Blazons & Genealogy Notes
1) (co. Durham; confirmed to John Richardson. of the city of Durham, Solicitor-General to the Palatinate. Visit. Durham, 1615). Sa. on a chief ar. three lions’ heads erased ermines, langued gu. Crest—On a mural crown or, a lion’s head erased ermines, langued gu. crowned with an earl's coronet of the first.
2) (co. Durham; Thomas Richardson, Esq., of the Briary, Shotley Bridge, co. Durham, b. 1832, son of Jonathan Richardson). Erm. on a chief ar. three lions’ heads erased gu., quartering, Per saltire or and az. a saltire erm., for Backhocse, in the centre fess point a crescent for difF. Crest—A lion's head erased ppr. Motto—Virtute acquiritur honos.
3) (North Bierley, co. York; derived from Nicholas Richardson, of the co. of Durham, who settled in co. York in 1561, and purchased the North Bierley estate. The last direct male heir, the Rev. Henry Richardson, M. A., assumed the surname and arms of Currer, and d. 1784, leaving an only child, Frances Mary Richardson-Currer, of Kildwick and Bierley). Sa. on a chief ar. three lions’ heads erased of the first. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet or, a dexter arm in armour couped at the elbow, brandishing a falchion ar. the grip vert, hilt and pommel gold.
4) (Pantygwydyr, co. Glamorgan; this family claims descent from the Richardsons, of Durham, and is immediately derived from John Richardson, J.P., of Swansea, co. Glamorgan, whose eldest son. John Crow Richardson, Esq., J.P., of Pantygwydyr, and Glanbrydan Park, co. Carmarthen, is its present representative). Same Arms as Richardson, of the Briary, co. Durham. Crest—On a mural crown or, a lion’s head erased of the arms. Motto—Pretio prudentia præstat.
5) (Goring, co. Sussex). Same Arms, a fleur-de-lis for diff.
6) (Field House, Whitby, co. York; borne by Christopher Richardson, Esq., of Field House, and Lincoln’s Inn, Barrister-at-law. B.A., Exeter Coll., Oxford, 1830, third in descent from Christopher Richardson, Esq., of Whitby, J.P. and D.L.). Ar. three chaplets of roses ppr., quartering Boynton and Addison Crest—A dexter arm erect couped at the elbow, holding in the hand a broken sword ppr. Motto—Quod honestum est decet.
"7) (Dunsfold and Hambledon, co. Surrey; descended from Richardson, of Bierley, co. York, through Richard Richardson, Esq., of Bierley, d. 1654: his youngest son, the Rev. Joseph Richardson, Rector of Dunsford and Hambledon, co. Surrey, b. 1648, d. 1742, leaving one son, Joseph Richardson, Esq., of Gray’s Inn, Barrister-at-law, b.. 1689, had a son and heir, William Westbrook Richardson, High Sheriff co. Sussex, 1770, who had four sons, William, John, Lawrence, and Thomas: the three elder dying s. p., the estates and representation devolved on the issue of Thomas Richardson, of Warminghurst Park, b. 1732, who d. 1797,
leaving three sons who d. s. p., when the representation of the family devolved on Maegeeson, of Finden Place, co. Suffolk). Sa. on a chief ar. three lions' heads erased of the field. Crest—Out of a mural crown or, a dexter arm in armour couped at the elbow, brandishing a falchion ar. the grip vert, hilt and pommel or. Motto—Sibi constet."
8) (Ripon, co. York, 1649). Az. on a chief or, three lions’ heads erased of the field. Crest—A lion's head erased or, a chaplet vert.
9) (Painsthorpe, Kirby-under-Dale, co. York; granted 18 Sept. 1816, to Charles Richardson, Esq., of Painsthorpe, Capt. R.N., C.B.). Erm. a naval crown or, encircled by two branches of oak vert, on a chief az. an anchor erect betw. two lions’ heads erased of the second. Crest—Out of a naval crown or, the sails ar. a lion’s head, ermines surmounting an anchor in bend sinister of the first. Motto—Memores fecere-merendo.
10) (Riccall Hall, co. York; Wormley Edward Richardson, Esq., of Riccall Hall, Captain 5th West York Militia, b. 1809, only son of Toft Richardson, Esq., and his wife, relict of Christopher Wobmley, Esq., Lord of the Manor of Riccall). Gu. on a chief indented ar. three lions ramp. sa. Crest—A demi lion grasping a thistle in the dexter claw ppr. Motto—Firmus infirmis.
11) (co. Norfolk). Ar. on a chief gu. three lions’ heads erased or.
12) (Lynn Regis, co. Norfolk). Or, on a chief sa. three lions' heads erased of the first.
13) (co. Worcester; confirmed at Visit. London by St. George, 1634, to Henry Richardson, citizen of London, eldest son of Thomas Richardson, of Pershore, co. Worcester). Ar. on a chief sa. three lions’ heads of the first, a crescent for diff. Crest—On a marquess’s coronet a dexter arm in armour couped at the elbow lying fessways, in the gauntlet a sword erect all ppr. Major Edward Richardson, second son of William Richardson, Esq., descended from this family, had these arms, and the following crest, viz., An armed man holding a sword with a bush of thorns at the end ppr. the sword hilt and pummecl sa., confirmed to him by Roberts, Ulster, 22 May, 1647, he having been on service with the King’s troops in Ireland, under Colonels Mount and Castle, in 1642 and following years, d. circ. 1698.
14) (Iron Acton, co. Gloucester). Ar. three chaplets vert. Crest—A dexter cubit arm erect in armour, holding in the hand ppr. a filchion.
15) (co. Gloucester; granted 1588). Ar. on a chief sa. three lions’ heads erased of the first. Crest—A cubit arm ar. holding in the hand ppr. a broken sword, blade of the first, hilt and pommel or.
