Riche History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Riche reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Riche family lived in Hampshire. Their name, however, is a reference to Riche, in Lorraine, France, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Another equally valid derivation of the name suggests that it is patronymic, which means it was adapted from the first name of the original bearer's father. According to this version it comes from the Norman personal name Richard. Riche is a classic example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently.

The name was "probably an abbreviation of Richard, than an epithet implying wealth," [1] [2] but may have also have originated in France as "Riche was near Nancy, in Lorraine." [3]

"Rich is a characteristic west of England name, being most frequent in Somerset and Wiltshire. Those of Somerset are most numerous in the Bridgewater district, whilst those of Wiltshire are most frequent in the Malmesbury district. Le Rich was the name of a Hampshire family of the 14th century." [4]

Early Origins of the Riche family

The surname Riche was first found in Hampshire where the first on record include Edmund Rich, Saint Edmund (1175-1240) English churchman, who became Archbishop of Canterbury. He was born at Abingdon and his father's name was Edward or Reinald Rich. His father withdrew to the monastery of Evesham, or more probably to Ensham, near Oxford. [5]

Thomas filius Ricun, was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls in Huntingdonshire in 1274. [6]

Robert Rich (fl. 1240), was an English biographer, second son of Reginald and Mabel Rich of Abingdon, and younger brother of St. Edmund Rich, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Another source notes that the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 also included three listings of the family with early spellings, all found in Oxfordshire: Henry le Ryche; Hugo le Ryche; and Bruman le Riche. [7]

Over in Somerset, Kirby's Quest listed William le Riche and John le Riche, Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [8]

Early History of the Riche family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Riche research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1547, 1496, 1567, 1540, 1620, 1594, 1675, 1640, 1587, 1658, 1611, 1659, 1660, 1619, 1673, 1625, 1678, 1601, 1667, 1660, 1648, 1699, 1689, 1699, 1692, 1699, 1657 and 1714 are included under the topic Early Riche History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Riche Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Riche family name include Rich, Riche, Richin, Riching, Richins, Richings and others.

Early Notables of the Riche family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Rich (c. 1496-1567), 1st Baron Rich, Lord Chancellor of England during the reign of King Edward VI; Barnabe Rich (1540-1620), English author and soldier; Sir Edwin Rich (c. 1594-1675), an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1640; Robert Rich (1587-1658) 2nd Earl of Warwick, an English colonial administrator, admiral, and puritan; Robert Rich, 3rd Earl of Warwick (1611-1659); Jeremiah Rich (died c. 1660), an English stenographer who published...
Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Riche Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Riche Ranking

In the United States, the name Riche is the 16,029th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [9] However, in France, the name Riche is ranked the 1,306th most popular surname with an estimated 4,328 people with that name. [10]

Ireland Migration of the Riche family to Ireland

Some of the Riche family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Riche migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Riche family to immigrate North America:

Riche Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Judith Riche, who landed in Maryland in 1658 [11]
  • Jean Le Riche, who landed in Carolina in 1679 [11]
Riche Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jacob Riche, who landed in Virginia in 1700 [11]
  • Jaques Riche, who arrived in Virginia in 1700 [11]
  • Jacob Riche settled with his wife and child in Virginia in 1700
  • Patrick Riche, who landed in Virginia in 1751 [11]
  • Patrick Riche, who settled in Virginia in 1751
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Riche Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Riche, aged 26, who arrived in New York in 1812 [11]
  • Carl Riche, who settled in Texas in 1847
  • Mathew Riche, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1864 [11]

Australia Riche migration to Australia +

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

Riche Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Frederick Riche, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Britannia" in 1846 [12]
  • Arnote Riche, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Britannia" in 1846 [12]
  • John Riche, aged 30, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Isle of Thanet" [13]

Contemporary Notables of the name Riche (post 1700) +

  • Wendy Riche, American five-time Daytime Emmy Award winning executive producer of ABC Daytime's General Hospital
  • Edward Riche (b. 1961), Canadian writer from Newfoundland
  • Pascal Riché (b. 1962), French journalist, co-founder of Rue 89
  • Claude-Antoine-Gaspard Riche (1762-1797), French naturalist on Bruni d'Entrecasteaux's 1791 expedition, eponym of Cape Riche, Australia
  • Christopher Riche Evans (1931-1979), British psychologist, computer scientist, and author


The Riche 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: Garde la foy
Motto Translation: Keep the faith.


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  8. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  9. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  10. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  11. ^ 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)
  12. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BRITANNIA 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846Britannia.htm
  13. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 25th October 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Isle of Thanet 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/isleofthanet1854.shtml.


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