Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Variants: Ricardes, Ricardys, Richardes, Rickard
Category: 1 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is in its early stages.
Contact: Mr Henry Campbell-Ricketts
It is likely that that the Rickards surname is patronymic, indicating that early holders were the sons of a man called Richard. On this basis, it stands to reason that the surname arose multiple times, in unrelated families and in diverse locations. Surname adoption in England began with the Domesday Book (1086) and was common practise by 1400. One particular Rickards line, from Berkeley in Gloucestershire, is well recorded with spellings of the name including Ricardys in 1383, Ricardes in 1374 and Richardes in 1315.
Whilst the name Rickard probably shares a common etymological origin, it is not yet clear whether or not there are any genetic links. Further study should provide the answer.
Professor Richard Barrie Rickards, Emeritus Professor in Palaeontology and Biostratigraphy at the Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University
Edwin Alfred Rickards, architect who designed Methodist Central Hall, London
Esther Rickards, surgeon and politician
Sir George Kettilby Rickards, political economist
John Ezra Rickards, Governor of the State of Montana Wikitree profile
George Rickards, British politician
John Rickards, crime writer
John Witherston Rickards, South African Anglican priest
Ken Rickards, West Indian cricketer
Samuel Rickards, British clergyman Wikitree profile
Scott Rickards, English footballer
Tudor Rickards, Welsh academic and author
Arnold Robert Rickards, the first Englishman to play international rugby for Wales
The Rickards name is widespread now, with occurences in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and no doubt beyond. The image below shows prevalence based on the totals in the 1881 census, or in the case of Ireland Griffith's Valuation 1853-1865. By 1881, London's population was significantly composed of economic migrants, meaning that holders of the name in this area may have had origins elsewhere.
A full list of all Rickards indivuals on Wikitree can be seen here.
This map is produced using a tool on Rob Spencer's website http://scaledinnovation.com
This image shows the descendant list of Samuel Ricketts/Rickards, and a live version with clickable links can be seen by clicking here, simply select 'descendants' and sort as you wish.
This is just one line, there are others that are unrelated. Future Y-DNA testing will allow the discovery of these lines.
Genealogists make use of three types of DNA tests, all of which have their strengths and limitations.
As the Rickards surname is prominent in Gloucestershire and the Severn Estuary, a DNA project has been set up which can be found by clicking this link.
Males with patrilineal Rickards origins are encouraged to take a Y-DNA test and funding may be available in some cases.
Facebook group for anyone interested in the Rickards surname
Twitter account for Rickards afficianados
Gloucestershire and Severn Estuary DNA Project
Samuel Rickards on Wikitree
You may find our other Guild websites of interest: