Page prepared by Donald Richardson from file provided by Max Maxfield.

Every man is a bundle of his ancestors - Emerson.


According to Camden's "Remains," Richard the Little, son of Lord Belward, soon after the Norman conquest had a son called John Richard-son, taking his father's name with the addition of son for his surname. "Hence came the name and family of Richardson." This is quoted in the "Richardson Memorial," and gives color to the erroneous supposition that the different families by the name of Richardson have descended from a common ancestor by that name. Nor does it add much to our knowledge to know that Richard was a Norman name. At the time that surnames came into use in England about the thirteenth or fourteenth century, Richard was a common Christian name among all classes. As Richard Grant White states, "the conquerors' language yielded to the strength and the foothold of the English speech, but their names were diffused all over England, and within less than a century and a half had almost wholly driven the English names out of the country." Charles W. Bardsley, an English authority on names, says, "The Norman list was really a small one but it took possession of the whole of England. * * * * Various methods to secure a personality arose. The surname was adopted and there were John Atte-wood, John the Wheelwright John the Bigg, and John Richard's son in every community. Among the middle and lower classes these did not become hereditary till so late as 1450 or 1500." Next to John and William, Richard was one of the names most frequently used during the four hundred years preceding the Reformation, and presumably hundreds of Richardson families derived their name from ancestors who had been christened Richard, but had no connection with each other. In Burke's "General Armory" for 1844 is given a description of the arms of twenty-one different Richardson families, but it is not known that any of the early settlers by that name, in America, had the right to use arms.

From: "AMOS RICHARDSON - of - BOSTON AND STONINGTON " By Rosell L. Richardson. Second Edition PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR. NEW YORK, 1906.

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