Recorded as Paris, Parris, Parrish, and Parish, there are at least three possible sources for this early medieval surname. The first is that it is locational, and as such describes either somebody from the French capital of Paris, itself a derivation from the Gaulish tribe of the "Parisii", or it maybe English from one of the villages called Paris, such as Paris, near Huddersfield, in West Yorkshire. The second possible origin is that it may derive from the rare medieval given name Paris, which could be associated with the Trojan prince of the same name. This is ancient enough, but it has been traced to an original Ulyrian personal name "Voltuparis" meaning "hawk". Thirdly it may derive from the pre medieval word "parysche", the modern parish, and describe a religious division. Early examples of recordings include: Willemus de Parysch in the Poll Tax rolls for Yorkshire in the year 1379, and the christening of Winnifride Parrish on October 1st 1602, at the Holy Trinity in the Minories. In the earliest registers of the New England colonies, Thomas Parrish was recorded as living in "Elizabeth Cittie, Virginiea", on February 16th 1623. Perhaps the earliest recording of thesurname is that of Lotyn de Paris of the county of Lincolnshire. He appears in the Hundred Rolls for the year 1273. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was usually known as the 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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