16) (Tewkesbury, co. Gloucester; borne by Conon Richardson, Esq., of Tewkesbury, High Bailiff of Tewkesbury under the charter of Queen Elizabeth and James 1., in the years 1602, 1610, and 1620, son of Thomas Richardson, Esq., of Pershore, co. Worcester). Ar. on a chief sa. three lions’ heads erased of the field.
17) (Chawston, co. Worcester; recorded temp, Charles I., as the arms of Stephen Richardson, son of Stephen Richardson, and grandson of Stephen Richardson, of Chawston). Ar. on a chief sa. three lions’ heads erased of the field. Crest—An armed arm couped at the elbow, grasping in the hand a broken sword both ppr.
18) (Hallow, co. Worcester; assigned to Richardson, of Hallow, co. Worcester; in an heraldic MS. dated 1670). Ar. on a chief sa. three lions’ heads erased of the field.
19) (Southwark, co. Surrey, temp. Charles I.). Or, three bars gu. on the 1st and 3rd three martlets of the field, two and one, a chief barry nebulée of four ar. and az. a crescent for diff.
20) (co. Middlesex; granted 17 June, 1749, to the Rev. Michael Richardson, of the parish of St. George the Martyr, co. Middlesex, A.M., Fellow of Queen’s College, Oxford, and son of William Richardson). Or, on a chief flory sa. three lions’ heads erased of the field. Crest—A lion of St. Mark sejant, wings endorsed and erect ar. collared flory counterflory gu. reposing the dexter paw on a garb or.
21) (Old Broad Street, London; granted to Alexander Haywood Richardson, Esq., of Old Broad Street, in the city of London). Per fess or and sa. a pale engr. in chief three lions’ heads erased counterchanged. Crest—A unicorn’s head erased erm. armed, crined, and tufted or, charged with a bend engr. gu. thereon three plates. Motto—Virtute acquiritur honos.
22) (co. Middlesex; St. John Richardson, Esq., of 5, Stanley Gardens, London, sixth son of Francis Richardson, Esq., and Elizabeth, his wife, only dau. ef Edward, first Earl Winterton, and grandson of William Richardson, Esq., Accountant-General of the Hon. East India Company). Erm. on a chief sa. three lions’ heads erased ar. Crest—An arm couped at the elbow and vested, holding in the hand a broken sword all ppr.
23) (co. Middlesex; granted to Charles Thomas Richardson, Esq.. of Albion Street, Hyde Park, co. Middlesex, eldest son of John George Richardson, late of Sydney, New South Wales, merchant). Per pale ar. and or, on a chief nebuly sa. a star of six points betw. two lions’ heads erased of the second. Crest—In front of a dexter arm embowed in armour grasping a scymitar all ppr. a lion’s head erased or. Motto—Constans fidei.
24) (cos. Gloucester and Middlesex; confirmed, 1588, to Ferdinando Richardson, of the Privy Chamber, and co. Gloucester, by Cooke, Clarenceux). Ar. on a chief sa. three lions’ heads erased of the field. Crest—An arm couped at the elbow in armour ppr. grasping in the hand a broken sword, hilt and pommel or, blade ar. The original name of this family appears to have been Heborne or Heyborne. In Harl. MS. 1551, the arms following appear: Gu. on a chev. ar. a cinquefoil of the field betw. two lions pass. of the last, an annulet or, for diff. Crest—A buckle or. Motto—Amate invicem. These arms are assigned to Sir Ferdinando Heborne, Knt., of Tottenham High Cross, co. Middlesex, Groom of the Privy Chamber to Queen Elizabeth, 1596, and third in descent from Christopher Hebobne, alias Richardson. In Harl. MS. 1541, his arms are given as follows: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Heborne, as above, without the cinquefoil; 2nd and 3rd, Richardson, as above; and this coat was confirmed to him in 1608.
25) (Honingham, co. Norfolk; confirmed 3 Feb. 1627, to Sir Thomas Richardson, Knt., of Honingham, co. Norfolk, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, by Sir Richard St. George, Clarenceux). Or, on a chief sa. three lions' heads erased of the field, quartering, Erm. on a canton az. a saltire ar. Crest—On a ducal coronet ppr. a dexter gauntlet fessways sa. garnished or, holding a sword erect, hilt and pommel gold, blade ar. See Richardson, Lord Cramond.
26) (Rev. Henry Kemp Richardson, M.A., Rector of Leire, co. Leicester, and Rural Dean). Gu. on a chev. engr. ar. a cinquefoil betw. two lions pass, counter-pass. of the first, in chief two crosses pattee of the second. Crest—A stork ppr. charged on the breast with a cinquefoil and resting the dexter foot on an escutcheon gu. thereon a cross pattee ar. Motto—Confido in providentia
27) (Thomas Shepperd Richardson, Esq., of Hilder’s Court, in the parish of Chiddingly, co. Sussex). Az. on a bend invected betw. two fleeccs ar. a garb betw. two roses gu. barbed and seeded ppr. Crest—Issuant from a wreath of oak vert, fructed or, a cubit arm erect ppr. grasping a hammer sa. Motto—In Deo et in ipso confide.
28) (Rotherhithe, co. Surrey; granted 27 Nov. 1765, to William Richardson, of co. Surrey, merchant, son and heir of John Richardson, of Rotherhithe, and of Newdigate, in the same co.). Or, three palets gu. on a chief embattled vert as many lions’ heads erased of the first. Crest—Out of a mural coronet or, a demi lion ramp. gu. holding betw. the paws a guidon ar. charged with a slip of oak ppr. fructed, the staff and tassels gold.
29) (Southwark, co. Surrey; confirmed at Visit. Surrey, 1623, by Thompson and Vincent, Deputies of Camden, Clarenceux, to William Richardson, of Southwark, son and heir of John Richardson, of Rassallor Roskell, co. York, who to. Isabel Hart, of Botrington). Ar. on a chief sa. three lions’ heads erased of the field.
