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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, French, Irish

Where did the Irish Grace family come from? What is the Irish Grace family crest and coat of arms? When did the Grace family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Grace family history?

The surname Grace is generally thought to derive from the Old French word "grace," which means "charm" or "pleasantness." In some instances, it may have evolved from the Old French word "gros," which means "great," or "large." In either instance, the name was a nickname which evolved into a surname.


Church officials and medieval scribes often spelled early surnames as they sounded. This practice often resulted in many spelling variations of even a single name. Early versions of the name Grace included: Grace, Grase and others.

First found in Buckinghamshire, where they were descended from a Norman knight from Le Gras in Normandy, who arrived in England with the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grace research. Another 183 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1612, 1691 and 1652 are included under the topic Early Grace History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 67 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Grace Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Ireland experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape the horrific conditions. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Grace:

Grace Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Geo Grace, aged 25, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Robt Grace, who landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Roger Grace, who arrived in Virginia in 1637
  • Georg Grace, who landed in Virginia in 1639
  • George Grace, aged 40, arrived in New York in 1643

Grace Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Isaac Grace, who arrived in Jamaica in 1705-1706
  • Edward Grace settled in Maryland in 1726

Grace Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Saml Grace, aged 19, landed in New York, NY in 1804
  • James Grace, who landed in America in 1811
  • P H Grace, aged 33, landed in South Carolina in 1812
  • Samuel Grace, aged 36, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Solomon Grace, aged 26, landed in New York in 1812


  • Mark Eugene Grace (b. 1964), American former Major League Baseball player
  • William "Willie" Grace (1917-2006), American Negro league baseball outfielder and pitcher who played from 1943 and 1948, Negro League World Series Champion (1945)
  • John Hilton Grace (1873-1958), British mathematician
  • Helen Grace (b. 1971), English actress
  • Patricia Frances Grace DCNZM, QSO (b. 1937), New Zealand writer of novels, short stories, and children's books
  • William Russell Grace (1832-1904), first Roman Catholic mayor of New York City and the founder of W. R. Grace and Company
  • Doctor William Gilbert Grace (1848-1915), English cricket player


  • Grace Family of Louisiana by Desdemona Grace Redlich.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: En Grace affie
Motto Translation: On Grace, depend.


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  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  6. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  8. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  11. ...

The Grace Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Grace Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 16 October 2014 at 17:36.

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