This name is of English and Welsh locational origin from any of the several places named with the Celtic elements "pen" meaning head or top, and "ros", a heath or moor for example, Penrose in Cornwall and Devonshire, and Penrice situated on the Gower Peninsula, Wales. One, Philip de Penros was recorded in "The Pipe Rolls of Cornwall", dated 1195. Arture Penrych(e), christened in St. Martin's, Ludgate, London, on March 14th 1548, was, most likely, of Welsh extraction. The surname Penrice is particularly well recorded in London church registers from the early half of the 17th Century.On February 6th 1633, Anne Penrice, an infant, was christened in St. Olave Old Jewry, London.The marriage of Thomas Penrice and Catherine Brittain took place in St. Olave's, Southwark, Surrey, on December 8th 1689. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Penrice, (marriage to Hanna Green), which was dated December 7th 1630, St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London, during the reign of King Charles I, "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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