30) (Ferring, co. Sussex). Sa. on a chev. ar. three lions’ heads erased ermines. Crest—Out of a mural coronet or, a cubit arm holding in the gauntlet a falchion ppr. pommel and hilt or.
31) (co. Warwick; granted 23 May, 1647. This family is stated to have lived for the last two centuries at Toldish Hall, Foleshill, Coventry, co. Warwick, which was sold on the majority of the late heir, Richard Richardson, Esq.). Ar. on a chief sa. three leopards’ or lions’ heads erased of the first, a crescent for diff. Crest—An armed arm holding a sword enfiled with a chaplet of thorns ppr. hilt and pommel sa.
32) (Great Dunmow, co. Essex; borne by Rev. Herbert Henley Richardson, M.A., of St. Mary Hall. Oxford, Hon. Canon of Cumbrae, N.B., eldest son of Frederick Alexander Richardson, and grandson of the Rev. Dr. Richardson, Rector of Great Dunmow, co. Essex. This family is believed to have originated either from co. Northampton or co. Gloucester). Ar. on a chief sa. three lions’ heads erased of the field. Crest—A cubit arm erect in armour ppr. holding in the gauntlet a sword rompu ar. hilt and pommel or. Motto—Fac et spero.
33) (Broughton, co. Salop; confirmed at Visit. Salop, 1623, by Treswell and Vincent, Deputies of Camden, Clarenceux, to Joshua Richardson, of Broughton, son of Thomas Richardson, of Whitchurch). Ar. three chaplets vert, quartering, Ar. on a mount vert a bull statant gu. armed or, for Ridley.
34) (co. Huntingdon; borne by Rowley Richardson, Esq., Superintendent of the India Branch, Admiralty, London, b. 1822, son of William Richardson, Vice-Admiral R.N., and grandson of William Bichabdson, Dispenser of the Royal Naval Hospitals at Plymouth and Haslar, and greatgrandson of William Richardson, gent., co. Huntingdon). Az. on a chief or, three lions' heads erased of the field, langued gu. in the dexter base an anchor, in the sinister a staff raguly, both bendwise, of the second. Crest—An arm in armour coupcd at the elbow, holding in the hand ppr. a sword, blade ar. hilt and pommel or. Motto—Virtute acquiritur honos.
35) (co. Kent; Rev. Mr. Richardson, Master of the Free School, Blackheath, 1726). Ar. three demi lions ramp. couped sa.
36) (Wilton House, Eltham, co. Kent; confirmed to Guildford Richardson, Esq., father of Walter H. Richardson, Esq., of Wilton House, whose grandfather, James M. Richardson, of Bierley, co. York, b. 1769, settled in London). Sa. on a chief ar. three lions’ heads erased of the field. Crest—Out of a mural crown or, a dexter arm armed, holding a falchion ar. grip vert, hilt and pommel or.
37) (Nantle Hall). Sa. on a chief ar. three lions heads erased ermines. Crest—Out of a mural crown or, a lion’s head erased ermines, crowned with an earl’s coronet gold, pearls ar. Motto—Trust in God.
38) (Gloucester; Robert Richardson-Gardner, Esq., of Cowley Manor, co. Gloucester, J.P., Deputy-Lieutenant for the Tower Hamlets, and M.P. for the borough of Windsor, who claims descent from Richardson, of Durham). Sa. on a chief ar. three lions' heads erased ermines, langued gu. Crest—On a mural crown or, a lion's head gu. Motto—Pretio prudentia praestat.
39) (granted 11 June, 1830, to Samuel Richardson, of Upper York Street, Portman Square, co. Middlesex, Capt. in the Marine Service, H.E.I.C., Bombay Establishment, second son of William Richardson, of Hackney, co. Middlesex, and grandson of John Richardson, of London). Az. a lion ramp. supporting an anchor erect with a cable or, on a chief wavy erm. an Eastern crown of the second betw. two lions’ heads erased sa. Crest—A mount vert, thereon in front of a dexter cubit arm vested in the uniform of the East India Company’s Marine, the hand grasping a scymitar ppr. pommel and hilt gold, an anchor in bend sinister with a cable of the last. Motto—Mea anchora virtus.
40) (Aber Hirnant, co. Merioneth; descended from a younger son of Richardson, of Knockshinnock, co. Dumfries). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. on a chief sa. three lions’ heads erased of the first; 2nd and 3rd. sa. a naked man with arms extended ppr. (formerly represented as hanging on a gallows). Crest—On a ducal coronet or, a unicorn’s head couped erm. horned gold. Motto—Virtute acquiritur honos.
41) Per fess ar. and az. a lion ramp. counterchanged.
42) (confirmed by Roberts, Ulster, 1647, to Edward Richardson, captain under command of Col. James Castle, second son of William Richardson; descended from Richardson, of Pershore, co. Worcester). Ar. on a chief sa. three leopards’ heads erased of the first, a crescent for diff. Cre.it—An armed arm holding a sword with a bush of thorns at the end all ppr. pommel and hilt sa. Motto—Plus spinia quam ferro.
43) (Thomas Richardsop, Auditor of the Public Records in Ireland, temp. Chales II.; Fun. Ent. of his wife, Ulster’s Office, 1652). Or, a fess sa. betw. three chaplets vert.
44) (Oaklands, co. Tyrone; exemplified to Mrs. Augusta Liviscount Richardson-Massy, widow of Hugh Massy, Esq., of Oaklands, on her nssuming, by royal licence, 1865, the surname and arms of Richardson, in lieu of Massy). Or, a fess per saltire gu. and erm. betw. in chief a bull’s head couped and in base a galley sa. (to be borne on an escutcheon of pretence on the shield of arms of her husband).
