Surname Saturday – Richards
September 24th, 2011 by Jessica

This week we take a look at the lineage of the Richards surname as it pertains to my family’s history.

Richards Family Portrait: Ann, Benjamin, May, and Frank

Richards Family Portrait: Ann, Benjamin, May, and Frank

Earliest Known Ancestor

My 3rd great-grandfather was Benjamin F. Richards.  Benjamin was born 14 May 1821 in Kentucky, and died 18 Jan 1911 in Eagle Creek Township, Lake County, Indiana.  He married Ann (nee Henderson or Smith) around 1858 and the couple had two children that survived to adulthood: Francis “Frank” Richards (1861 – 1936) and my 2nd great-grandmother, the lovely May Richards (1866 – 1959).

The general Fisher research community seems to agree that the line goes back to Johannas Frederick Wolf Reichert who was 1660 in Augsburg, Wurtenberg, Germany.  He brought the family to the USA and died in 1748 in New Hanover, Montgomery, Pennsylvania.  Johannas would be my 7th great grandfather.  However, I have not done the research to prove this line fully.

Lineage of the Richards Family

Lineage of the Richards Family


Jessica Marie Cole > Douglass Lyal Cole > Florence Mae Fitzgerald > Jennie Mae Fisher (1909 – 1993) > May Richards (1866 – 1959) > Benjamin F. Richards (1821 – 1911) > Samuel Richards (1794 – ) > George Peter Richards (1755 – 1822) > Matthias Reichert (1719 – 1775) > Johannas Frederick Wolf Reichert (1660 – 1748)

Items of Interest

  • Benjamin and Ann Richards are listed on the 1910 US Census, Eagle Creek, Lake County, Indiana (ED 43, Sheet 4B, Lines 64-65).  Benjamin is 90 years old and his wife Ann is 82.  They have been married for 52 years, and had five children but only two survived.  Curiously, he is listed as being born in Ohio and his parents in “The United States.”  She is born in Ohio while her father was born in Vermont, and her mother in Tennessee.  I am very intrigued by the words under Benjamin’s occupation: “Own Income.”  Was he independently wealthy?  Very interesting.

Family Notes

  • I’d like to locate the three children of Benjamin and Ann Richards that did not survive that are listed on the 1910 Census.
  • In a letter from Harold Richards to my father Douglass Cole dated April 30, 1982, he said that he thinks Benjamin and Ann may have had a baby girl that died young.
  • Harold Richards also said that Benjamin Richards’ father, possibly Samuel Richards, was “probably married twice.”
  • I’d like to locate the graves for Benjamin and Ann Richards.

Additional Information

Check out my Ancestry Family Tree for Benjamin Richards.

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