Last name: Ritson

This surname, chiefly found in the northern English counties of Northumberland and Cumberland, and in Scotland, is ultimately believed to be a patronymic form of the male given name Richard, itself coming from the Old German "Ric(h)ard", a compound of the elements "ric", power, and "hard", hardy, brave, strong. The name is found occasionally in pre-Conquest Britain, but was popularized to a great extent by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. "Ricard" (without surname) appears in the Domesday Book of 1086, and the subsequent popularity of the name gave rise to a variety of diminutive and pet-forms including the Northern English "Rich" or "Ritchie", whence the patronymic "Richison", corrupted to "Ritson". In his "Memoranda", Joseph Ritson records the genesis of the word thus: "Richardson, Richison, Richson, Ricson, Ritson". On December 10th 1510, Elizabeth, daughter of William Ritson, was christened in Crosthwaite, Cumberland, and on September 11th 1624, Matthew, son of Nicholas Ritson, was christened in Whitfield, Northumberland. A notable bearer of the name was Joseph Ritson (1752 - 1803), antiquary, who produced his "Bibliographia Poetica" in 1803. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Ritson, which was dated April 8th 1565, a christening witness, at Crosthwaite, Cumberland, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.

jason richardson
My last name is richardson. Im having trouble finding where my blood hails from.

holly ritson

i was born in london and now in canada #goritson

Ritson Sousa

this is my first name, i born in Brazil =)

Matthew Ritson
Makes a lot of sense to me, but leaves out the whole legend of the Swordmakers of Solingen in the 17th Cent who came to England and made an armory in Shotley Bridge Northumberland, including: Oerlich - Oley - Olley - who had two (cousins) both called Richard. To differentiate, their own sons were called Richard's son, and Rit's son. The Cross Keys (tavern) there still displays a royal seal over the door won for the craftsmanship of two of the Ritson family members, one of whom designed an astonishingly flexible blade, and the other - my favourite - who produced a sword with a pistol concealed in the handle! :-)

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