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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish


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.

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The surname Richards was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat at Hatfield being ancient Lords of the manor of Ricard or Rycard. Over on the Isle of Wight in Yaverland, a small branch of the family was found at one time. "An ancient mansion of the Russells here, subsequently of the Richards family, and now a farmhouse, is a good specimen of the Elizabethan style." [1]

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.


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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, 1527, 1522 and 1728 are included under the topic Early Richards History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Richards family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 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 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 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


Richards Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. Charles Richards U.E. who settled in Kemble Manor, Kings County, New Brunswick c. 1784
  • Mr. Jonathan Richards U.E. who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1784
  • Mr. Owen Richards U.E. who settled in Marysburgh & Sophiasburgh [Prince Edward County], Ontario c. 1786 he served in the Royal Regiment of New York 2nd Battalion, discharge before seeing duty
  • Mr. Christopher Richards U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1786 he served in Butlers Rangers
  • Lieut. John Richards U.E. who settled in Marysburgh & Sophiasburgh [Prince Edward County], Ontario c. 1786 he served in the Indian Department as an Interpreter

Richards Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Edward Richards, who landed in Canada in 1816
  • James Richards, aged 19, a tinman, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Amynta" from Plymouth

Richards Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Richards, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • John Richards, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • Christopher Richards, English convict from Southampton, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • William Richards, a blacksmith, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Thomas Richards, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia


Richards Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Manuel Richards, aged 27, a carpenter, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • Ann Richards, aged 27, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • Frederick Richards, aged 3, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • Louis Richards, aged 10 months, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • James Richards, aged 22, a tailor, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842


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  • Kimberly "Kim" Richards (1964-2016), American child actress and television personality
  • Master Thomas Percy Richards, American 2nd Class passenger from Meaderville, Montana, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Mrs. Phillippa Richards, (née Conner), American 2nd Class passenger from Meaderville, Montana, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Miss Dora Millicent Richards (d. 1915), American 2nd Class passenger from Meaderville, Montana, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Master Cecil Harry Richards, American 2nd Class passenger from Meaderville, Montana, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Thomas Henry Richards, American 2nd Class passenger from Meaderville, Montana, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Mr. George Richards (1842-1914), American Second Class Passenger from Terre Haute, Wisconsin, United States who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Mrs. Sarah Richards (1844-1914), née Street American Second Class Passenger from Terre Haute, Wisconsin, United States who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Deke Richards (1944-2013), born Dennis Lussier, American songwriter and record producer
  • Denise Lee Richards (b. 1971), American actress and former fashion model

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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. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  7. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  9. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. 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 23 April 2016 at 15:46.

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