Richardson Coat of Arms

The use of surnames in Britain became popular around the Tenth Century A.D. Many people adopted the names of well-known or admired leaders such as King Richard the Lionhearted.

Richard, a Norman name meaning "hard or large", was adopted by a band of natives living near the boarder between England and Scotland. Their blood was perhaps mixed with the Norsemen who had control of that area for some time. Many of these men were strongly built and stood over six feet tall, which was very unusual for that time.

Richard the Lionhearted succeeded in getting many of these large, strong men to join him in the Third Crusade to the Holy Land. As new Christians these men were eager to prove their new faith in battle. History records them as some of Richard's best knights.

Some stories say that Richard granted these knights the use of his name by proclamation. Others say that they simply took it as reward for their service. With pride, they called themselves, and their children, and their children's children - Richardson.

In 1534, King Henry VIII removed the church in England from Papal control, but did little to change the theology of the church or its rituals. The ten years following Henry's death saw the church in England swing wildly between Calvinism and Calvinist practices and theology, resulting in great public unheaval. Elizabeth, seeing the results of this back and forth movement, imposed a religious settlement in 1559 that gave Anglicanism it's own identity by combining Catholic rituals and Protestant theology. While the settlement was welcomed by much of the country, it alienated both Catholics and the more extreme Protestants.

Many Richardsons were by that time Quakers, and although peaceful, they were persecuted for not adopting Anglican practices. They began to look for a place where they could practice their faith according to their beliefs.




The Richardsons in America

David Richardson was a Quaker, born in Pennsylvania in 1730. Other than his name, almost nothing else is known about him except that he had a son named John, born in the city of Philadelphia in 1751.

Perhaps part of the reason we know so little about David Richardson is because his son John joined the Pennsylvania militia shortly before the Revolutionary War, where he rose to the rank of Sergeant. It was common at this time for Quaker fathers to disown any children who took up arms. John probably never saw or spoke with his father or mother again.

John Richardson
1751 - 1837

Disowned by his Quaker father for joining the Pennsylvania militia, John later decides to move his fledgling family to Virginia during the later years of the Revolutionary War.
John Richardson
1779 - 1821

Looking for better farmland, John and several of his brothers and sisters move westward into the Ohio Territory.
Elisha Richardson
1808 - 1858

After years of successful farming and having raising a family in Ohio, Elisha takes advantage of a boom in local land prices move to Missouri where he eventually dies of cholera.
Lewis Kincade Richardson, 1879 Lewis Kincade Richardson
1828 - 1897

Upcoming farmer who takes advantage of a local land boom to transplant his young family from Ohio to Iowa.
Robert William Richardson Robert William Richardson
1854 - 1932

Carpenter and father of eight who lived most of his life in northern Iowa.
David Earl Richardson David Earl Richardson
1884 - 1967

Described as a two-fisted Irishman during his youth, Earl moves his family to the Dakotas where he becomes a homesteader and merchant.
Nora Fayme Richardson Okeson Nora Fayme Richardson
1908 - 1987

Growing up better able to pound a nail than sew a pretty stitch, Nora and her husband, Clarence Okeson, run a theater during the Golden Age of motion pictures.


Relationships to other families on this site.

   Sarah LOVE marries Lewis Kincade RICHARDSON in 1848.
   Nora Fayme RICHARDSON marries Clarence Wilford OKESON in 1935.



Names Index

BLOOM, Laura E.
BUCKHOLZ, Sophie
LOVE, Sarah J.
MANRING, Elizabeth
OKESON, Clarence Wilford
OKESON, Nora Fayme
RICHARDSON, David Earl
RICHARDSON, Earl
RICHARDSON, Edith
RICHARDSON, Elisha

RICHARDSON, Elizabeth
RICHARDSON, Gilbert Forest
RICHARDSON, Ida
RICHARDSON, John - 1751
RICHARDSON, John - 1779
RICHARDSON, Laura E.
RICHARDSON, Lewis Kincade
RICHARDSON, Mary Eve
RICHARDSON, Nora Fayme
RICHARDSON, Robert Monroe

RICHARDSON, Robert William
RICHARDSON, Roselba
RICHARDSON, Sarah J.
RICHARDSON, Selba
RUBLE, Laura E.
SCHLOTTMAN, Edith
SCHLOTTMAN, Henry
SCHLOTTMAN, Ida
SCHLOTTMAN, Sophie
WARNER, Mary Eve

A special thanks to Henny Evans at the Gallia County Historical Society, to Stefanie Richardson and to Nora Okeson for their contributions to the Richardson story.