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

Where did the English Ricketts family come from? What is the English Ricketts family crest and coat of arms? When did the Ricketts family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Ricketts family history?

The prominent surname Ricketts was first found in England in the 16th century but traced its early origin to the country of France. Ricketts was originally associated with the Huguenots, many of whom left France in the 16th and 17th centuries, in order to escape religious persecution. England, which was a Protestant country, was thought to be more accepting of religious differences.

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Huguenot surnames were only slightly Anglicized, and they remain to this day a distinct group of surnames in England. Nevertheless, Huguenot surnames have been subject to numerous spelling alterations since the names emerged in France. French surnames have a variety of spelling variations because the French language has changed drastically over the centuries. French was developed from the vernacular Latin of the Roman Empire. It is divided into three historic and linguistic periods: Old French, which developed before the 14th century; Middle French, which was used between the 14th and 16th centuries; and Modern French, which was used after the 16th century and continues to be in use today. In all of these periods, the French language was heavily influenced by other languages. For example, Old French was infused with Germanic words and sounds when the barbarian tribes invaded and settled in France after the fall of the Roman Empire. Middle French also borrowed heavily from the Italian language during the Renaissance. Huguenot names have numerous variations. The name may be spelled Ricket, Rickett, Reckitt, Ricketts, Reckitts and others.

First found in Kent where this Huguenot family, originally Ricquart or Ricard, migrated to the west and settled at Combe in the county of Hereford. We would be remiss is we did not pass along this quote: "About 1620, one Ricketts of Newberry, a practitioner in physick, was excellent at curing of children with swoln heads and small legges; and the disease being new, and without a name, he being so famous for the cure of it, they called the disease the ricketts; as the King's evill from the King's curing of it with his touch; and now 'tis good sport to see how they vex their lexicons, and fetch it from the Greek Paxc, the back-bone." [1] The source goes on to note that the disease was give name by Dr. Glisson on the first appearance of the disease. Dr. Glisson was a contemporary of and probably knew Mr. Ricketts.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ricketts research. Another 357 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1655, 1760, 1665 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Ricketts History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Ricketts Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Ricketts or a variant listed above:

Ricketts Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Miles Ricketts, who landed in Maryland in 1640
  • Edward Ricketts settled in Virginia in 1642
  • Edward Ricketts, who landed in Virginia in 1642
  • William Ricketts, who landed in Virginia in 1650
  • John, Philip, Alice and Grace Ricketts settled in Virginia in 1660


Ricketts Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • George A Ricketts, aged 22, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Jacob and Ann Ricketts arrived in New York in 1820
  • Robert Ricketts of Dorset, England, was married in Trinity in 1825
  • James Ricketts settled in Big Island in 1864

Ricketts Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • John Ricketts, who arrived in Alabama in 1924

Ricketts Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • James Ricketts in King's Cove, Newfoundland in 1820

Ricketts Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • David Charles Ricketts, who arrived in Port Phillip (Melbourne) in November 1839
  • John Ricketts arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840
  • William Ricketts, aged 24, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Emigrant"

Ricketts Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William C. Ricketts arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Asterope" in 1870
  • Elizabeth Ricketts, aged 18, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jubilee" in 1873
  • Frederick Ricketts, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • Mary Ann Ricketts, aged 21, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • H. Ricketts arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tongariro" in 1888

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  • Dr. Matthew Ricketts (1858-1917), first African American to be elected to the Nebraska legislature, 1892
  • James B. Ricketts (1817-1887), American Civil War general
  • Howard Taylor Ricketts (1871-1910), American pathologist
  • Edward "Ed" Flanders Robb Ricketts (1897-1948), American marine biologist, ecologist, and philosopher
  • Arthur Samuel Ricketts, American Librarian, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Rohan Ricketts (b. 1982), English soccer player
  • Michael Ricketts (b. 1978), English footballer
  • Master Thomas  Ricketts (1908-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Charles Ricketts (1876-1931), American artist/illustrator
  • J. Joseph Ricketts, American billionaire, former CEO and former chairman of TD Ameritrade

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  • 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.
  • Truth and Honor: a History of the Ricketts Family by Robert Daniels Ricketts.
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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: Quid verum atque decens
Motto Translation: What is true and honorable.

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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  2. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  4. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  6. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Ricketts Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ricketts 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 18 December 2015 at 11:16.

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