This interesting surname derives from the personal name Brice (Latinized as "Bricius"). The name probably of Celtic origin, was borne by a 5th Century Gaulish saint, nephew of Saint Martin, Bishop of Tours. The name was consequently popular in France during the early Middle Ages and in England and Scotland after the Norman Conquest of 1066. One Bricius Judex is recorded in the Register of the Abbey of Aberbrothoc (Scotland), circa 1189, and a Bricius de Kyrkebi was recorded in 12th Century Social and Economic Documents of London. The surname from this source first appears in the early half of the 13th Century (see below). Recordings from London Church Registers include: the christening of Elisabeth Bryce on August 1st 1553, at St. Margaret's, Westminster, and the christening of Ann, daughter of William Bryce, on August 13th 1609, at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate. There is an old Lennox family, of the name Bryce, Adam and John Bryce in Braco were resettlers of outlawed members of Clan Gregor in 1613. A Coat of Arms granted to the Bryce family depicts a silver cross on a red and silver field lozengy (divided by diagonal lines transversely), the Crest being a gold griffin's head erased. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Brice, which was dated 1240, in the "Fine Court Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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