This interesting name has two possible origins. The name may be a patronymic of Welsh derivation incorporating the Welsh element "a" meaning "son of" plus the personal name "Rhys", hence ap Rhys, "Son of the Fiery Warrior". A second possible origin for the surname is as a metonymic occupational term for an official responsible for fixing the prices in markets, deriving from the Middle English or the Old French "pris" meaning "price". The surname from this source is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century. An alternative spelling "Prys" appears in the 1320 "Fine Court Rolls" of Sussex. Among the numerous variant spellings of the Welsh derived Preece are Preess, Price and Pryce. Preece is a relatively later and uncommon spelling of the name, but one Howell Preece is noted in Glamorgan registers as having married John (sic) Jennett on November 24th 1573 at Llandaff. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Apress, which was dated 1414, in the "London Letter Books", during the reign of King Henry V, known as "The Victor of Agincourt", 1413 - 1422. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017