Grice History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Grice surname is thought to be derived from the Middle English word "grice," which is in turn from the Old French "gris," meaning "grey." It was most likely originally a nickname for a grey-haired man. Although, there was also a Middle English word "grise," which meant "pig." [1]

While this etymology is typical, we must take the time to point out the Norman origin which is just as likely as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Richard de Grisy, as holding lands there in 1180. [2]

Early Origins of the Grice family

The surname Grice was first found in Norfolk where conjecturally they were, in 1066, Lords of the Manor of Brockdish, the King's land, whose feudal Lord was William de Noyers, Count of Nevers seated originally at Poitevin and St-Cyr de Nevers in Normandy. Sir William also held Grayhurst Manor through Bishop Odo from King William of Normandy. From this family also descend the Lords Monson and Viscounts Castlemaine. The original estates were sold in 1327. The village now consists of a church, St. Edmunds, which has both Saxon and Norman windows, obviously predating the Norman Conquest by many years.

The parish of St. Mawes in Cornwall has an interesting entry. One source asserts that the lands of St. Mawes including the castle "was first given to Sir Robert Le Grice, a Spaniard, by whose son, in the reign of Elizabeth, it was sold to Hannibal Vyvyan, Esq. of Trelowarren." [3]

Early History of the Grice family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grice research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1555 and 1651 are included under the topic Early Grice History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grice Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Grice, Gryce, Gryse, Grise, Grisewood, DeGrice, Grycie and many more.

Early Notables of the Grice family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Grice Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Grice family to Ireland

Some of the Grice family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 33 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Grice migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Grice Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Charles Grice, who was on record in Braintree, Massachussetts in 1651
  • Charles Grice, who landed in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1651 [4]
  • Thomas Grice, who settled in Virginia in 1665
  • Arthur Grice, who arrived in Virginia in 1683
  • John Grice, who settled in Virginia in 1686
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Grice Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Katherine Grice, an English convict sent to Maryland in 1774
Grice Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • H. Grice, who arrived in San Francisco in 1850

Australia Grice migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Grice Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Grice, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in December 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. John Grice, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 14 years , transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 13th March 1828, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Mr. Richard Grice, British Convict who was convicted in Shropshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 5th November 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land)1836 [7]
  • Richard Grice, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Alice Brooks" in 1839 [8]

New Zealand Grice migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Grice Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Ann Grice, (b. 1839), aged 24, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship "David G. Fleming" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 9th December 1863 [9]
  • Miss Emma Grice, (b. 1862), aged 8 months, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship " Lancashire Witch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th October 1863 [9]
  • Mr. George Grice, (b. 1838), aged 25, British farm labourer travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship " Lancashire Witch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th October 1863 [9]
  • Mrs. Sarah Grice, (b. 1842), aged 21, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship " Lancashire Witch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th October 1863 [9]
  • Miss Elizabeth Grice, (b. 1861), aged 2, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship " Lancashire Witch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th October 1863 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Grice (post 1700) +

  • Gordon Grice (b. 1965), American nature writer and essayist
  • Donald Matthew Grice (b. 1981), American mixed martial artist
  • Warren Grice (1875-1945), American Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia
  • Benning Moore Grice (1909-1988), American Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia
  • Keely A. Grice, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Charlotte, North Carolina, 1941-42 (acting, 1941-42) [10]
  • Joseph T. Grice, American politician, Member of Georgia State House of Representatives from Tattnall County, 1926 [10]
  • Jesse A. Grice (1852-1915), American Republican politician, Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1909-13 [10]
  • George Daniel Grice, American politician, Member of South Carolina State House of Representatives from Charleston County, 1967; Resigned 1967; Member of South Carolina State Senate 15th District, 1968 [10]
  • F. M. Grice, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from North Carolina, 1912 [10]
  • Edmund P. Grice Jr., American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Charleston, South Carolina, 1946-60 (acting, 1946-47) [10]
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1835
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ALICE BROOKS 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839AliceBrooks.gif
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 14) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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