45) (Augher, co. Tyrone, settled in Ireland after the Rebellion of 1641; Archibald Richardson, temp. William III., m. the dau. and heir of Sir James Erskine, Knt., of Augher; William Richardson, his grand-nephew, was created a bart. 1787, and was ancestor of Sir John Richardson-Bunbury, Bart., of Castle Hill). Az. on a fess ar. betw. an ancient galley, sails furled, in chief, and a saltire in base all or, a bull’s head couped sa. Crest—A lion ramp. erm. in the mouth a trefoil slipped vert, holding betw. the forepaws a torteau charged with a cross crosslet or.
46) (Lord Cramond, in Peerage of Scotland; dormant sinco 1735. Sir Thomas Richardson, Lord chief Justice of Common Pleas, m. first, Ursula, third dau. of John Southwell, Esq., of Barnham Hall, co. Suffolk, by whom he had five sons and seven daus., of whom one son and four daus. survived him. He m. secondly, Elizabeth, eldest dau. of Sir Thomas Beaumont, of Stoughton Grange, co. Leicester, by whom he had no issue. She was created Baroness Cramond, in Scotland, by letters patent dated 28 Feb. 1628-9, with remainder to the surviving sen of the chief Justice by his first wife). Or, on a chief sa. three lions’ heads erased of the field, on a canton az. a St. Andrew’s cross ar. Crest—A unicorn’s head erm. issuing from a ducal coronet or. Supporters—Two horses erm. Motto—Virtute acquiritur honos.
47) (Bryntyfryd Pwllheli, co. Carnarvon; descended from Richardson, of Knockshinnock, co. Dumfries, claiming through them to represent Richardson, of Norfolk, Baron Cramond; H. T. Richardson, Esq., of Hryntyfryd, Pwllheli, co. Carnarvon, and late of Aber Hirnant, co. Merioneth, the present representative, is second son of Henry Richardson, Esq., of Aber Hirnant, J.P. and D.L., and grandson of Samuel Richardson, Esq., of Hensol castle, co. Glamorgan, whose father, James Richardson, Esq., of Knockshinnock, was second son of Richardson, of Knockshinnock). Ar. on a chief sa. three lions’ heads erased of the field, quartering, Sa. a naked man with arms extended ppr., for Dalzell. Crest—On a ducal coronet or, a unicorn’s head couped erm. horned gold. Motto—Virtute acquiritur honos.
48) (Pencaitland, co. Haddington, now Pitfour, co. Perth, bart., 1630). Or, on a fess az. betw. a bull's head couped in chief sa. and a galley in base, her oars erected in saltire of the last, flags displ. gu. a saltire couped ar., for Richardson, quartering, or, a fess chequy az. and ar. surmounted of a lion ramp. gu. armed and langued of the second, all within a bordure of the fourth, for Steward, of Urrard; az. three garbs or, for Cumming; ar. on a bend az. three buckles or, for Leslie; gyronny of eight or and sa., for Campbell. Crest—A dexter arm in armour grasping a dagger in pale all ppr. Supporters—A wyvern and an eagle, both ppr. Motto—Virtute acquiritur honos.
49) (Edinburgh, 1672). Or, on a fess indented az., betw. a bull’s head couped in chief and a lymphad, oars in saltire in base sa. a saltire couped ar. Crest—A bull’s head couped ppr. Motto—Virtute et robore.
50) (Scotland, 1740). Or, on a fess az. betw. a bull’s head couped in chief and a thistle in base vert, a saltire couped ar. Crest—A lion ramp. per fess or and az. holding in his forepaw a laurel garland ppr. Motto—Virtuti paret robur.
51) (East India Navy, 1768). Or, on a fess az. betw. a bull’s head couped in chief sa. and in base a ship at anchor, sails furled and hulk on fire ppr. a saltire couped ar. Crest—A dexter hand in armour couped at the wrist, grasping a broadsword in pale ppr. Motto—Virtute acquiritur honos.
52) (Keithock, co. Forfar, 1793). Or, on a fess az. betw. a bull’s head couped in chief sa. and a hawthorn tree springing out of a mount in base vert, a saltire couped ar. Crest—A unicom’s head ar. homed and maned or. Motto—Virtute honor.
53) (Edinburgh, 1836). Or, on a fess engr. az. betw. a bull’s head couped in chief and a galley in hase with oars in saltire sa. two fleurs-de-lis ar. a bordure gu. charged with eight bezants. Crest—A dexter arm in armour, the hand grasping a broadsword erect in pale ppr. Motto—Virtute acquiritur honos.
54) (Ralston, co. Renfrew, 1858). Or, on a fess az. betw. a bull’s head couped in chief sa. and a galley in base oars in action of the last, flagged gu. a saltire couped betw. two unicorns trippant ar. Crest—Issuing out of a ducal coronet or, a unicorn’s head ar. horned, maned, and unguled of the first. Motto—Virtute acquiritur honos.
55) (Hartfield, co. Renfrew, 1869). As the last, with a bordure az. for diff. Same Crest and Motto.
56) (Lambeg, co. Antrim; granted to Jonathan Richardson, Esq., of Lambeg, formerly M.P. for Lisburn, eldest son of John Richardson, of Lisburn, and grandson of Jonathan Richardson, also of Lisburn, both deceased, and to the other descendants of his said grandfather). Ar. on a fesse engr. per saltire az. and gu. betw. in chief a bull’s head couped of the third, and in base a galley ppr. four escallops, two in fesse and two in pale or. Crest—A lion ramp. ar. armed and langued gu. holding betw. the paws a laurel garland ppr. Motto—Virtute acquiritur honos.
