Richardson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Richardson was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Old German name "Ricard," meaning "powerful" and "brave." [1]

Early Origins of the Richardson family

The surname Richardson was first found in Cheshire in 1067 where they were descended from Hugh d'Avranche, Earl Lupus of Chester. His descendant, William Belwood, Lord of Malpas in Cheshire, had two sons, David and Richard. Richard's grandson John was the first to bear the name Richardson.

Years later the Yorkshire Poll Tax records revealed William Richardson in 1381 and further north in Scotland, Thome filius Ricardi held a charter of the barony of Symundestone in Lanark c. 1315-1321. A few years later, Laurence filius Ricardi was a tenant of the Earl of Douglas in Louchurde in 1376. Murdac Richardesson, a Scottish merchant complained the English had sunk his vessel during a truce in 1359. [2]

Richardson is "essentially a north of England name, extending across the border into Dumfriesshire, and also, but to a less extent, characteristic of most of the east coast counties as far south as Kent and Sussex. The counties of Cumberland, Westmoreland, Durham, Northumberland, and the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire contain the greatest number of the name." [3]

Early History of the Richardson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Richardson research. Another 136 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1606, 1820, 1576, 1651, 1628, 1569, 1635, 1627, 1674, 1660, 1674, 1618, 1698, 1642, 1625, 1580, 1654, 1667, 1753, 1624, 1679, 1689, 1761, 1664, 1714, 1714, 1715, 1690, 1755, 1737, 1755, 1664, 1747 and are included under the topic Early Richardson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Richardson Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Richardson, Richerson, Richarson and others.

Early Notables of the Richardson family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Dame Elizabeth Richardson, 1st Lady Cramond (1576-1651), English writer whose peerage was created for her in 1628; Sir Thomas Richardson (1569-1635), Chief Justice of the King's Bench; Thomas Richardson, 2nd Lord Cramond (1627-1674), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1674. Christopher Richardson (1618-1698), was an English nonconformist divine who appears to have been born at Sheriff Hutton, Yorkshire. Gabriel Richardson (died 1642), was...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Richardson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Richardson World Ranking

In the United States, the name Richardson is the 63rd most popular surname with an estimated 278,544 people with that name. [4] However, in Canada, the name Richardson is ranked the 157th most popular surname with an estimated 22,150 people with that name. [5] And in Australia, the name Richardson is the 76th popular surname with an estimated 31,622 people with that name. [6] New Zealand ranks Richardson as 109th with 3,915 people. [7] The United Kingdom ranks Richardson as 60th with 73,247 people. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Richardson family to Ireland

Some of the Richardson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Richardson migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Richardson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Richardson, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [9]
  • William Richardson, who arrived in Virginia in 1624-1625 [9]
  • Thomas Richardson, who landed in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1630 [9]
  • Ezekiel Richardson, who arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1630 [9]
  • Henrie Richardson, aged 21, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Richardson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Sara Richardson, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [9]
  • Roger Richardson, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [9]
  • Rachel Richardson, who arrived in New England in 1716 [9]
  • Harbart Richardson, who landed in Virginia in 1717 [9]
  • Ann Richardson, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1723-1724 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Richardson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jonathan Richardson, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1803 [9]
  • Nathaniel Richardson, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1803 [9]
  • Samuel Richardson, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1803 [9]
  • Hugh Richardson, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [9]
  • Felix A Richardson, who landed in Texas in 1835 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Richardson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Richardson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • James Richardson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Philip Richardson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Edward Richardson, who was a soldier of St. John's, Newfoundland in 1756 [10]
  • Christ Richardson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1774
  • John Richardson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1774
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Richardson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Richardson, who landed in Canada in 1815
  • Ellen Richardson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1829
  • Benjamin A Richardson, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • Caleb Richardson, who arrived in Canada in 1831
  • Margaret Richardson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Richardson Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • James M Richardson, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • Mabel Richardson, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • William H Richardson, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Richardson migration to Australia +

