Historical information about people called Whitton or Ritch whose families came or lived at some time in Scotland
Clans, Crests, Coats of Arms and Mottos
No matter what you might come across on the Internet, neither of the Ritch nor Whitton families are Clan Names and have no Coats of Arms or Crests.
There is an English Whitton crest but there are no links with Scottish families.
At Morebattle near Kelso in the Scottish Borders there is a Whitton farm and its name is supposed to be related to a "de Whytton" but there is no proven connection with any Scottish families called Whitton.
Origin of the Names Whitton and Ritch
The English name Whitton and derivations comes from the Old English or Saxon "Dweller at the White Farm". The source of the Scottish name is unknown. Indications are that it originates from the Scottish County of Angus well before family records were recorded.
This is supposed to be
the "Ritch" tartan!!!
The "New" Orkney Flag
The majority of non-Scottish Ritch's surnames come as a diminutive of the Christian name Richard or from families who came to Britain from Eastern Europe called Ritch or Rich. The source of the Scottish Ritch surname is fully explained in information recorded on Ivan Saunders site about his Ritch family. He outlines how there was a Covenanters shipwreck at Deerness in Orkney when 2 prisoners with a surname of Richard escaped and stayed on Orkney chamging their names. One brother lived in Deerness and another on Hoy. This information has not been proved.
Emigration and Immigration
Scotland had its share of both arrivals and leavers called Whitton.
Whitten families came from Ireland and Whittom's travelled from England to work in the Clydeside shipyards.
In the later part of the 19th century descendants of both the "native" Whittons and the others left mainly to cross the Atlantic sea to the USA and Canada to escape the slums of Dundee and Glasgow and the associated illnesses such as TB.
In the 20th century they followed the main routes abroad mainly to Australia and New Zealand.
The Ritch families had a different incentive. Coming from mainly tenant farmers in Orkney and Shetland the small plots of land they worked by hand were unable to sustain the large families and the highs and lows of the fishing stocks made employment hard to maintain, so some left to farm the plains of Canada.
Some Adventurers joined the Hudson Bay Co. in Canada but most of these returned to Orkney.
The Mariners, travelled the world but apart from those who stayed in the USA and New Zealand most returned home.
The lure of gold and god were also evident and gold took people to South Africa, the Yucon and New Zealand whilst those who converted to the Mormon religion made their way to Salt Lake City across the Great Plains.