Recorded in many spelling as shown below, this is a surname of Olde English and Welsh origins. It derives from the personal name "Rhys" meaning ardour, and its popularity is borne out by the number of surnames it has generated. The personal name is first recorded as Hris in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of Cambridgeshire in 1052, as Rees in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as Res in the Pipe Rolls of Shropshire in 1198. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below), and early recordings include John Rees in the tax registers known as the Feet of Fines for in this case, the county of Suffolk in 1288. The spelling variations include Reace, Reece, Rees, Reese, Rhys, Reis, Reiss, Rice, Rase, Raise, and Rays. Early surviving church registers for the city of London include the christening of Francis Race, on September 29th 1580 at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, and the marriage of John Reis to Mary Ann Dempster at St Anne Soho, Westminster, on June 30th 1816. James Reace, aged 17 years, was an Irish famine emigrant. He sailed from Belfast aboard the ship "Broom of Liverpool", bound for New York, on June 1st 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Res. This was dated 1203, in the Curia Regis Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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