Joseph Ritchot was born in 1812 at Red River settlement in what is now the Saint-Vital district of greater Winnipeg, Manitoba. His father was Joseph-Michel Ritchot—a French Canadian voyageur who was the descendant of Jacques Nason dit Ritchot (1680-1729), who was born in a small village now known as Elliott, Maine. At the age of 8, Nason was abduced by a party of Abenaki Indians and French militiamen led by Hertel de Rouville. He was taken to the Mission St-Francois, on the banks of the Yamaska river and raised in the Crevier family of St-Francois-du-Lac. His mother Josephte Maillou, was the daughter of Antoine Maillou and a Sarcee woman. He married Marguerite Martel (ca. 1832), the daughter of voyageur Jean Baptiste Martel and Marguerite Dion, who was the daughter of Joseph Dion (of unknown parentage) and a Cree woman.
They lived a rather nondescript life, raising children and remaining in the area around Red River settlement throughout the early part of the century, being enumerated on the Red River settlement censuses in 1840 and 1843.
Joseph made application for scrip under the 1854 Treaty of La Pointe in 1871 while living at Saint Joseph, North Dakota, and he and Marguerite were enumerated on the 1880 US census for Pembina County.
In 1881, Joseph took scrip under the terms of the 1863 Red Lake & Pembina Treaty as a half-breed, receiving patent #342 for land north of St. Vincent, Minnesota. He also applied for North West half-breed scrip in 1885, stating that he had always lived in Manitoba before 1870.
He died in 1893 at Leroy, North Dakota, and is buried at the old St. Joseph cemetery there.