THE ANCIENT HISTORY OF THE DISTINGUISHED SURNAME RICHARDSON
Research of the surname Richardson reveals it to be of Norman descent. The name appears in England from about 1066 and its history is prominently woven into the colourful tapestry which is an intrinsic part of the history of Britain. Professional researchers used such ancient manuscripts as the Domesday Book (compiled in 1086 by William the Conqueror), the Inquisition, the Ragman Rolls, the Wace poem, the Honour Roll of the Battel Abbey, the Curia Regis, Pipe Rolls, the Falaise Roll, tax records, baptismals, family genealogies, and local parish and church records to establish that the first record of the name Richardson was found in Cheshire in 1067/68 where they were descended from Hugh d'Avranche, Earl Lupus, Earl of Chester if Chester who held one of the most highest domains in the whole country. His descendant, William Belwood or Belward, Lord of Malpas (Henry 1st) in Cheshire, had two sons, David and Richard. Richard's grandson John Richardson was of the first paternal name of the Richardson.
Many references to the name Richardson, occurred from time to time, and variable spellings included Richardson. Richerson, Richarson, Richson, Ritson, Richason, Richeson, Ritcheson, Ritchardson, Ritcherson, and some of these versions are still used. Scribes recorded the name phonetically, as it sounded. Hence, it wasn't unlikely that a person would be born with one spelling, married under another, and buried under another.
The Normans, often incorrectly called Frenchmen, were, more accurately, of Viking origin. The Vikings landed in the Orkneys of Northern Scotland about the year 870 AD, under their King, Stirgud the Stout. Later, under their Jarl, Thorfinn Rollo, they invaded France about 910 AD The French King, Charles the Simple, after Rollo laid siege to Paris, finally conceded defeat and granted northern France to Rollo. About three generations later, Duke William, Rollo's descendant, invaded and defeated England in 1066.
The surname Richardson emerged as a notable English family name in the county of Cheshire, where John Richardson in Cheshire of Malpas and Irby, branched northward to Durham and settled in many locations in Durham, including Briary of Shotley Bridge. His successor Nicholas Richardson branched south to North Briary in Yorkshire. John Richardson, a magistrate of Swansea, also claims direct descent. Also descended are branches at Whitby, Ripon, Painstalk, all in the county of Whitby, at Lime Regis in Norfolk, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. Sir William Richardson (1603); Sir Edward (1619); Sir Thomas (1621); Sir Thomas (1651); Sir James (1651); Sir William (1744) (1830); Sir John (1819), (1846), (1875) are just a few of the knighthood's of this distinguished line. Sir William was knighted by Sheriff of London in 1830 at St. James Palace. They were elevated to the peerage as the Barons Cramond and in Scotland they settled in Dumfries at Knockshinnock. They intermarried with the Royal Stewarts of Scotland and a separate branch emerged in Perth, Haddington, Glasgow and Edinburgh. For those interested in further research of the early history of the surname we recommend the ancient Harlian Manuscripts which are in the archives of the British Museum. These Manuscripts are a Catalogue of the Herald's Visitations between 1510 and 1600 et.seq. Some histories go back to the Magna Carta Barons and earlier to Hastings. This distinguished surname Richardson of Durham is recorded in MS 1397 (f0 549) (and in various folios such as Buckinghamshire, Shrophire, Essex and Yorkshire) and many others. Notable amongst the family at this time was Barons Cramond. The surname Richardson contributed much to local politics and in the affairs of England. During the 12th century many of these Norman families moved north to Scotland in the train of King David of Scotland. Later, in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, England was ravaged by religious and political conflict. The Monarchy, the Church and Parliament fought for supremacy. The unrest caused many to think of distant lands.
In Ireland, settlers became known as the "Adventurers for land". In Ireland they settled at Oaklands in the county of Tyrone and at Augher in the same county.
News of the democratic life in the New World spread like wildfire. Migrants sailed aboard the fleet of sailing ships known as the "White Sails".
In North America, settlers which could be considered a kinsmen of the family name Richardson, or variable spellings of that same family name included Library of Congress: Henry Richardson and his wife Mary who settled in New England in 1637 with their five children; Peter Richardson settled in Virginia in 1638; William Richardson of 1641 Newbury in Maine and Woburn in Massachusetts in 1641. The Richardsons of Cleveland were Quakers. Alexander, Charles, Elizabeth, George, John, Joseph, Nicholas, Robert, Thomas, and William Richardson all arrived in Philadelphia Pa. between 1840 and 1870. In Newfoundland, John Richeson settled in St. John's in 1706; Edward Richardson was a soldier of St. John's in 1756, Thomas from county Tipperary, Ireland was married in St. John's in 1802; Joseph settled in Brigus in 1803; William settled in Harbour Grace in 1818; Mary Jane from Halifax was married in St. John's in 1833; Mark was a fisherman in Bonne Bay in 1853; Isobel Richerson settled in Virginia in 1642; Mary Richerson settled in Maryland in 1684. The Library of Congress (937/8 Pages) showed the Clevelands, Boston, Salem, Portland, the Woburn, Mass. of English are (USA) CS71.52 in 1880 and others. Trekking from the port of arrival many settlers joined the wagon trains westward. During the American War of Independence some declared their loyalty to the Crown and moved northward into Canada and became known as the United Empire Loyalists.
The family name was active in the social and political stream. There were many notables of the name, Richardson. Burton Richardson, Management Consultant; Elliot Richardson, Diplomat; Sir John Richardson, Engineer; Gordon Richardson, Australian Librarian; Sir John Richardson, Physician; Sir Ralph Richardson, Actor; Tony Richardson, Motion Picture Producer; Professor Walter Richardson, English History.
Research has determined the above Coat of Arms to be the most ancient recorded for the surname Richardson.
Certification # - 943320 - 12.11 H - 13782