The Ricketts Family

Ricketts is an English medieval family name. The consensus seems to be that our surname is derived from many different origins. These influences include French and Germanic derivations since the name most likely migrated across the English Channel from mainland Europe around the 16th or 17th century. In researching our Ricketts family history we’ve found that our lineages fit neatly in this evolution of the Ricketts family name, with ancestors living in the west country of England during the 18th century.

ricketts family history

Surnames

It’s worth noting that throughout much of England surnames were not commonly used until around 1400s. In 1250, few people except the wealthy had last names, but by 1450, almost everyone had a one.

Ricketts Family Origins

The Ricketts family name is most likely derived from multiple origins, including French and Germanic variations. Indeed, well over 160 different surname roots have been identified by researchers including Raicote, Reekyts, Rykket,Riccuts, Riccatts, Richatts, Rickeet, Rykeytt, Rycote, Requette or Ricard.

This wide variety of name-roots gives weight to the argument that the Ricketts surname migrated to England from France. Due to significant changes in the French language over time, the same family names often devolved into numerous variants. These variants included with Germanic and Italian influences.

German Roots

Some researchers believe the Ricketts family name derives from the 7th century Germanic and Anglo-Saxon name “Richard.” Popular before the Norman conquest in 1066 it later became associated with the struggle of natives against the invaders.

French Connection

Other researchers suggest that the Ricketts name was initially associated with the Huguenots, who, fleeing religious persecution, left France in the 16th and 17th centuries. One Huguenot family with the name Ricquart or Ricard lived in Kent, before heading west and settling in Combe, in Hereford county.

The earliest documented occurrences of the Ricketts name can be found in the 1500s. However, it’s during the 1600s that the Ricketts name becomes more prevalent. Variants such as Riccats and Riccatts can be found on the Gloucester and Wiltshire border.

Ricketts Family and Dorset Roots

Historically the Ricketts family history is concentrated in the south and west of England. Concentrations of the name are found in Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire. Since our known Ricketts relatives can be found living in Dorset and the west country through the 1800s. This ties our family research neatly into this historical narrative.

There are also concentrations of Ricketts in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Again this fits our family history with relatives living in both counties and just across the Hampshire border in West Sussex.

On-going Research

As we dig deeper into the archives, we discover more about the Ricketts family history. It’s clear that even in the small Dorset villages there were several Ricketts families living at the same time. It can be difficult to unravel the different families when trying to tie them back into ours. We continue to research the archives to find answers.

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The Ricketts Family History and Family Tree

ricketts family tree
Ricketts family tree

Origins of the Ricketts Family Name

According to The House of Names, the Ricketts family name can be traced back to the 16th century in England. Originally a corruption of the French surname Ricquart or Ricard, it most likely migrated across the English Channel with the Huguenots. First settling in Kent the Ricquarts moved to Coombe in Hereford County. From here it’s easy to see how the Ricketts name became prevalent in the West Country, where we find our lineages of the Ricketts’ living.

Where Our Ricketts Story Begins

Our Ricketts family spent much of their known history living in the west country of England working the farms. Living far from the big cities, the Ricketts’ must have been caught up in the beginnings of the labor movement. It was in the small villages and countryside around Wool and Briantspuddle that the Tolpuddle Martyrs rebelled against the wealthy landowners and stirred the beginnings of the labour movement. This is the story of our branch of the Ricketts Family Tree.

The Ricketts Family Tree, the Story So Far …

Generation 1

1. HENRY1 RICKETTS . Died about 1808. He married Susanna on 25 Jul 1753 in Sturminster Marshall, Dorset, England.

Henry Ricketts and Susanna had the following children:

  1. JOHN2 RICKETTS was born on 27 Mar 1757 in Winfrith Newburgh, Dorset, England. He married Elizabeth Furmage on 21 Jun 1789 in Wool, Dorset, England.
  2. ORCHARD RICKETTS was born on 15 Jun 1760 in Winfrith Newburgh, Dorset, England.
  3. [2] HENRY RICKETTS JR was born about 1763 in Dorset, England. He married Charity Gaulton on 02 Jan 1788 in Wool, Dorset, England. She was born about 1763. She died about 1821.
  4. ROBERT RICKETTS was born on 22 Oct 1769 in Winfrith Newburgh, Dorset, England. He died in Jan 1852 in Wareham, Dorset. He married Jane Shitler on 12 Jul 1796 in Wool, Dorset, England.
  5. MARY RICKETTS. She died on 24 Jun 1762 in Winfrith Newburgh, Dorset, England.

Generation 2

2. HENRY2 RICKETTS [JR] (Henry1) was born about 1763 in Dorset, England. He married Charity Gaulton on 02 Jan 1788 in Wool, Dorset, England. She was born about 1763. She died about 1821.

Henry Ricketts (jr) and Charity Gaulton had the following child:

  1. [3] JOSEPH3 RICKETTS was born in 1797 in Wool, Dorset, England. He died in Jul 1844 in Wareham, Dorset. He married Mary Runyard on 02 May 1830 in Wool, Dorset, England. She was born about 1803 in Stoke, Dorset, England. She died in Jan 1875 in Wareham, Dorset.

