Last name: Rice

Recorded as Rice, Ryce, Rhys, Reasce, Reece, Rees and Reese, this is regarded as a Welsh surname but is equally English. It originates from the pre 7th century Olde English personal name Ris or Rhys, meaning "ardour or sometimes "fiery warrior". The name first appears as "Hris" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles for the county of Cambridgeshire, in the year 1052, and as Rees in the Domesday Book of Cheshire, dated 1086. It was also the name borne by the last ruler of an independent Kingdom of Wales, Rhys ap Tewder, who died in 1093, after unsuccessfully opposing the Norman advance. The surname was first recorded at the beginning of the 13th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: John Rees, who appeared in the 1288 Fine Court Rolls of Suffolk, and Walter Rys, who was recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire, dated 1327. In 1536, Richard Rice or Price was the abbot of Conway in Wales, John Ryce appears in the Hearth Tax rolls of Suffolk in 1524, whilst on August 29th 1591, Griphin Rice and Agnes Careless were married at St. Margaret's Church, Westminster. An interesting namebearer was Edmund Ignatius Rice (1762 - 1844), who founded the (Irish) Christian Brothers Order in County Waterford in 1808. A coat of arms of the family has the blazon of a silver shield charged with an erminois chevron cotised black between three ravens. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Res. This was dated 1203, in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King John of England, 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2016

Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA!

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.
PayPal Acceptance Mark
Surname Scroll

Rob Rice
This is interesting. I wondered how there were so many Rices here in the states, when there seemed so few back home. My granddad (Joseph Rice) was from Ulster and moved to Glasgow - my dad and that side of my family always said that the real name was O'Mulcreevy which is supposedly from O'Maolchraoibhe. I don't think anyone knows how it became Rice. I wonder if it's time for the O'Maolchraoibhe Rices to change our names back, it somehow feels wrong that that connection was broken and scattered by the English. It would be nice to meet people and know you had the same ancestors more or less.

Kelli Rice
I need stuff on my Family Heritage for a project and EVERYTHING charges to find this out...

Nice to see all of you rice's, my family is Irish, I guess that makes sense.

brandy rice
i don't know much about my father - he kind of wandered off when i was a teenager. came here to learn something... i learned there are many a Rice out there.

I have always been told that I was German/Irish/native american. I am finding that our surname is Welsh. Not much to go on except my dad's parents Arthur Raymond Rice whom married Twyla Yvonne McClain. Still searching and also trying to learn more of my native american heritage. Any info would be greatly appreciated. My email.

Does anyone know my Father; Talmadge E. Rice? Born in Memphis, TN, his brother is Robert Rice and sister Mozelle Rice? Just curious to see if I have relatives I've never met before in that area as I'm from Southern California. I can be reached at

Does anyone know anything about my gggrandfather Humphrey Posey Rice from Cherokee co. Ga. He states on the census that he was born in SVC. I think his father's name is David Rice that came over to Va from Wales in 1833 but I can not find any proof of it and I can not find where Humphrey Posey Rice was buried. Last known address was Dalton Whitfield Co Ga 1880. Thanks for any help

That is (SVC) South Carolina Sorry for the typo

Interesting reading about the different Rice's. Mine are found back to the 1850's with connections to both Louth and Armagh Counties. Testing shows "Scottish DNA" and a close match using DNA has the name of Reece. At a road block now for this line since the church records end before my John Rice's birth in abt 1830. He first immigrated to MA and then WI.

Bradford Rice
My Family ancestor Henry Rice came to Nova Scotia from Ireland in the 1800's. He marrid a Rebecca Dewolf from Prince Edward Island. Have no info on his family in Ireland . I do know there was a coat of arms with Ravens on it.


I'm looking for Richard John who stated that he has a connection with a Rice from Chowan County, NC. I'm from there, and I would like to know more information. Please email me at


My ancestors John Flood came over from ireland on the Rice Family Boat is there anyway to find the name of the boat or the passenger lists?

Jhon Rice
My cousin and I are trying to put our family tree together. We have uncovered a lot but still have huge gaps contact us at We know we are related to Hamptons and Hardens. John Wesley Harden being one of them

Renee (Flood) O'Brien
My ancestors John Flood came over from ireland on the Rice Family Boat is there anyway to find the name of the boat or the passenger lists? This is the info I have from a Newfoundland Genealogy website: He came from Ireland to Newfoundalnd Canada! Flood is another old name that is no longer in Holyrood. Floods were involved with the operation of the ferry service between Duffs and Chapel's Cove all of Newfoundland, Canada. John Flood came from Ireland on a boat owned by the Rice family of Ireland. In the 1864 directory John Flood Sr., was listed as a ferryman while John Jr., Patrick and William were fisherman. I need help with this!!!!

Peter J Rice
I believe there were some Rices who came to Ireland via the USA. One of their ancestors being a navigator on one of Columbus's ships. Does any one know about this. The earliest of my ancestors I know of was Richard Rice 1849-1999 A cheese-monger in the hamlet of Peckham (South East London) who later had a shop (I believe fruit) in the Old Kent Road.

lucia rice
how many other rices are out there in the world??

Doretta Rice
I have tracing my father's family history. He and his parents were born in Lawrenceville, Virginia (Brunswick County) we related to Harrisons, Pelhams and Derry's. Griffin Rice was born in 1815, however, my family members were listed as Mullato.