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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

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.


The surname Ricker 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]

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ricker research. Another 261 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1379, 1817, 1641, 1668, 1643, 1705, 1694, 1692, 1527, 1522 and 1728 are included under the topic Early Ricker History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 111 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ricker Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Ricker family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


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
  • Johannes Ricker, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1754
  • Henrich Ricker, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1771
  • John Ricker, who arrived in Frederick County, Maryland in 1798

Ricker Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • A B Ricker, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1805
  • Danl Ricker, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1806
  • Charles Ricker, aged 34, landed in Missouri in 1848
  • Julius Otto Ricker, who landed in New York, NY in 1851

Ricker Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Ricker arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Woodstock" in 1851


  • 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
  • MaŽlle 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 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.

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.


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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  8. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Ricker Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ricker Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 March 2016 at 10:55.

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