Ritson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Ritson was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Old German name "Ricard," meaning "powerful" and "brave." [1]

Early Origins of the Ritson family

The surname Ritson was first found in Cheshire in 1067 where they were descended from Hugh d'Avranche, Earl Lupus of Chester. His descendant, William Belwood, Lord of Malpas in Cheshire, had two sons, David and Richard. Richard's grandson John was the first to bear the name Richardson.

Years later the Yorkshire Poll Tax records revealed William Richardson in 1381 and further north in Scotland, Thome filius Ricardi held a charter of the barony of Symundestone in Lanark c. 1315-1321. A few years later, Laurence filius Ricardi was a tenant of the Earl of Douglas in Louchurde in 1376. Murdac Richardesson, a Scottish merchant complained the English had sunk his vessel during a truce in 1359. [2]

Ritson is "essentially a north of England name, extending across the border into Dumfriesshire, and also, but to a less extent, characteristic of most of the east coast counties as far south as Kent and Sussex. The counties of Cumberland, Westmoreland, Durham, Northumberland, and the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire contain the greatest number of the name." [3]

Early History of the Ritson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ritson research. Another 136 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1606, 1820, 1576, 1651, 1628, 1569, 1635, 1627, 1674, 1660, 1674, 1618, 1698, 1642, 1625, 1580, 1654, 1667, 1753, 1624, 1679, 1689, 1761, 1664, 1714, 1714, 1715, 1690, 1755, 1737, 1755, 1664, 1747 and are included under the topic Early Ritson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ritson Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Richardson, Richerson, Richarson and others.

Early Notables of the Ritson family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Dame Elizabeth Richardson, 1st Lady Cramond (1576-1651), English writer whose peerage was created for her in 1628; Sir Thomas Richardson (1569-1635), Chief Justice of the King's Bench; Thomas Richardson, 2nd Lord Cramond (1627-1674), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1674. Christopher Richardson (1618-1698), was an English nonconformist divine who appears to have been born at Sheriff Hutton, Yorkshire. Gabriel Richardson (died 1642), was...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ritson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Ritson family to Ireland

Some of the Ritson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Ritson migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ritson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Rebecca Ritson, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1725-1726 [4]
  • John Ritson, who arrived in New York in 1789 [4]

New Zealand Ritson migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Ritson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Ritson, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ann Wilson" in 1857
  • Elizabeth Ritson, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ann Wilson" in 1857
  • Frederick Ritson, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ann Wilson" in 1857
  • George A. Ritson, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ann Wilson" in 1857
  • Ann H. Ritson, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ann Wilson" in 1857
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Ritson (post 1700) +

  • John Ritson (b. 1949), English former footballer from Liverpool
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Gerald Ritson (1880-1966), English member of the Inniskilling Dragoons and champion polo player with a 10 goal handicap
  • Blake Ritson (b. 1980), English actor and director, best known for portraying King Edward III in the World Without End (2012)
  • Joseph Ritson (1752-1803), English antiquary, best known for his Ritson's Yorkshire Garland (1809), a reprint of music from 1788
  • Alexander Clive Ritson (1922-2008), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey centre who played in one NHL game for the New York Rangers during the 1944–45 season
  • Adam Ritson (b. 1976), retired Australian rugby league player
  • Bradley Ritson (b. 1982), South African football striker


The Ritson 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: Virtute acquiritur honos
Motto Translation: Honour is aquired by virtue.


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ 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)


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