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Where did the Brice coat of arms come from? When did the Brice family first arrive in the United States?

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Coat of Arms > Brice Coat of Arms

Brice Coat of Arms
 Brice Coat of Arms

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Origin Displayed: French

Origins Available: French, Scottish

Spelling variations of this family name include: Brisson, Brison, Brès, Bris, Brix, de Brix, Bresset, Bresson, Bressot, Brice, Brisse, Brisset, Brissonot, Brissonneau, Brissonet, Brissonnet, Brissot, Brissaud and many more.

First found in Normandy, where the family first originated, maintaining their status as one of the more distinguished families of the region.

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: René Brisson, who arrived in Canada in 1664; Madeleine Brisson, who settled in Louisiana in 1719; Henry Brissonnet, 20; who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1823.

(From www.HouseOfNames.com Archives copyright © 2000 - 2009)

Suggested Readings for the name Brice
"History of the Brice Family" by Agnes Brice.

Some noteworthy people of the name Brice
  • Fannie Brice (1891-1951), American illustrated song "model," comedienne, singer, theatre and film actress
  • Calvin Stewart Brice (1845-1898), Democratic politician from Ohio
  • William Brice (1921-2008), American artist known for his large-scale abstract paintings
  • John Brice Jr. (1705-1766), early American settler and Loyalist politician, member of the Governor's Council, twice Mayor of Annapolis
  • John Brice III (1738-1820), American lawyer, businessman and political leader
  • Carol Brice (1918-1985), American contralto
  • William Oscar Brice CBE (1898-1972), United States Marine Corps General, recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and Bronze Star
  • Louis-Adrien Brice De Montigny, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815
  • Air Commodore Eric J. Brice CBE, British RAF Officer
  • Russell Reginald Brice (b. 1952), New Zealand mountaineer


Clan Badge

Brice, sept of the Clan MacFarlane

Is your family of Scottish descent? If so, you can proudly display the MacFarlane Clan Badge. This clan badge is used by all septs of that clan.

Learn More About French Surnames


Inventaire Général des Sources Documentaires sur les Acadiens. (Universit‚ de Moncton)
Beaulieu & Morley, La Province de Québec
Dionne, Les Canadiens-Fran‡ais: origine des familles
Tanguay, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes
Tanguay, Complément au dictionnaire généalogique Tanguay


The Bretons were originally from the ancient province of Brittany which lies in the northwestern peninsula of France. Formerly known as Armorica, a possession of the Roman Empire, this land consists of a plateau with a deeply indented coastline, and is broken by hills in the west. However, the region was renamed Britannia Minor by the Romans, following the emigration of six thousand Britons across the English Channel, an event which took place at the behest of the Roman commander in Britain.



Ancient Brittany was inhabited by the Celtic Tribes of Veneti, Curiovolitae, and the Asismii in the 3rd century BC. At this time, Brittany was known as Armorica. It was the Romans that renamed the region Britannia Minor. However, the region's current name can primarily be attributed to the Roman General Maximus, who brought over 6,000 Britons under their leader Prince Conan, son of the King of Wales and Albany as he left Britain in the 4th century. Further immigrants from Wales and Cornwall occupied the region in the 5th and 6th region. From these people came Constantine, King of Brittany, who, it is said, was the grandfather of the celebrated King Arthur of England. The Celtic Breton language is still spoken today in the western reaches of the land.



The greatest of the Frankish rulers, Charlemagne brought a new ideal of kingship to Europe that had a tremendous influence long after his own empire crumbled. The kingdom of the Franks was one of the most powerful of the barbarian kingdoms of the Dark Ages. Founded after the fall of the Roman Empire, it included much of modern-day France, Germany, and the Netherlands, along with all of Belgium and Switzerland. Shortly before his death in 768 AD, Pepin the Short divided his kingdom between his sons Charles and Carloman. However, Carloman died only three years afterward and left Charles as sole king of the Franks.



The filles du roi, or King's girls, were women who were recruited by the French Crown to populate New France. In the 16th century, the French colonies were populated almost exclusively by men. Initially, the French Crown selected orphan girls, but they later recruited young healthy girls. In the mid-17th century, French ships carried hundreds of these women, who were often not over the age of 16, to Quebec. The king even provided "dowries" to the women, which consisted of clothing and household supplies. The women usually chose their husbands within two weeks of their arrival in the New World.