Origin, Meaning, Family History and Richardson Coat of Arms and Family Crest
Richardson Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
This is a baptismal or patronymic surname meaning “the son of Richard”, with Richard being an old personal (first) name, or the Old Germanic name Ricard. The masculine Germanic or Celtic given name Richard/Ricard is derives from the French, German, or English word ric, meaning ruler, king, powerful, or lead and hard, meaning hardly, strong, or brave, and hence literally translates to “the strong in rule”, a name which became common thorough out nearly all of Christendom and the Holy Roman Empire during medieval times and the Middle Ages. It was introduced into England during the Norman Invasion of 1066 AD and became the name of three English kings, including the famous Richard I or “Richard the Lionheart”, one of the leaders of a Crusade to the Holy Lands in the Near East during the twelfth century AD.
This family was first located in county Cheshire, England in 1067 AD. Their ancestor was Hugh d’Avranche, the Earl of Lupus, who was born in 1047 AD in France, also klnown as “Hugh the Fat” or “Hugh the Wolf”, or “Hugh Lupus”. Hugh had a descendant named William Belwood, who was the Lord of Malpas in Cheshire. This William had two sons named David and Richard. The latter had a grandson named John, who is believed to be the first person to bear the surname Richardson.
Common spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Richardsson (Swedish). The personal name Richard has perhaps given itself to more surnames than any other, including last name like: Rich, Ritchie, Richards, Richard, Riches, Rick, Ricks, Rickson, Rix, Rixon, Ritson, Ricket, Rickkes, Rickards, Dix, Dicks, Dickson, Dixon, Dickens, Dickens, Dickenson, Dickinsson, Hitxhings, Hitchinson, Hitchcock, and Hitchcock.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Richardson ranks 74th in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following five states: South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, Indiana, Missouri, and Vermont.
The surname Isaac frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (64th), Scotland (156th), Wales (123rd), Ireland (476th) and Northern Ireland (337th). In England, it ranks highest in Huntingdonshire, Westmorland, and Durham. In Scotland, the Richardson surname rankest highest in Dumfrieshire. In Wales, it ranks highest in Caernarfonshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in Wicklow. In Northern Ireland, it ranks highest in county Armagh.
The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (152nd), New Zealand (102nd), Australia (76th), and South Africa (698th).
The 1890 book Homes of Family Names by H.B. Guppy, states the following in regard to this surname: “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; and the frequent occurrence of the contracted form of Ritson in the three first – named counties gives greater accentuation to its northern homo. Next distinguished for the name of Richardson are Notts, Lincolnshire, and Essex. This name takes the place of Richards in the north of England, and compensates for its absence or its rarity in nearly all the counties on the eastern coast. Excepting, Notts, which, may be regarded as lying between the two areas, the names are never associated in any numbers in the same county. Their combination in Notts gives that county further pre-eminence in respect of the different varieties of Richard as a surname The distributions of the various forms of Dick, the nickname of Richard, such as Dicks, Dixon, Dickens, Dickenson, etc., etc., require a separate treatment”.
George Fraser Black’s 1946 book The Surnames of Scotland, states the following in regard to this last name: “Thome filius Ricardi had a charter of the barony of Symundestone in the sheriffdom of Lanark from Robert I, c. 1315-21. Laurence filius Ricerdi was a tenant of the earl of Douglas in Louchurde in 1376. In 1359 Murdac Richardesson, Scottish merchant, and others, complained that their vessel was captured and sunk by the English during a truce. David Richardsone, servant of William Olyfaunt, had a safe conduct into England in 1425, John Ricardi held land in Aberdeen in 1451, and Robert Richardson of Scotland had a safe conduct into England in 1464, Jak Richardson held part of the Grange of Kerso before 1469. Duncane Richardsone was king’s pursuivant in 1529”.
Early Bearers of the Surname
The earliest known bearer of this surname was Murdac Richardesson, who was documented in Glasgow, Scotland in 1359 AD. The Poll Tax of Yorkshire in 1379 AD lists one bearer of this last name: William Richardson.
Richardson Family Tree & Richardson Genealogy
Richardson of Field House, Whitby
Christopher Richardson was Esquire of Field House, county York, of Lincoln’s Inn, and was a Barrister-at-Law and Justice of the Peace for North Riding. He was born in 1807 and married Marian Catherine, second daughter of Barnard Hague of York, in October 1860. The lineage of this family traces back to Christopher Richardson, Esq. of Whitby who was Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant in North Riding, born in 1752, the son of Christopher Richardson and Catherine Boynton, and in 1779, married Mary, daughter of John Holt, with whom he had the following issue: Christopher, John (married Margaret Barker), Boynton, William, Charles, and Martha. He died in 1825 and was succeeded by his son, Christopher Richardson, Esq. of Field House, Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant, born in 1780. He married Ann, daughter of Joseph Barker of Whitby, in 1806, and had two issue with her: Christopher (mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph) and Joseph Barker (married Mary, a co-heiress of Colonel James Wilson of Sneaton Castle). He secondly married Letita, daughter of Lieutenant-General Henry Rudyerd, and had two issue with her: Henry Boynton and Mary (married Philip Augustus Helpman). He died in 1866. The Richardson Coat of Arms (erroneously called the Richardson Family Crest) is blazoned in heraldry as follows: Argent, three chaplets of roses proper, quartering Boynton and Addison. Crest: A dexter arm erect couped below the elbow, holding in the hand a broken sword proper. Motto: Quod honestum est decet.
