word "rihhi" meaning power or rule, and "hardus" meaning hard, brave, or strong. Heinrich comes from either the Old High German word "hagan" meaning enclosure or hedged in place or "heim or haim" meaning home or settlement. The second part derived from "rihhi." The name may also be of locative origin, from a geographical feature near where the bearer once lived or held land. The toponym Ritz is derived from the Old High German word "hriot" meaning reeds, and thus the name would indicate "one who dwelled near a reedy or swampy place.


Spelling variations of this family name include: Ritz, Ritzel, Ritzenberg, Ritze, Ritzen, Ritzer and many more.

First found in Bavaria, where the name was anciently associated with the tribal conflicts of the area. They declared allegiances to many nobles and princes of early history, lending their influence in struggles for power and status within the region. They branched into many houses, and their contributions were sought by many leaders in their search for power. The earliest record of the surname Ritz dates back to the thirteenth century when one Marquard Rizi was recorded in Lindau in 1276. In 1385 one Jakob Ritsch was living in Nydau and Joh. Ritzi was a choirmaster in Constance in 1423.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ritz research. Another 187 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1604 and 1826 are included under the topic Early Ritz History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ritz Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Christian Ritz, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1751
  • Johan Geo Ritz, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1751
  • Anthony Ritz, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1764
  • Frederick Augustus Rudolphus B Ritz, who arrived in New England in 1784
  • John Ritz, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1794

Ritz Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Jean Ritz, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1837
  • Franz Ritz, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1848
  • Nicolaus Ritz, who landed in New York, NY in 1850
  • Philippina Ritz, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850
  • Jacob Ritz, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854


  • Rosalie Ritz (1923-2008), American award-winning journalist and courtroom artist
  • David Ritz (b. 1942), American author
  • Kevin D. Ritz (b. 1965), former American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher
  • Charles C Ritz (1891-1976), American hotelier and fly fishing specialist
  • James L Ritz (1874-1896), American third baseman in Major League Baseball
  • Joseph P Ritz, American author, playwright and retired journalist
  • César Ritz (1850-1918), Swiss hotelier and founder of several hotels, most famously the Hôtel Ritz, in Paris and The Ritz Hotel in London
  • Walther Ritz (1878-1909), Swiss theoretical physicist
  • Gerry Ritz (b. 1951), Canada's Agriculture minister and a Canadian Member of Parliament
  • Joan Ritz, British actress of the silent era



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  1. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  2. Nied, Edmund. Fraenkische Familiennamen urkundlich gesammelt und sprachlich gedeutet. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1933. Print.
  3. Preuss, Otto. Die Lippischen Familiennamen mit Berücksichtigung der Ortsnamen. Detmold: Meyer'sche Hofbuchh, 1887. Print.
  4. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
  5. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
  6. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  7. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  8. 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).
  9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Ritz Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ritz 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 11 May 2012 at 17:56.

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