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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Belgium, English, French

Parris is one of the oldest family names to come from the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is 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]


The surname Parris was first found in Lincolnshire where one of the first records of the name was Lotyn de Paris in the 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. [2]

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Parris has undergone many spelling variations, including Paris, Parish, Parris, Parrish, Pares and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Parris research. Another 347 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1202, 1296, 1624, 1200, 1259, 1666, 1735, 1653, 1720, 1682, 1760 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Parris History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 151 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Parris Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Parris were among those contributors:

Parris Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Parris, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Thomas Parris, who came to Massachusetts in 1635
  • Arundell Parris, who settled in Virginia in 1642
  • Arundell Parris, who landed in Virginia in 1642
  • Arrundill Parris, who arrived in Virginia in 1653

Parris Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Joseph Parris, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Thomas Parris, who landed in Virginia in 1707

Parris Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Stephen Parris, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1856
  • William T Parris, who arrived in Arkansas in 1874

Parris Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Caroline Parris arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Cygnet" in 1836
  • Stephen Parris arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Cygnet" in 1836

Parris Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Emily Parris, aged 23, a housemaid, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Queen of the North" in 1874


  • James Parris, American actor, known for Belly (1998), When Will I Be Loved (2004) and The Butterfly Chasers
  • Teyonah Parris, American Black Reel Award winning and Screen Actors Guild Award nominated actress, known for Dear White People (2014), How Do You Know (2010) and Mad Men (2007)
  • Robert Parris (1924-1999), American composer and professor of music
  • Stanford Elmer "Stan" Parris (1929-2010), American lawyer and Republican politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia (1981-1991)
  • Albion Keith Parris (1788-1857), American politician and jurist, United States Senator from Maine (1827-1828), 5th Governor of Maine (1822-1827)
  • Patricia Parris (b. 1950), American voice actress, best known for her work as Shelly on Jabberjaw (1976) and Daisy Duck in Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983)
  • Alexander Parris (1780-1852), American architect-engineer, one of the founders of what would become the American Institute of Architects
  • Francis Sawyer Parris (1707-1760), English biblical scholar who played a major part in updating and standardizing the 1611 Authorized King James Version of the Bible
  • John Parris (b. 1952), English cue maker, founder of Parris Cues in 1984, one of the most renowned manufacturers of handmade snooker cues in the world
  • Matthew Francis Parris (b. 1949), British journalist and former Conservative politician, Member of Parliament for West Derbyshire (1979-1986)



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  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)

Other References

  1. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  5. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  6. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  7. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...

The Parris Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Parris 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 10 September 2015 at 08:37.

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