Richardson of Rich Hill
Burke traces the genealogy/lineage of this branch of the Richardson family tree back to the family of Richardson of Worcestershire, who in the early 1600s AD, settled in county Armagh. Major Edward Richardson was a Member of Parliament for Legacorry, Armagh. In 1661, he married Anne, only child and heir of Francis Sacheverell, and had the following children with her: William (Member of Parliament, married Elizabeth Reynell) and John. His son John Richardson, Esq. of Legacorry, also known as Rich Hill, was an officer in the army, as well as a High Sheriff in county Armagh in 1715. He was born in 1663 and died in 1745, having left two daughters and two sons with this wife Anne: William, Colonel Henry (progenitor of the Richardsons of Rossfad), Hester (married Reverend James Lowry), and Mary (married Archibald, 1st Lord of Gosford). His elder son, William Richardson, was Esquire of Rich Hill, born in 1709 and was a Member of Parliament. In 1746, he married Isabella, daughter of Daniel Mussenden of Belfast, and had a son with her, also named William. This William was also a Member of Parliament and married Louisa, daughter of Richard Magennis of Waringstown, and had two issue with her: Elizabeth, Isabella, and Louisa. In 1822, Louisa Richardson of Rick Hall, county Armagh, married Edmund, eldest son of Sir Edmund Bacon, 10th Baronet of Raveningham Hall, Norfolk, but by him, did not have children. The Richardson Coat of Arms (mistakenly called the Richardson Family Crest) is blazoned in heraldry as follows: Argent, on a chief sable, three lion’s heads erased of the first.
Richardson of Poplar Vale
Edward Richar(d)son was an Esquire of Poplar Vale, county Monaghan, Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant, High Sheriff, and Lieutenant of the 41st and 80th Regiments who was born in 1843. In 1873, he married Anne Charlotte, daughter of Robert Adams, Esq, and had three issue with her: Edward John, Robert Adams, and Frances Dorothy. This branch of the Richardson family tree claims to descend from the Richardsons of Honningham, Norfolk, and settled in Ireland, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Simon Richardson was granted considerable lands in counties Monaghan, Cavan, and Tyrone by King Charles II. He married Katherine, daughter of Robert Burgh, and had issue with her: Francis (married Edith Nollcot), Henry, and Edward (married Miss Coote). The second son, Henry, Esq. of Poplar Vote in county Monaghan, High Sheriff, attained by the Parliament of King James II, married Jane, daughter of Robert Maxwell, and had two issue with her: Edward and Jane (married Beaumont Astle). He secondly married Miss Gibson, of Ballykinlar, county Down, and had nine daughters with her. He died in 1730 and was succeeded by his nephew, Francis Richardson, Esq. of Poplar Vale who was Captain of Dragoons. In 1704, he married his cousin, Katherine Richardson and had five children with her: Simon, Edward (his heir), Christopher (1711), Francis (1720), and Dorothy. He died in 1764 and was succeeded by eldest surviving son, Edward. Edward was born in 1707 and in 1732, married Catherine, daughter of Thomas Paillie, Esq. of Dublin, and by her, had the following children: Francis (his heir), Thomas, Simon (married Frances Clements), Edward, John (married Miss Williams), Christopher (married Susannah Dawson), Mary Anne (married Captain Williams of the Royal Navy), Elizabeth (married Revered Edward Weeks), Catherine (married John Bolton), Dorothy (married Mr. Aston), and Sarah (married Pakenham Smythe). He died in 1761 and was succeeded by his son, Francis Richardson, who in 1767, married Mary Anne, daughter of Lancelot Fisher, and had children with her: Edward (his heir), Launcelot (1771), Francis Henry, Henry, George Arthur, William, Katherine Elizabeth, and Harriett Matilda. He died in 1782 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward Richardson, Esq. of Poplar Vale and High Sheriff. Edward was born in 1769 and in 1788, he married Alicia, daughter of Reverend Francis Lucas, of Coote Hill, and died in 1845, when he was succeeded by his cousin John. John was High Sheriff in 1846 and formerly a Captain in the army, who was born in 1794 and in 1834, married Elizabeth, daughter of James Wood Wright, with whom he had a daughter named Elizabeth. In 1840, he secondly married Frances, daughter of George Jacson, Esq. of Barton, and had issue with her: Edward (his heir), George Clements Kirkwood (married Edmundia Harding), Henry Francis, Thomas Ferdinand (married Victoria Coote), and Charlotte Susanna. He died in 1859 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward Richardson. The Richardson Coat of Arms (mistakenly called the Richardson Family Crest) for this branch of the family tree is blazoned in heraldry as follows: Quarterly; 1st and 4th, argent, on a chief sable, three lion’s heads erased of the first, for Richardson; 2nd and 3rd, ermine, on a canton azure, a St. Andrew’s cross argent as a coat of augmentation. Crest: Out of a ducal coronet or, a unicorn’s head sable crined and horned gold. Motto: Virtute acquiritur honos. The family was seated at Poplar Vale, Monaghan.
Richardson of Rossfad
Henry Mervyn Richardson was Esquire of Rossfad county Fermanagh, Deputy Lieutenant, and High Sheriff born in 1808. In 1834, he married Mary Jane, daughter of Charles Overden of White Park, and had six children with her: John Meryn Archdall Carleton (Major in the Fermanagh Light Infantry Militia and High Sheriff in 1868), Charles William Henry (Lieutenant of the 73rd Regiment), Jane Angel, Angel Catherine Charlotte, Emilie Margaret (married Reverend Robert Rigby), and Henrietta Mervyn (married Charles Robert Barton of The Waterfoot). Burke traces the lineage back to a branch of the Rich Hill family. Colonel Henry Richardson of Rossfad, was the son of John Richardson of Rich Hill. In 1766, he married Jane, daughter and co-heir of Launcelot Carelton of Rossfad, and died around 1794, having had a son named John. John was born in 1768 and in 1807 he married Angel, daughter of Colonel Mervyn Archdall, a Member of Parliament, of Castle Archdall, and died in 1841, leaving an only son, Henry Mervyn Richardson (mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph). This family bore the same arms as Richardson of Rich Hill, with a crest as follows: A dexter arm erect couped below the elbow holding in the hand a dagger. Motto: Pro Deo et rege. This family was seated as Rossafad, Ballycassidy, county Fermanagh.
Other Richard Pedigree and Family Trees
Thomas Richardson was born around 1575. He had a son named Henry. This Henry was born in London, England in 1597 AD. He married a woman named Lydia and had a son with her named John. John was born in the same city in 1633 and twenty years later he married a woman named Eleanor, with whom he had a daughter named Ann. Ann was born in 1653, married Valentine Bayley, and had a daughter with him named Elizabeth, born in 1678 in London, and she later married John Bettley and had issue with him.
