The Ritts 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 Ritts family
The surname Ritts 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 Ritts family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ritts research.Another 463 words (33 lines of text) covering the years 1663, 1262, 1588, 1616, 1759, 1812, 1737, 1645, 1725, 1791, 1869, 1779, 1859, 1833, 1896, 1849 and 1926 are included under the topic Early Ritts History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ritts Spelling Variations
Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia
. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations
of Ritts include Ritter, Ritther, Rytter, Ryther, Ridder, Rider, Rhitter and many more.
Early Notables of the Ritts family (pre 1700)
During this period prominent bearers of the name Ritts 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... Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ritts Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ritts family to the New World and Oceana
After the First World War, Austria
became a republic. The Treaty of Versailles broke up the empire in 1919 and many of the Sudeten Germans were incorporated into the new nation of Czechoslovakia. In the 20th century, many Austrians migrated to other parts of Germany
or Europe, as well as to North America. In the United States, the majority of settlers landed in Philadelphia, and moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Many German settlers also migrated to Canada, particularly Ontario and the Prairies. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Ritts were Hans M. Rider, who sailed to Philadelphia in 1728. Among the several hundred
immigrants who followed this first settler were: Hans Ritter, who sailed to Philadelphia in 1731.
Contemporary Notables of the name Ritts (post 1700)
- Shirley Ritts (1920-2008), American interior designer
- Mark Ritts (1946-2009), American actor, puppeteer, television producer and director, and author, founder of Mark Ritts Productions, Inc
- Herbert "Herb" Ritts (1952-2002), American fashion photographer