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

Origins Available: English, German


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The surname Ritter was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from early times. The family name Ritter appeared on the early census rolls taken by the Kings of Britain, shortly after the Norman invasion, to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Rutter, Ruttery, Rutty and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ritter research. Another 264 words (19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ritter History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ritter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Hans Ritter, who sailed to Philadelphia in 1731
  • Christopher Ritter, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1731
  • Crates Ritter, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1731
  • Hans Ritter, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1731
  • Adam Ritter, aged 27, landed in Pennsylvania in 1738


Ritter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Johan Conrad Ritter moved to Philadelphia in 1802
  • Fredk Ritter, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1805
  • Daniel Ritter, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1807
  • Emilie Ritter, who landed in North America in 1832-1849
  • Ernst Ritter, who arrived in North America in 1832-1849


Ritter Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Helene Ritter, aged 48, landed in Chile in 1901

Ritter Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. Sperons Ritter U.E., (Hyronimus, Riter) who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784

Ritter Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Eliza A. Ritter, aged 18, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Conflict" in 1874

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  • James P. Ritter (1930-2015), American design draftsman and politician, Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1969-1982)
  • Preston James Ritter (1949-2015), American drummer, drum teacher and author
  • Brigadier-General William Leonard Ritter (1898-1971), American Deputy Commander in Chief US Forces North Africa & Middle East (1944-1946)
  • Josh Ritter (b. 1976), American singer-songwriter, guitarist and author
  • Jonathan Southworth "John" Ritter (1948-2003), American Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winning actor, comedian, and voice-over artist, best known for his role on the sitcom Three's Company (1977-1984)
  • Joseph Elmer Ritter (1892-1967), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop of St. Louis (1946 to 1967)
  • Woodward Maurice "Tex" Ritter (1905-1974), American country music singer and movie actor, inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame
  • John J. Ritter, American chemist, eponym of the Ritter reaction
  • Krysten Alyce Ritter (b. 1981), American actress and former model
  • Samuel Ritter, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Reading, Pennsylvania, 1829-41

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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: Melitae amor
Motto Translation: Love of Malta.

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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. 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.
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Ritter Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ritter 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 6 April 2016 at 16:06.

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