Show ContentsRicker History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ricker is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Ricker comes from the Old German name Ricard, meaning powerful and brave. 1

Early Origins of the Ricker family

The surname Ricker was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where the singular name Ricard was recorded. 2 Later in Norfolk, Richardus Basset was listed 1127-1134. 3

In Yorkshire, 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." 4

Up in Scotland, the first record was of Thome filius Ricardi who had a charter of the barony of Symundestone in the sheriffdom of Lanark from Robert I, c. 1315-1321. Laurence filius Ricerdi was a tenant of the earl of Douglas in Louchurde in 1376 and John Ricardi held land in Aberdeen in 1451. 5

Early History of the Ricker family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ricker research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1379, 1507, 1515, 1520, 1521, 1522, 1523, 1527, 1564, 1630, 1641, 1643, 1654, 1668, 1669, 1673, 1692, 1694, 1705, 1709, 1721, 1728 and 1817 are included under the topic Early Ricker History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ricker Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Richards, Richard, Ricard, Rycard and others.

Early Notables of the Ricker family

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 Ricker Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ricker Ranking

In the United States, the name Ricker is the 2,985th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. 6

Ireland Migration of the Ricker family to Ireland

Some of the Ricker 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 Ricker migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Ricker name or one of its variants:

Ricker Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johan Friederich Ricker, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1742 7
  • Johannes Ricker, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1754 7
  • Henrich Ricker, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1771 7
  • John Ricker, who arrived in Frederick County, Maryland in 1798 7
Ricker Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • A B Ricker, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1805 7
  • Danl Ricker, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1806 7
  • Charles Ricker, aged 34, who landed in Missouri in 1848 7
  • Julius Otto Ricker, who landed in New York, NY in 1851 7

Australia Ricker migration to Australia +

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

Ricker Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Ricker, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Woodstock" in 1851 8

Contemporary Notables of the name Ricker (post 1700) +

  • George Alfred Joy Ricker (1863-1933), American civil engineer who built the Niagara Falls Gorge Railway
  • Ralph "Dutch" Ricker, American 25th head football coach for the Dickinson College Red Devils, Pennsylvania
  • Bruce Ricker (1942-2011), American jazz and blues documentarian
  • Nathan Clifford Ricker D.Arch (1843-1924), American professor and architect at the University of Illinois
  • William Edwin "Bill" Ricker OC, FRSC (1908-2001), English founder of fisheries science, best known for the Ricker model
  • Gustav Wilhelm August Josef Ricker (1870-1948), German physician and pathologist
  • Maëlle Danica Ricker (b. 1978), Canadian three-time gold medalist snowboarder at the 2010 Winter Olympics, 2006 Winter X Games and 1999 Winter X Games

The Ricker 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.

Suggested Readings for the name Ricker +

  • The Descendants of John and Sally (Guile) Rickerd: with Notes on the Ancestors and the so-called Palatine Migration by Barbara Rickerd Thompson.
  • German Pioneers, Dhonau, Rickert, and Related Families by Robert Will-Fred Dhonau.

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. 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)
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. 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)
  8. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) WOODSTOCK 1851. Retrieved on Facebook