Generation 3

3. JOSEPH3 RICKETTS (Henry2 (jr), Henry1) was born in 1797 in Wool, Dorset, England. He died in Jul 1844 in Wareham, Dorset. He married Mary Runyard on 02 May 1830 in Wool, Dorset, England. She was born about 1803 in Stoke, Dorset, England. She died in Jan 1875 in Wareham, Dorset.

Joseph Ricketts and Mary Runyard had the following children:

  1. [4] EDMUND4 RICKETTS was born about 1831 in Wool, Dorset, England. He married MARY ANN RICKETTS. She was born about 1831 in Stoke, Dorset, England.
  2. [5] WILLIAM RICKETTS was born about 1836 in Wool, Dorset, England. He died in Dec 1921 in Wareham, Dorset, England. He married Ann Cox on 05 Apr 1861 in Wool, Dorset, England. She was born about 1836 in Wool, Dorset, England.

Generation 4

4. EDMUND4 RICKETTS (Joseph3, Henry2 (jr), Henry1) was born about 1831 in Wool, Dorset, England.

Edmund Ricketts had the following children:

  1. ELIZABETH5 JANE RICKETTS was born about 1858 in Wool, Dorset, England.
  2. THOMAS ROBERT RICKETTS was born about 1860 in Knighton, Dorset, England.
  3. MARY R RICKETTS was born about 1861 in Knighton, Dorset, England.
  4. JOSEPH G. RICKETTS was born about 1863 in Knighton, Dorset, England.
  5. ELLEN RICKETTS was born about 1866 in Brighton, Sussex, England.
  6. ANNIE KATE RICKETTS was born in Apr 1870 in Brighton, Sussex, England.
  7. WILLIAM EDMUND RICKETTS was born in Oct 1872 in Brighton, Sussex, England.

5. WILLIAM4 RICKETTS (Joseph3, Henry2 (jr), Henry1) was born about 1836 in Wool, Dorset, England. He died in Dec 1921 in Wareham, Dorset, England. He married Ann Cox on 05 Apr 1861 in Wool, Dorset, England. She was born about 1836 in Wool, Dorset, England.

William Ricketts and Ann Cox had the following children:

  1. MARY T5 RICKETTS was born about 1864 in Wool, Dorset, England.
  2. SARAH A RICKETTS was born about 1866 in Wool, Dorset, England.
  3. SOPHIA RICKETTS was born about 1868 in Wool, Dorset, England.
  4. BESSIE A. RICKETTS was born about 1871 in Wool, Dorset, England.
  5. WILLIAM T. RICKETTS was born about 1874 in Briantspuddle, Dorset, England.
  6. WALTER J. RICKETTS was born about 1876 in Briantspuddle, Dorset, England.
  7. [6] GEORGE HENRY RICKETTS was born about 1879 in Briantspuddle, Dorset, England. He married Alice Maud Ricketts on 24 Apr 1907 in Athelhampton, Athelhampton, Dorset, England. She was born about 1877 in Tolpuddle, Dorset, England.

Generation 5

6. GEORGE HENRY5 RICKETTS (William4, Joseph3, Henry2 (jr), Henry1) was born about 1879 in Briantspuddle, Dorset, England. He married Alice Maud Ricketts on 24 Apr 1907 in Athelhampton, Athelhampton, Dorset, England. She was born about 1877 in Tolpuddle, Dorset, England.

George Henry Ricketts and Alice Maud Ricketts had the following children:

  1. WALTER JOHN6 RICKETTS was born about 1908 in Burlestone, Dorset, England.
  2. [7] CYRIL GEORGE RICKETTS was born about 1910 in Burlestone, Dorset, England. He died in Mar 1962 in Midhurst, Sussex, England. He married (1) FLORENCE MAUDE MITCHELL, daughter of William Henry Mitchell and Alice Maude Rose, in Dec 1938 in Winchester, Hampshire. She was born on 22 Nov 1913. She died in 2002 in Midhurst, Sussex, England.

Generation 6

7. CYRIL GEORGE6 RICKETTS (George Henry5, William4, Joseph3, Henry2 (jr), Henry1) was born about 1910 in Burlestone, Dorset, England. He died in Mar 1962 in Midhurst, Sussex, England. He married (1) FLORENCE MAUDE MITCHELL, daughter of William Henry Mitchell and Alice Maude Rose, in Dec 1938 in Winchester, Hampshire. She was born on 22 Nov 1913. She died in 2002 in Midhurst, Sussex, England.

Note: This tree represents just a portion of our research. It is far from complete and most likely contains inaccuracies. Most facts have been sourced from multiple places but in order to keep these trees clean and clear, I do not add sources here. I do, however, reference sources within individual story posts either through web links or at the end of the article. If you are pursuing your own research in these families, that’s great. By all means, build on what we have done, but don’t accidentally copy our errors into your research. Don’t blindly copy what we have done here and add it to your research/ancestry.com etc. without performing your own fact checking (then let us know where I went wrong!).