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

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

The origins of the Anglo-Saxon name Prince come from its first bearer, who was a person who acted in a regal manner, or who had won the title of prince in a contest of some sort. Prince is a nickname surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Nicknames form a broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, and can refer directly or indirectly to one's personality, physical attributes, mannerisms, or even their habits of dress. This surname comes from the Old and Middle French word prince, which means first.

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The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Prince has been spelled many different ways, including Prince, Prinse and others.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Prince research. Another 235 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1166, 1238, 1177, 1327, 1643, 1723, 1600, 1673, 1621, 1788 and 1831 are included under the topic Early Prince History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 213 words(15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Prince Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Princes to arrive in North America:

Prince Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Prince settled in Plymouth in 1621
  • Edward Prince, who came to Virginia in 1635
  • James Prince, who came to Virginia in 1638
  • Thomas Prince, who came to Virginia in 1639
  • Thomas Prince, who arrived in Virginia in 1639


Prince Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • John Prince, who landed in Bermuda in 1717

Prince Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • James Prince, aged 37, arrived in New York in 1812
  • George Prince, aged 33, landed in New York, NY in 1836
  • Nancy Prince, aged 30, arrived in Key West, Fla in 1842
  • Rufus Prince, aged 35, arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1847
  • Emilio Le Prince, aged 14, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1860


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  • Harold Smith "Hal" Prince (b. 1928), American theater producer who has garnered twenty-one Tony Awards, more than any other individual
  • Helen Prince (b. 1905), American astronomer
  • Bevin Anne Prince (b. 1982), American actress
  • Robert "Bob" Ferris Prince (1916-1985), American radio and television sportscaster
  • Charles O. "Chuck" Prince III (b. 1950), American former chief executive officer and chairman of Citigroup
  • Erik Dean Prince (b. 1969), former U.S. Navy SEAL, founder of Blackwater Worldwide in 1997
  • Faith Prince (b. 1957), American actress and singer
  • Jack Prince (1906-1971), English footballer
  • Ashwell Gavin Prince (b. 1977), South African cricketer
  • Francis Anthony "Frankie" Prince (b. 1949), Welsh former professional footballer

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  • Peince and Davis of Tennessee by Robert W. Layton.
  • Prince Family Prince: The Story of 1400 Princes across America by Pete Prince.
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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  5. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  6. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  11. ...

The Prince Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Prince 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 30 March 2014 at 18:28.

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