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

Richardson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Richardson, British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Mr. John Richardson, British Convict who was convicted in London, England for life, transported aboard the "Earl Spencer" in May 1813, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Mr. William Richardson, English convict who was convicted in Devon, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Dromedary" on 11th September 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [13]
  • Mr. James Richardson, (Goldsmith), British Convict who was convicted in Sussex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [14]
  • Mr. Robert Richardson, British Convict who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Caledonia" on 5th July 1820, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [15]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Richardson Settlers in Australia in the 20th Century
  • "Miss Catherine Richardson, (b. 1800), aged 28, English servant who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years for coining, transported aboard the ""Competitor"" on 9th June 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia" [16]

New Zealand Richardson 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:

Richardson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richardson, Australian settler travelling from Port of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia on board the ship "Defiance" arriving in New Zealand in 1832 [17]
  • Mr. James Richardson, (b. 1809), aged 30, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Port Nicholson, Wellington, New Zealand on 31st January 1840 [18]
  • James Richardson, aged 32, a builder, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • James Robert Richardson, aged 22, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Eliza Richardson, aged 20, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Richardson 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]
Richardson Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. William Richardson, (b. 1611), aged 24, British settler traveling aboard the ship "John" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [20]
  • Mr. Manley Richardson, (b. 1614), aged 21, British settler traveling aboard the ship "William and John" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [21]
  • Mr. Robert Richardson, (b. 1602), aged 33, British settler traveling aboard the ship "William and John" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [21]
  • Mr. Robert Richardson, (b. 1615), aged 20, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Paul of London" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [21]
  • Manley Richardson, aged 21, who landed in St Christopher in 1635 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Richardson (post 1700) +

  • Elliot Lee Richardson (1920-1999), American lawyer, politician and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, best known for his resignation as U.S. Attorney General rather than agree to President Nixon's order to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox
  • David Richardson (1955-2021), American television writer and producer who wrote for The Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle, Two and a Half Men, and F Is for Family
  • Naazim Richardson (d. 2020), American boxing trainer from Philadelphia
  • John G. Richardson (1957-2020), American politician, 97th Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives (2004-2006)
  • Robert D. Richardson (1934-2020), American historian and biographer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Dennis Michael Richardson (1949-2019), American lawyer, businessman, and politician, 26th Secretary of State of Oregon from 2017 until his death in 2019
  • Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson Jr. (1930-1959), known as The Big Bopper, an American disc jockey, singer, and songwriter, best known for his recording of "Chantilly Lace," killed in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Vallens, famously referred to as "The Day the Music Died" in Don McLean's 1971 song "American Pie"
  • William John Richardson S.J. (1920-2016), American philosopher
  • H. B. "Spec" Richardson (1922-2016), American General Manager for the Houston Astros from 1967 until 1975
  • Willie Louis Richardson (1939-2016), American professional football wide receiver who played from 1963 to 1971
  • ... (Another 327 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Gregory Willam Richardson (b. 1964), American Private 1st Class from Sterling, Illinois, USA who died in the crash [22]
Empress of Ireland
  • Mrs. Mary Richardson (1860-1914), née Ryles Canadian Second Class Passenger from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [23]
  • Mr. William Richardson (1856-1914), Canadian Second Class Passenger from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [23]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. George  Richardson (1858-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [24]
  • Mr. George F.  Richardson (1890-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [24]
  • Mrs. Neva  Richardson (1896-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [24]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Snowden F O Richardson (b. 1917), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Bedlington, Northumberland, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [25]
  • Mr. Henry F D Richardson (b. 1916), English Ordinary Signalman serving for the Royal Navy from Bracknell, Berkshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [25]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Eric Richardson, British Surgeon Lieutenant Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [26]
  • Mr. Richardson, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, was later killed in action in 1942 [26]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. John George  Edwards Richardson, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [27]
RMS Lusitania
  • Miss Annie Richardson, English Stewardess from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [28]
  • Mrs. Annie Richardson, English 2nd Class passenger residing in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 13 [29]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Warren John Richardson, American Coxswain from Pennsylvania, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [30]


The Richardson 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: Virtute acquiritur honos
Motto Translation: Honour is aquired by virtue.


Suggested Readings for the name Richardson +

  • Minnie Mallory Boyett, Hagan, Pullen. Radford, Goggans, Peterson, and Richardson Kin by Woodrow W. Boyett.

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  8. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  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. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-spencer
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dromedary
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/caledonia
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/competitor
  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. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/daphne)
  21. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021, retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  22. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  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. ^ 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
  26. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  27. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  28. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  29. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  30. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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