Richards History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Richards family

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]

Early History of the Richards family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Richards research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1379, 1817, 1641, 1668, 1643, 1705, 1694, 1692, 1669, 1709, 1673, 1721, 1630, 1654, 1564, 1643, 1705, 1527, 1522 and 1728 are included under the topic Early Richards History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Richards Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Richards family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Richards, Captain and Vice Admiral of Kent; Ralph Richards, rector of Helmdon, Northamptonshire from 1641 to 1668; and his son, William Richards (1643-1705), an English clergyman and author; and John Richards (died 1694), English-born, colonial military officer, businessman, politician, and magistrate in America, best known for his participation in the Salem witch trials in 1692. John Richards (1669-1709), was a British Major-General...
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Richards Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Richards family to Ireland

Some of the Richards family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 82 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Richards migration to the United States +

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 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Richards Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hendry Richards, who arrived in North Carolina in 1748 [2]
  • Alexander Richards, aged 70, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1755 [2]
  • Abraham Richards, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1772 [2]
  • Henry Richards, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1791 [2]
  • Hudnol Richards, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798 [2]
Richards Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Adam Richards, who arrived in South Carolina in 1811 [2]
  • George Richards, who arrived in New York, NY in 1828 [2]
  • Guadalupe Richards, who arrived in Texas in 1835 [2]
  • Catharine Richards, who landed in New York in 1835 [2]
  • Isaac Richards, who arrived in New York in 1837 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Richards migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Richards Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Charles Richards U.E. who settled in Kemble Manor, Kings County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]
  • Mr. Jonathan Richards U.E. who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]
  • 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 [3]
  • Mr. Christopher Richards U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1786 he served in Butlers Rangers [3]
  • 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 [3]
Richards Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Edward Richards, who landed in Canada in 1816
  • James Richards, aged 19, a tinman, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Amynta" from Plymouth, England

Australia Richards migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Richards Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mr. James Richards (b. 1766), aged 22, Cornish settler convicted in Launceston, Cornwall, UK 25th March 1786, sentenced for 7 years for stealing a gelding, transported aboard the ship "Scarborough" on 13th May 1787 to New South Wales, Australia [4]
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, Australia [5]
  • John Richards, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Christopher Richards, English convict from Southampton, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • William Richards, a blacksmith, who 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 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Richards migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

  • Mr. Abraham Richards, (b. 1872), aged 7, Cornish settler departing on 15th February 1879 aboard the ship "Stadt Haarlam" going to New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand arriving in port on 1879 [9]
  • Mr. Cyprus Richards, (b. 1870), aged 9, Cornish settler departing on 15th February 1879 aboard the ship "Stadt Haarlam" going to New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand arriving in port on 1879 [9]
Richards Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. R. Richards, Australian settler travelling from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia aboard the ship "Brazil Packet" arriving in New Zealand in 1837 [10]
  • Mr. Joseph Manuel Richards, (b. 1813), aged 27, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 25th January 1841 [11]
  • Mrs. Ann Richards, (b. 1813), aged 27, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 25th January 1841 [11]
  • Mr. Frederick Richards, (b. 1837), aged 3, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 25th January 1841 [11]
  • Mr. Louis Richards, (b. 1840), aged 10 months, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 25th January 1841 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Richards (post 1700) +

  • Louis M. Richards (d. 1999), American politician, Member of Rhode Island State House of Representatives
  • Kim Lahaie Richards, née Lahaie, an American drag racer and crew chief fromLansing, Michigan, 1987 Top-Fuel Crew Chief of the Year
  • Curvin Richards (b. 1968), former professional American football running back who played from 1991 to 1994
  • Kimberly "Kim" Richards (1964-2016), American child actress and television personality
  • Deke Richards (1944-2013), born Dennis Lussier, American songwriter and record producer
  • Denise Lee Richards (b. 1971), American actress and former fashion model
  • Captain (USN Ret.) Richard Noel "Dick" Richards (b. 1946), former NASA astronaut with over 33 days in space [12]
  • Paul William Richards (b. 1964), NASA Astronaut with over 307 hours in space [13]
  • Dickinson Woodruff Richards (1895-1973), American physician
  • Theodore William Richards (1868-1928), American chemist, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1914
  • ... (Another 221 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Sidney Edward Richards, British Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [14]
  • 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 [14]
  • 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 [14]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Bella  Richards, Canadian resident from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [15]
HMAS Sydney II
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Marshall Kenneth Richards (d. 1945), British Engine Room Artificer 5th Class aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [17]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Alfred W Richards (b. 1918), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Copnor, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [18]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Vernon Richards, British Marine, who sailed on the HMS Prince of Wales prior to its sinking [19]
  • Mr. R Richards, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [19]
  • Mr. James Rewartha  Richards, DSM, British Ship write 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [19]
  • Mr. Harold Richards, British Leading Steward, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [19]
  • Mr. H Richards, British Chief Petty Officer Writer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [19]
  • ... (Another 1 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Arthur Richards, British Leading Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [20]
  • Mr. William J Richards, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [20]
  • Mr. James Christie Richards, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [20]
HMS Royal Oak
  • William Meiron Richards (1920-1939), British Stoker 2nd Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [21]
RMS Lusitania
  • Miss Dora Millicent Richards, American 2nd Class passenger from Meaderville, Montana, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [22]
  • Master Thomas Percy Richards, American 2nd Class passenger from Meaderville, Montana, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [22]
  • Mrs. Phillippa Richards, (née Conner), American 2nd Class passenger from Meaderville, Montana, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [22]
  • Mr. Thomas Henry Richards, American 2nd Class passenger from Meaderville, Montana, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [22]
  • Master Cecil Harry Richards, American 2nd Class passenger from Meaderville, Montana, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [22]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Joseph James Richards (d. 1912), aged 28, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic, died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett [23]
  • Mrs. Emily Richards, (née Hocking), aged 23, English Second Class passenger from Penzance, Cornwall who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 4 [23]
  • Master William Rowe Richards, aged 3, English Second Class passenger from Penzance, Cornwall who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 4 [23]
  • Master Sibley George Richards, aged 9 mths, English Second Class passenger from Penzance, Cornwall who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 4 [23]


The Richards Motto +

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.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 155 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1822
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 26) America voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1829 with 176 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/america/1829
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Richard Richards. Retrieved from http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/richards.html
  13. ^ NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Paul Richards. Retrieved from http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/richardsp.html
  14. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  15. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  16. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  17. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  18. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  19. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  20. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  21. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  22. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  23. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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