The French language was developed from the vernacular Latin of the Roman Empire, and is divided into three historic and linguistic periods: Old French, which developed before the 14th century; Middle French, which was used between the 14th and 16th centuries; and Modern French, which was used after the 16th century and continues to be in use today. During all of these periods, the French language was heavily influenced by other languages.



The region of Languedoc was named after the dialect used in that region: Langue d'oc means the language that uses oc for yes. The major rival to this particular French dialect was the northern langue d'oïl, which means the language that uses oïl for yes. Languedoc as a region included the southeastern portion of the Massif Central, a plateau in the south of France, and ran from the province of Roussillon, in the west, to the Rhône River, forming the border with Provence, in the east. Toulouse was one of the most important counties in the region as it held the capital of the region, which was also called Toulouse.



Following the chaos of the French Revolution, the nation of France was in dire need of a stable form of government which would continue the program of modernization begun by the revolutionaries. Ironically, the nation that had rose up against its absolute monarch was now in need of an autocratic ruler. The man destined to fulfill this role was Napoleon Bonaparte, (1769-1821) who ruled as first Consul after the coup d'état that thrust him to power in 1799, and as Emperor after 1804. His reign was an era of far-reaching social and political change for France. Education and local government were reorganized, the currency of France was stabilized, and a new legal system known as the Code Napoléon was instituted.



In the 1st century BC, Normandy saw one of its first great invasions by the Romans. The area was an important part of the Holy Roman Empire until the 4th century. In the 9th century, the area received its name of Normandy after it was raided by the Vikings, or Norsemen, from whom it took its name.



The former province of Anjou encompassed the areas of southern Armorica, Indre-et-Loire, and Sarthe. Anjou's capital city was Angers. Today, the area once covered by the province is part of the Maine-et-Loire department.



Auvergne is a region in the Central Massif of south central France. The Auvergne Mountains, a branch of the Cevennes range, are renowned as the highest peaks in the French interior.



Champagne is a former province of France, located in the northeast part of the country on the west bank of the River Meuse. Its main city is Troyes, and it is one of France's celebrated wine regions. In ancient times, the area was ruled by the Counts of Champagne.



Forez is a former administrative region of France found on the west bank of the Rhone river and extending to the Alps. The ancient tribes of the area were the Ligures, Celts, and Massaliotes.



The region of Gascogne in southwest France, known to Anglophones as Gascony, is bounded by the Bay of Biscay, the Garonne River, and the Pyrenees. During the Roman occupation, between the 1st century BC and 3rd century AD, Gascogne was ruled from neighboring Aquitaine. In 418, the Visigoths took the region, but under the leadership of Clovis, who conquered Alaric II in 507, it was reunited to the French kingdom. Gascogne was again conquered in the 5th century-this time by the Franks.



The French province of Limousin was divided into three departments, Correze, Creuse, and Upper Vienne, with the capital being Lioges. Limousin corresponds to the ancient provinces of La Marche and Limousin together.



The province of Gallic Poitou was a district of Aquitaine during the Roman occupation of northern Europe, from about 50 B.C.. The region was conquered by the Visigoths in the 5th century. The Franks overran the area in 507 and it was included in the duchy of Aquitaine in the 8th century. In the 8th century Charlemagne gave the kingdom of Aquitaine to his son Louis le Pieux. Louis passed this possession to Pepin 1st who held it from 838 to 848. From 848 to 855 it was ruled by Charles le Chauve. Charles l'enfant was ruler from 855 to 867. In 867 it was ruled by Louis II le Begue. In 879 Louis III passed the kingdom on to his brother Carloman and it was elevated to a Duchy. It returned to the house of Aquitaine in the 10th century and was established under the house of Poitou at its capital in Poitiers. Poiters had been Christianized in the 3rd century. It's first Bishop was St.Hilaire which became one of the religious places of Gaule.



Savoie in southeastern France corresponds to the provinces of La Savoie and of the Haute-Savoie (Upper Savoie). In the 4th century the term Sapaudia emerged which was translated as Savoie. In the 6th century the Franks invaded the region.



The Huguenots, officially called the Hu-Gnosticorum began in the sixteenth century, where the word Huguenot came to designate French Calvinist Protestants, members of the Reformed Church established in France by John Calvin in about 1555. Calvin diverged from Catholic doctrine in the rejection of papal authority and in the individual's right to interpret scriptures; thus placing the Huguenots in conflict with both the Catholic Church and the King of France.


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This page was last modified on 17 November 2014 at 09:22.

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