Origin of Surname
This is a surname with the same source as Richard, a popular baptismal name from Medieval times to the present day. Derived from the twin elements of 'ric' and 'hard', and translating as "powerful ruler", the name spread throughout Europe in the early medieval period. It was no doubt considerably helped in its popularity by its meaning, but the greatest impetus to its success came in the 12th century with the legendary exploits of King Richard 1st of England, (and much of France). He was the most prominent leader of the famous Crusades to free the Holy Land, and he became known throughout Christendom as 'Coeur de Leon'.
The surname was known in Jersey as early as 1550, when Catlyne, Cohn and Jo Ricard are listed in the Jersey Chantry Certificate. The first church records are found in Grouville in the 1580s, but there is no further record of the family in that parish and the great majority of Ricards lived in St Brelade and St Ouen.
It appears that the original St Brelade family may have died out after brothers Mathurin and George emigrated to the USA, but the family became re-established in the parish when a branch of the St Ouen Ricards settled there (see family trees below). It is possible to account for almost all the 125 Ricard baptisms in single tree, but there are a small number of church records in St Lawrence and St Peter for which no link has yet been established.
From where the first Ricards arrived in Jersey is by no means certain. American researchers favour a John Rycardes (1564-1640) from England as the origin of their branch, but this conflicts with the fact that the Ricard family was established in Jersey at least 14 years before his birth. Perhaps there was more than one source.
There was certainly a different beginning for the St Ouen branch from that shown on this website up to May 2014. Payne's Armorial of Jersey shows at the head of the tree Pierre Ricard, born in St Ouen about 1597, marrying Elizabeth Botterel and then Rachel du Lang. But an examination of St Ouen church records shows that Pierre was not the father of some (possibly all) the children attributed to him with either wife, and that he was not married to Elizabeth Botterel. Pierre and Elizabeth were godparents of Francois Ricard, Constable of St Ouen, but were not married to each other, so could not have been his grandparents as Payne assumed, and many trees have copied since.
Ricard is a surname well known, both in England and France. Thomas Ricard was a colonel in the army of Charles I, and was killed at the siege of Lichfield. His son, Thomas Ricard, alias Ricketts, was a captain under Cromwell, and accompanied the expedition, under Penn and Venables, to the West Indies. Guillim, in his Display of Heraldrie, edition 1660, gives the arms of Alderman Ricard, of London, which differ but slightly from those borne by the Jersey family.
In France, Jacques Ricard, de Genouillac, was General of Artillery, and was killed at the battle of St Aubin-du-Cormier, 25 July 1488. Of this family was Jean-Francois Ricard, de Gourdon, Count de Vaillac, and Marquis de Roulaye, wbo died in Paris in 1696. Francis I gave the command of the Castle of Madrid to Pierre Ricard, de la Chevalleraye, on account of his signal services at the battle of Pavia.
In Jersey, the family has been settled for several centuries. In the parish of St Peter exists the fief es Ricards, formerly held by the yearly tender to the Crown of a pair of white spurs.
- Ricard, 1528
- Richard, 1528
- Les Ricardeis, 1331
- Ricardeis c1200
- Ricardi, 1299
- Ricard baptisms in Jersey
- Ricard marriages in Jersey (groom)
- Ricard marriages in Jersey (bride)
- Ricard burials in Jersey
Great War service
Aliens Law registration card for Rosalie Richard, nee Traisnel, born in St Remy des Landes, Manche, Normandy
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