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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, Scottish

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

From the Boernician clans of the ancient Scottish-English border region comes the name Righter. It is a name for a carpenter. The surname Righter is a derivative of the Old English word wyrhta, which means a worker or, in specific, a woodworker, carpenter, craftsmen of watermills or windmills. In medieval rolls, the name was often Latinized as Faber.


Spelling rules only evolved in the last few centuries with the invention of the printing press and the first dictionaries. Spelling variations are extremely common in names from before that period. Righter has been spelled Wright, Right, Write, Wrighte and others.

First found in Berwickshire an ancient county of Scotland, presently part of the Scottish Borders Council Area, located in the eastern part of the Borders Region of Scotland, where the Righter family held a seat from ancient times. Some of the earliest records include Ralph Wright, burgess of Stirling, and Thomas Wright of Blakenhall in Lanarkshire, who rendered homage to King Edward I of England in 1296, on his brief conquest of Scotland.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Righter research. Another 156 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1342, 1734, 1795, 1797, and 1852 are included under the topic Early Righter History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 32 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Righter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Righter family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 245 words(18 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


After making their great crossing, many Boernician-Scottish families settled along the east coast of North America. When the War of Independence broke out, United Empire Loyalists moved north to Canada while the rest stayed to fight. The ancestors of many of these Scots still populate the continent. This century, through Clan societies and other Scottish organizations, they began to rediscover their collective national heritage. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Righter or a variant listed above:

Righter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Jno Righter, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • George Righter, aged 27, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1741
  • Henry Righter, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1747
  • Johan Righter, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1754


  • Walter Cameron Righter (1923-2011), American bishop in the Episcopal Church, assistant bishop for the Diocese of Newark from 1989 to 1991
  • John Righter, American co-founder of Selchow and Righter, 19th and 20th-century game manufacturer best known for the games Parcheesi and Scrabble
  • Cornelius Erwin "Swede" Righter (1897-1985), American gold medalist rugby union player at the 1920 Summer Olympics
  • Carroll Righter (1900-1988), American astrologist, known as the "astrologer to the stars," reputed to be an advisor to Ronald and Nancy Reagan
  • Dale Righter, American politician, Member of the Illinois Senate (2003-)


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: Meritez
Motto Translation: Deserve.


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  1. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  4. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  11. ...

The Righter Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Righter 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 27 October 2010 at 14:05.

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