This long-established surname has two distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, Prise may be of Welsh origin, and a patronymic form of the Old Welsh male given name "Ris" or "Rhys" meaning "ardour, fiery warrior", with the fusion of the prefix "ap", son of. This name first appears as "Hris" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for Cambridgeshire, dated 1052, and as "Rees" in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Cheshire. Rhys ap Tewder, the last ruler of an independent kingdom of Wales, died in 1093 unsuccessfully opposing the Norman advance. In 1536, one Richard Rice or Price was abbot of Conway, Wales. The second possiblilty is that Prise is of early medieval English origin, and a metonymic occupational name for a fixer of prices, deriving from the Middle English and Old French "pris", price, ultimately from the Latin "pretium". In 1320, a Richard Prys was noted in the Feet of Fines for Essex, and on March 27th 1566, William Prise, an infant, was christened at St. Andrew's, Holborn, London. In the modern idiom the name is variously spelt Price, Prise Pryce and Pryse. An early settler in America was Edward Prise, aged 29 yrs., who travelled from London on the ship "George" and was recorded on "a Muster of the Inhabitants of Virginia" in 1623. Another, Thomas Prise was recorded at "Flower de hundred", Virginia, in February 1623. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Price, which was dated 1297, in the "Minister's Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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