Show ContentsRitt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Ritt surname is derived from the Middle High German word "rîter," which means "horseback rider" or "knight." It is thus likely that the first people to adopt this as a surname were either knights or descendants of knights.

Early Origins of the Ritt family

The surname Ritt was first found in Austria, where this family name became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. Always prominent in social affairs, the name became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the Feudal System and the nation.

Early History of the Ritt family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ritt research. Another 232 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1262, 1588, 1616, 1645, 1663, 1725, 1737, 1759, 1779, 1791, 1812, 1833, 1849, 1859, 1869, 1896 and 1926 are included under the topic Early Ritt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ritt Spelling Variations

One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Ritt include Ritter, Ritther, Rytter, Ryther, Ridder, Rider, Rhitter and many more.

Early Notables of the Ritt family

During this period prominent bearers of the name Ritt were

  • Christian Ritter (c. 1645-1725?), German composer and organist of the North German organ school
  • Heinrich Ritter (1791-1869), who was a German historian of philosophy born in Zerbst. He taught at Goettingen for thirty years. Karl Ritter (1779-1859) was a German geographer from Quedlinburg in the...

United States Ritt migration to the United States +

Austria was made a republic after the First World War. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up by the Treaty of Versailles and many of its people found themselves in the new nation of Czechoslovakia. Many other Austrians and expatriate Austrians made their way to North America in the 20th century. Most landed in Philadelphia, later continuing on to the states of Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Some Austrian settlers also went to western Canada and Ontario. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Ritt or a variant listed above:

Ritt Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johannes Jacob Ritt, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 1
  • Johan Peter Ritt, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1749 1
Ritt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Anton Ritt, who arrived in Brazil in 1871 1
  • Peter Ritt, who landed in Brazil in 1871 1
Ritt Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Abel Ritt, aged 20, who settled in America from London, in 1904
  • Daniel Ritt, aged 34, who immigrated to the United States from London, in 1904
  • Boris Ritt, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States, in 1914
  • Alfredo Ritt, aged 32, who landed in America, in 1920
  • Charles Ritt, aged 24, who settled in America, in 1922

Contemporary Notables of the name Ritt (post 1700) +

  • Samuel H. Ritt, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from East Haddam, 1937-40 2
  • Joseph Fels Ritt (1893-1951), American mathematician at Columbia University
  • Martin Ritt (1914-1990), American Oscar Award nominated director, actor, and playwright from New York City

  1. 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)
  2. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 30) . Retrieved from on Facebook