Ritchard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Ritchard was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Old German name Ricard, meaning powerful and brave.
Early Origins of the Ritchard family
The surname Ritchard 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." 
Early History of the Ritchard family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ritchard research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1379, 1817, 1641, 1668, 1643, 1705, 1694, 1692, 1669, 1709, 1673, 1721, 1630, 1654, 1564, 1643, 1705, 1527, 1522 and 1728 are included under the topic Early Ritchard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ritchard Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Richards, Richard, Ricard, Rycard and others.
Early Notables of the Ritchard family (pre 1700)
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 Ritchard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ritchard family to Ireland
Some of the Ritchard 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.
Migration of the Ritchard family
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Ritchard or a variant listed above were: Thomas Richards Jr., who arrived in Nantasket, MA in 1630, aboard the "Mary and John"; William Richards who arrived in Virginia in 1635; Robert Richards, who arrived in Barbados in 1634.
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The Ritchard 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.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.