Thomas Richardson was born in Westmill, Hertfordshire, and he married Mary Champney, with whom he had two issue: Israel and Thomas. His son Thomas was born in Wendron, Cornwall and he married Margaret Silverside, having ten children with her: Thomas, John, Elizabeth, John, James, George, Margaret, Susanna, Amos, and Edward. His son Thomas was born in Westmill in 1565 and married Katherine Duxford. They had the following issue together: Judith (Carter), Susanna (Brooks), Elizabeth Jane (Wyman), John, James, Samuel, Edward, Ezekiel, Margaret, George, Thomas V and Margaret.
Eleazer Richardson was born around 1600 and he had a son named Amos. Amos was born (likely) in Worcestershire, England around 1618. He came to colonial American. He married Sarah (last name not known) and Mary Smith and fathered several children: Mary, John, Amos, Reverend John, Amos, Stephen, Katherine (Sprague), Sarah (Clarke), Samuel, Prudence (Hallam), Catharine, Sarah, and Prudence. Her was a merchant and taylor, an attorney for Massachusets Colony & Stonington, and a member of the General Assembly. His son Samuel Richardson was born near Boston, Massachusetts in 1658. He married Anne Chesebrough and had seven issue with her: Prudence (Plumb), Anne (Avery), Hannah (Brown), Katherine (Thomposn), Sarah (Palmer), Mary (Holmes), and Samuel.
Early American and New World Settlers
William Richard was recording as living in Virginia (ouer the River) in February 1623, who likely came in the Edwine around 1620.Robert Richardson, age 20 years, came to St. Christopher’s aboard the Paul of London in April 1635.
George Richardson, age 30 years, came to New England aboard the Susan & Ellin in April 1635.
Symon Richardson, age 23 years, came to Virginia aboard the American in June 1635.
Thomas Richardson, age 26, came to Virginia aboard the Transport of London in July 1635.
Joseph Richardson, age 22, came to Virginia aboard the Transport of London in July 1635.
Joseph Richardson, age 18, came to Virginia aboard the Assurance of July 1635.
Luke Richardson, age 17, came to Virginia aboard the Primrose of July 1635.
Leonard Richardson, age 43, came to Virginia aboard the George in August 1635.
Robert Richardson, age 33, came to St. Christopher’s aboard the William & John in September 1635.
Manley Richardson, age 21, came to St. Christopher’s aboard the William & John in September 1635.
William Richardson, age 25, came to St. Christopher’s aboard the John in September 1635.
Henrie Richardson, age 21, came to Virginia aboard the Constance in October 1635.
Richard Richardson, age 36, came to the Barbados aboard the Falcon in December 1635.
Margaret, daughter of Richard and Elisabeth Richardson, was baptized in the parish of St. Michael’s, Barbados in April 1678, as was Mary (in October), daughter of William Richardson.
John Richardson was buried in St. Michael’s, Barbados in July 1679.
Anthony, son of George and Mary Richardson, was baptized in February 1678 in the parish of Christ Church, Barbados.
Early settlers in colonial America bearing this surname include William Richardson (Virginia 1623), Thomas Richardson (Virginia 1630), Ezekiel Richardson (Massachusetts, 1630), Henri Richardson (Virginia 1635), Sara Richardson (Virginia 1703), Roger Richardson (Virginia 1714), Rachel Richardson (Virginia 1714), Rachel Richardson (New England 1716), Harbart Richardson (Virginia 1717) and Ann Richardson (Philadelphia 1723).
In Canada, one of the first settlers bearing this name was Thomas Richardson, who came in 1815. In Australia, one of the earliest bearers of this surname was John Richardson, a convict from Glasgow, Scotland who came aboard the Asia in 1820 and settled in New South Wales (then a penal colony). In New Zealand, one of the first bearers was James Richardson, a 32 year old builder by trade who came to the city of Wellington in 1840 aboard the Aurora.
Early Americans Bearing the Richardson Family Crest
Charles Bolton’s American Armory (1927) contains four entries for this surname:
1) Erm on a chief 3 lions’ heads erased Crest: from a crown embattled a lion’s head of the shield. Motto: Pretio prudentia Crest engr. and used by Richardson of Md.See Richardson Sidelights on Md. Hist.
2) Quart of 6: 1 and 6: Arg [or?] on a fess az bet in chief a bull’s head couped sa and in base a galley [no oars] [sa?] a saltire couped arg; 2: Arg a lion ramp within a bordure gu; 3: Az 3 garbs; 4: Arg on a bend az Or buckles [or?] (Leslie); 5: Gyronny of 8, sa and arg Crest: a cubit armed arm holding a dagger erect Supporters: Dexter a wyvern, sinister an eagle, both ppr. Motto: Virtute acquiritur honos Bookplate Edward Richardson of Lincoln, Mass. Tiffany & Co., sc.
3) Or on a fess gu bet in chief a bull’s head and in base a galley sa, a saltire couped sa Crest: a lion ramp holding a chaplet. Motto: Virtute acquiritur honos Bookplate Thomas Richardson.
4) Sa on a chief arg 3 lions’ heads erased [ ] Crest: a cubit arm issuing from a ducal crown and holding a cutlass. Engr. on notepaper of Miss Marcia W. Richardson, Pontiac, Mich.
Crozier’s General Armory (1904) contains two entries for this name:
1) Charles Richardson, New York, 1792, London, Azure, a cable anchor supported by a lion rampant or, on a chief wavy ermine, an eastern crown of the second between two lions’ heads erased sable
2) Thomas Chesley Richardson, Esq. of New York, New York, Or, on a fesse azure between a bull’s head couped in chief and a lymphad in base sable a saltire couped argent. Crest: A lion rampant argent, holding between the paws a garland.
