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

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

The name Bryce originated among the descendants of the ancient Pictish clans. It is derived from the Gaulish saint Bricius, a nephew of St. Martin of Tours in the 5th century. From Gaelic, the name means quick or speedy.

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During the Middle Ages, there was no basic set of rules and scribes wrote according to sound. The correct spelling of Scottish names were further compromised after many haphazard translations from Gaelic to English and back. Spelling variations of the name Bryce include Bryce, Brice, Bricius, Bryse, Breise, Bryces, Brices, Bryses, Breises, Bryse, Brise, Briece and many more.

First found in Morayshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, around the 12th century. The name was originally Bricius, a Gaulish Saint of the fifth century, a nephew of St. Martin of Tours.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bryce research. Another 269 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1189, 1203, 1296, 1370, 1532, 1569, 1636, 1648, and 1696 are included under the topic Early Bryce History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 62 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bryce Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Bryce family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 85 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Scots left their country by the thousands to travel to Australia and North America. Desperate for freedom and an opportunity to fend for themselves, many paid huge fees and suffered under terrible conditions on long voyages. Still, for those who made the trip, freedom and opportunity awaited. In North America, many fought their old English oppressors in the American War of Independence. In recent years, Scottish heritage has been an increasingly important topic, as Clan societies and other organizations have renewed people's interest in their history. An examination of passenger and immigration lists shows many early settlers bearing the name of Bryce:

Bryce Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • William Bryce who settled in Virginia in 1654
  • Wm Bryce, who arrived in Virginia in 1654
  • James Bryce settled in Virginia in 1659
  • Malcolm Bryce, who arrived in New Jersey in 1685
  • Matthew Bryce, who landed in New Jersey in 1685

Bryce Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Alexander, Ann, Jane, Mary, and William Bryce, settled in New York, NY in 1774
  • Charles Bryce settled in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1774
  • Alexander Bryce, aged 46, arrived in New York in 1774
  • Ann Bryce, who landed in New York in 1774
  • Charles Bryce, aged 15, arrived in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1774


Bryce Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Nicol Bryce, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1805
  • Archibald Bryce, aged 51, landed in New York in 1812
  • James Bryce, who arrived in Mississippi in 1816
  • John Bryce, who arrived in New York in 1827
  • Jean Bryce, who arrived in New York in 1838


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  • Scott Macalister Bryce (b. 1958), American two-time Daytime Emmy Award and two-time Soap Opera Digest Award nominated actor, best known for his portrayal of Craig Montgomery on As the World Turns
  • James Wares Bryce (1880-1949), American engineer and inventor with IBM, he designed the first commercial electronic multiplier using vacuum tubes in 1946
  • David Bryce (1803-1876), Scottish architect
  • John Bryce (1833-1913), Scottish-born, New Zealand politician, Minister of Native Affairs (1879 to 1884)
  • Tommy Bryce (b. 1960), Scottish former association football player
  • James Bryce (1838-1922), 1st Viscount Bryce, British jurist, historian & politician
  • Quentin Bryce AC , CVO (b. 1942), Australian jurist & politician, 25th Governor-General of Australia
  • Robert Bryce PC CC FRSC (1910-1997), Canadian government administrator, Clerk of the Privy Council (1954 to 1963)
  • Sir Gordon Bryce (b. 1913), Chief Justice, Bahamas (1970-73)
  • George Bryce (1844-1931), Canadian Presbyterian minister and a prolific author, President of the Royal Society of Canada (1909 to 1910)

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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: Fiat justitia
Motto Translation: Let justice be done.

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  1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  4. 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).
  5. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  6. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  11. ...

The Bryce Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bryce 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 26 August 2014 at 21:46.

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