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.

Richards World Ranking

In the United States, the name Richards is the 212nd most popular surname with an estimated 121,863 people with that name. [2] However, in Canada, the name Richards is ranked the 261st most popular surname with an estimated 15,889 people with that name. [3] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Richards is the 222nd popular surname with an estimated 195 people with that name. [4] Australia ranks Richards as 77th with 31,317 people. [5] New Zealand ranks Richards as 131st with 3,552 people. [6] The United Kingdom ranks Richards as 71st with 63,018 people. [7] South Africa ranks Richards as 769th with 8,995 people. [8]

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
  • Anne Richards, who landed in New England in 1634 [9]
  • William Richards who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • ... (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 [9]
  • Alexander Richards, aged 70, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1755 [9]
  • Abraham Richards, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1772 [9]
  • Henry Richards, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1791 [9]
  • Hudnol Richards, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798 [9]
Richards Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Adam Richards, who arrived in South Carolina in 1811 [9]
  • George Richards, who arrived in New York, NY in 1828 [9]
  • Guadalupe Richards, who arrived in Texas in 1835 [9]
  • Catharine Richards, who landed in New York in 1835 [9]
  • Isaac Richards, who arrived in New York in 1837 [9]
  • ... (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 [10]
  • Mr. Jonathan Richards U.E. who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1784 [10]
  • 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 [10]
  • Mr. Christopher Richards U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1786 he served in Butlers Rangers [10]
  • 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 [10]
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 [11]
Richards Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Richards, British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Mr. John Richards, English clerk who was convicted in London, England for 14 years for theft, transported aboard the "Earl Spencer" in May 1813, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Mr. Richard Richards, British Convict who was convicted in London, England for life, transported aboard the "Earl Spencer" in May 1813, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Mr. Richard Richards, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 16th January 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Mr. Richard Richards, British Convict who was convicted in Shropshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [15]
  • ... (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 [16]
  • 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 [16]
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 [17]
  • 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 [18]
  • 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 [18]
  • 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 [18]
  • 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 [18]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Richards migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [19]
Richards Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Robert Richards, who arrived in Barbados in 1634
  • Mr. Thomas Richards, (b. 1615), aged 19, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Hopewell" arriving in Barbados on 17th February 1634 [9]
  • Mr. Robert Richards, (b. 1616), aged 18, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Hopewell" arriving in Barbados on 17th February 1634 [9]
  • Thomas Richards, who settled in Barbados in 1654
Richards Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Hugh Richards, aged 28, emigrating from St Erme, Cornwall to Jamaica, West Indies, to become an indebted servant to James Gerald, a vintner (winemaker) originally from Bishopsgate, London, England on 9th March 1724 [20]

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 [21]
  • Paul William Richards (b. 1964), NASA Astronaut with over 307 hours in space [22]
  • Dickinson Woodruff Richards (1895-1973), American physician
  • Theodore William Richards (1868-1928), American chemist, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1914
  • ... (Another 228 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 [23]
  • 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 [23]
  • 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 [23]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Bella  Richards, Canadian resident from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [24]
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 [26]
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 [27]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Vernon Richards, British Marine, who sailed on the HMS Prince of Wales prior to its sinking [28]
  • Mr. R Richards, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [28]
  • 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 [28]
  • Mr. Harold Richards, British Leading Steward, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [28]
  • Mr. H Richards, British Chief Petty Officer Writer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [28]
  • ... (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 [29]
  • Mr. William J Richards, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [29]
  • Mr. James Christie Richards, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [29]
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 [30]
Prince of Wales colliery
  • Mr. Richard Richards (b. 1822), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [31]
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 [32]
  • Master Thomas Percy Richards, American 2nd Class passenger from Meaderville, Montana, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [32]
  • Mrs. Phillippa Richards, (née Conner), American 2nd Class passenger from Meaderville, Montana, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [32]
  • Mr. Thomas Henry Richards, American 2nd Class passenger from Meaderville, Montana, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [32]
  • Master Cecil Harry Richards, American 2nd Class passenger from Meaderville, Montana, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [32]
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 [33]
  • 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 [33]
  • 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 [33]
  • 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 [33]
Senghenydd colliery
  • Mr. Arthur Morgan Richards (b. 1889), Welsh coal miner from Senghenydd, Caerphilly, Wales who was working at the Senghenydd colliery when there was an explosion on the 14th October 1913; he died
  • Mr. David Thomas Richards (b. 1876), Welsh coal miner from Senghenydd, Caerphilly, Wales who was working at the Senghenydd colliery when there was an explosion on the 14th October 1913; he died
  • Mr. Frederick Richards (b. 1881), Welsh coal miner from Senghenydd, Caerphilly, Wales who was working at the Senghenydd colliery when there was an explosion on the 14th October 1913; he died
  • Mr. John Richards (b. 1879), Welsh coal miner from Senghenydd, Caerphilly, Wales who was working at the Senghenydd colliery when there was an explosion on the 14th October 1913; he died
  • Mr. Thomas John Richards (b. 1897), Welsh coal miner from Senghenydd, Caerphilly, Wales who was working at the Senghenydd colliery when there was an explosion on the 14th October 1913; he died
SS Caribou
  • Mr. Joseph Richards (b. 1900), Newfoundland crew member from Channel-Port aux Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador was travelling aboard the railway ferry "SS Caribou" when it was struck by a German submarine torpedo on 14th October 1942, the most significant sinking in Canadian waters at that time, he died in the sinking


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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  4. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  7. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  8. ^ https://forebears.io/south-africa/surnames
  9. ^ 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)
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-spencer
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel
  16. ^ 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
  17. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  18. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  19. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  20. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to USA 1718 - 1759, Indentured servitude [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_america_1718_59_indentured_servitude.pdf
  21. ^ NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Richard Richards. Retrieved from http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/richards.html
  22. ^ NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Paul Richards. Retrieved from http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/richardsp.html
  23. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  24. ^ 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
  25. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  26. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  27. ^ 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
  28. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  29. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  30. ^ 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
  31. ^ Entombed in flood and flame (retrieved 3rd August 2021). Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20120603025705/http://www.crosskeys.me.uk/history/prince.htm
  32. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  33. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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