Matthew’s American Armoury (1907) and Bluebook contains one entry for this name:
Thomas Richardson, of Dublin Ireland, and New York, 1830
Amrs: Or, on a fesse azure, between a bull’s head couped in chief and a lymphad in base sable, a saltire couped argent. Crest: A lion rampant argent, holding between the paws garland.
I have identified 17 Richardson family mottos:
1) Virtute acquiritur honos ( Honour is acquired by virtue)
2) Quod honestum est decet (What is honourable is becoming)
3) Sibi constet (Let him be firmly resolved)
4) Memores fecere-merendo (Earning a memory (?) )
5) Firmus in firmis (Firm among the firm)
6) Constans fidei (Steadfast faith)
7) Confido in providentia (Trust in providentia)
8) In Deo et in ipso confide (In God and trust in him (?) )
9) Fac et spero (Do and hope)
10) Pretio prudentia praestat (Prudence is better than profit)
11) Virtute et robore (Virtue begets strength)
12) Mea anchora virtus (My anchor power (?) )
13) Plus spinia quam ferro (More than a steel spine (?) )
14) Virtute honor (By virtue and honor)
15) Firmum in vita nihil (Nothing in life is permanent)
16) Semper fidelis (Always faithful)
17) Trust in God
We have 56coats of arms for the Richardson surname depicted here. These 56 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it. People with this last name that bore an Richardson Coat of Arms (or mistakenly called the Family Crest)
1) Reverend Michael Richardson, M.A. of Queen’s College, Oxford and London, son of William, 17 June 1749
2) Richard Richardson of Brierley and Tonge, county York, 1754
3) William, son of John, of Rotherhithe, county Kent, and Newdigate, county Surrey
4) Wigton, county Cumberland, 1784
5) Charles, Post-Captain, Royal Navy, C.B., of Painsthorpe, county York
6) Samuel, Captain, Marine, Bombay, S.C. and 2nd son of William, of Hackney, sons of John, of London, 11 June 1830
7) Richardson-Bunbury, Royal License 20 April 1822, Sir John Richardson, 2nd Baronet
8) Richardson to Saunders, of Nunwick Hall, Great Salkeld, county Cumberland, and Ardwick Place, Manchester, count Lanc., 1837
9) Richardson, Alexander Haywood, of Old Broad Street, London, 1848
10) Charles Thomas, of Albion Street, Hyde Park, London, son of John George, of New South Wales, Merchant, 1685
11) late Massy, Mrs., widow of Hugh Massy, and only child of Major Richardson Brady
12) Reverend Henry Kemp, Rector of Leire and Guthlaxton, county Leicestershire, 1871
13) Thomas Shepperd, of Hilden Court, Cheddingley, county Sussex
14) Adolphus J., B. Med., London Hospital, 1885
15) Joseph Richardson, of Potts Hall, Whorlton, county York, with remainder to his brothers and to William Henry, 1885
16) W.R. , of Shortlands, Beckenham, county Kent, 1891
17) Sir Thomas Richardson, Member of Parliament, of Hartlepool, county Durham, son of Thomas
18) John Maunsell, Member of Parliament of Brigg Division, county Lincolnshire.
There are hundreds of notable people with the Richardson surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) Gordon William Humphreys Richardson (1915-2010) who was a British banker, lawyer, and Governor of the Bank of England from 1973-1983, 2) Elizabeth Hadley Richardson (1891-1979) who was the first wife of Ernest Hemingway and was born in St. Louis, Missouri, 3) Abram Harding “Hardy” Richardson (1855-1931) who was also known as “Old True Blue” and was an American professional baseball player from 1875-1892 playing for six different teams including the Buffalo Bisons, Detroit Wolverines, and Boston Reds, 4) Holden Chester Richardson (1878-1960) who was a United States Naval Officer who obtained the rank of Captain and was born in Shamokin, Pennsylvania, 5) Hugh Richardson (1784-1870) who was an Candian shipowner and captain who became the first harbourmaster of Toronto in 1850, 6) Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886) who was an American architect born in St. James Parish, Louisiana, who designed builds in Chicago, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Boston, Buffalo, and Albany, 7) Lieutenant Herbert Brian Richardson (1898-1922) who was a British flying ace in World War I, credited with winning 15 aerial fights, 8) Israel Bush Richardson (1815-1862) who was a United States Army officer born in Fairfax Vermont who served in the Mexican American War and the Civil War, 9) James Burchill Richardson (1770-1846) who was the 41st Governor of South Carolina from 1802 to 1804, 10) James Daniel Richardson (1843-1914) who was an American politician and member of the US House of Representatives from Tennessee for 20 years (from 1885-1905) who served as House Minority Leader for several years, 10) Jane Shelby Richardson (1941) who is an American biophysicist who was born in Teaneck, New Jersey who known for developing the ribbon diagram, a method of representing the 3D structure of proteins, 11) John Richardson (1679-1742) who was a British colonial Governor who was Deputy Governor of Anguilla from 1735-1741, 12) John Peter Richardson II (1801-1864) who was the 58th Governor of South Carolina, 13) Sylvia Richardson (birthdate unknown) who is a French Bayesian statistician associated with Imperial College in London, United Kingdom who made significant contributions to Bayesian methodology and the application of Makrov Chain Monte Carlo, and 14) Sir Thomas Richardson (1569-1653) who was an English judge and politician who was in the House of Commons in 1621 and was Speaker of the House of Commons, as well as later serving as Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.
Richardson Coat of Arms Meaning
The main symbol in the Richardson Coat of Arms (erroneously called the Richard Family Crest) is the lion’s head. There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. The head of the lion also appears alone on many coats of arms, but its use in this form is largely to enable a clear difference from similar arms that use the complete animal, and its significance should be taken to be the same as the lion entire, being a symbol of “deathless courage”.