Show ContentsParish History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

It was among those Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled over Britain that the name Parish was formed. The name was derived from the Saxon tribe called Parisii who originally lived beside the Humber river in Lincolnshire. However, the name may also be of Norman descent as shown by the rather obvious reference to Paris, France. In this case, records show that William, Roger, Walter and Odelina Paris in a Normandy Roll 1180-1185. And about the same time, Hugo, Peter de Paris was listed in England c. 1198. [1]

Early Origins of the Parish family

The surname Parish was first found in Lincolnshire where one of the first records of the name was Lotyn de Paris in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls list Robert de Paris in London and Ralph de Paris in Kent. Roger de Paris and Simon de Paris were both listed as living in London during the reign of Edward I. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included Johannes de Parys.[2]

Somerset had an entry for the family: John Parys, who was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [3]

John Parisshe, Pareys was listed in Lincolnshire in 1462. Paris Hall in North Weald Bassett, Essex was named from Richard de Paris (1276), and is later recorded as Parrishe in 1593. "This development of final sh from s is found in other names including in 1319 in Wrabenash for Wrabness." [4]

By the late 12th century they were granted lands in Scotland by King David and Walter Paris was Bishop of Glasgow in 1202. John Paris rendered homage to King Edward I of England on his brief conquest of Scotland in 1296. Edward Paris was one of those who helped burn down the town of Dumbarton. Elspeth Parris of West Lothian was accused of witchcraft in 1624 (which usually meant she was unwilling to convert her religion). [5]

Early History of the Parish family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Parish research. Another 125 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1526, 1743, 1200, 1259, 1666, 1735, 1653, 1720, 1682, 1760, 1692, 1609 and 1582 are included under the topic Early Parish History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Parish Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Parish include Paris, Parish, Parris, Parrish, Pares and others.

Early Notables of the Parish family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Matthew Paris (circa 1200-1259), English Benedictine monk at St Albans, known as a chronicler and manuscript illuminator; James Paris du Plessis (c.1666-1735), English servant of the famous diarist Samuel Pepys; Samuel Parris (1653-1720), the Puritan minister in Salem, Massachusetts during the Salem witch trials...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Parish Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Parish Ranking

In the United States, the name Parish is the 2,127th most popular surname with an estimated 14,922 people with that name. [6]


United States Parish migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Parish were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Parish Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward and Eleanor Parish, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Tho Parish, aged 22, who landed in New England in 1635 [7]
  • Edward Parish, who landed in Maryland in 1662 [7]
  • Mary Parish, who landed in Virginia in 1664 [7]
  • Susanna Parish, who arrived in Maryland in 1673 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Parish Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Parish, who arrived in Virginia in 1711 [7]
  • John Parish, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [7]
  • Alexander Parish, who arrived in Maryland in 1720
  • George Parish, who settled in Maryland in 1749
  • Benjamin Parish, who settled in Virginia in 1756
Parish Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • David Parish, who landed in New York in 1809 [7]
  • George Parish, who arrived in New York in 1840 [7]
  • Samuel J Parish, aged 39, who landed in Key West, Fla in 1843 [7]
  • W L Parish, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [7]

Canada Parish migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Parish Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Ezekiel Parish U.E. (b. 1742) born in Canterbury, Windham, Connecticut, USA from Strafford, Vermont, USA who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1791 he served in Sergeant Peters' Militia, married to Mary Pennock having 6 children [8]
Parish Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • E Parish, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Parish migration to Australia +

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

Parish Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Abraham Parish, English convict who was convicted in Essex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Chapman" on 6th April 1824, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • William Parish, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. Joseph Parish, British convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Mr. Francis Parish, English convict who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Egyptian" on 5th April 1839, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [12]
  • Mr. John Parish, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Equestrian" on 30th June 1845, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Parish 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:

Parish Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Deliah Parish, (b. 1842), aged 20, Cornish settler departing on 21st October 1862 aboard the ship "Chariot of Fame" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 29th January 1863, she died on board [14]
  • Mr. Richard J. Parish, (b. 1839), aged 23, Cornish carpenter departing on 21st October 1862 aboard the ship "Chariot of Fame" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 29th January 1863 [14]
  • John Parish, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1865
  • Richard P. Parish, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Racehorse" in 1868
  • Caroline Parish, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Racehorse" in 1868
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Parish (post 1700) +

  • Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Sam E. Parish (b. 1937), American air force officer, the 8th Chief Master Sergeant
  • Mitchell Parish (1900-1993), born Michael Hyman Pashelinsky, an American lyricist, best known for his work on Broadway
  • Robert Lee Parish (b. 1953), American retired NBA basketball center who played from 1976 to 1997
  • Carol Parish, American politician
  • Peggy Parish (1927-1988), American children's author
  • Elizabeth Parish, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1936 [15]
  • David Parish, American politician, Mayor of Madisonville, Kentucky, 1950-59 [15]
  • David Parish, American politician, U.S. Consul in Antwerp, 1818-19 [15]
  • Dan C. Parish, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1956, 1960 [15]
  • Dan Parish Sr., American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from South Dakota, 1972 [15]
  • ... (Another 24 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Cornwall
  • Kenneth Thomas Parish (d. 1942), British Able Seaman aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [16]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  9. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 26th January 2021, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/chapman)
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1828 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1828
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/henry-tanner
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th January 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/egyptian
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th May 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/equestrian
  14. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  15. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  16. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A


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