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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Place family name to the British Isles. They lived in Norfolk. Their name, however, is a reference to Plaise, Normandy, the where the family lived prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. This name can be traced to the Old French word plais, which meant an enclosure or coppice surrounded by a fence of living wood.

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A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Place, Plaice, Plaiz, Plaise, Playse, Playses and many more.

First found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Place research. Another 201 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1771 and 1854 are included under the topic Early Place History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 23 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Place Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Place or a variant listed above:

Place Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Place settled in Barbados in 1634
  • John Place, aged 22, landed in St Christopher in 1634
  • James Place settled in Virginia in 1636
  • James Place, who arrived in Virginia in 1636
  • Mary Place, who arrived in Virginia in 1636


Place Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Rowland Place, who landed in Virginia in 1713
  • Lorentz Place, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1742

Place Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Godfred Place, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1856
  • Catalina Place, aged 19, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1858
  • Elizabeth Place, aged 59, landed in New York in 1862
  • Rees Place, aged 17, arrived in New York in 1862
  • William Place, aged 15, arrived in New York in 1862

Place Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Lewis Halvorson Place, who arrived in Wisconsin in 1910

Place Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Place, aged 37, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Amazon"

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  • Martha M. Place (1849-1899), born Martha "Mattie" Garretson, American murderer, the first woman to die in the electric chair
  • Robert M. Place (b. 1947), American artist and author, best known for developing the identity theory of mind
  • Mary Kay Place (b. 1947), American Primetime Emmy Award winning actress, singer, director and screen writer, known for Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1976), Being John Malkovich (1999) and Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
  • Etta Place (b. 1878), American companion and close friend of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; her real name is a mystery
  • Francis Place (1771-1854), English social reformer; his name is listed on the Reformers Memorial in Kensal Green Cemetery in London
  • Ullin Place (1924-2000), British philosopher and psychologist, best known for developing the identity theory of mind
  • Rear-Admiral Basil Charles Godfrey Place (1921-1994), British naval officer awarded the Victoria Cross during WWII


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  1. 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.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  7. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Place Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Place 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 28 August 2015 at 12:00.

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