The Scottish surname Ritchie, also found in Ireland, is a pet form of the personal name Rich, a short form of Richard. Richard, the popular Germanic personal name is composed of the elements "ric", meaning power, and "hard", brave or strong. Early examples of the name include Duncan Richie, a kings messenger in Perth in 1505, John Riche witnessed an instrument of sasine in Brechin in the same year, and Robert McRichie also known as Makryche, of Glenshee in 1571, whilst Duncan Riche was the king's sheriff of Inverness in 1512. William Ritchie founded the "Scotsman" newspaper in 1817, and Alexander Ritchie was an Edinburgh artist in the early half of the last century. The name in Ireland is only found in the northern province of Ulster, most frequently in counties Derry, Tyrone and Donegal.
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