Show ContentsParris History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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]

Early Origins of the Parris family

The surname Parris 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 Parris family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Parris 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 Parris History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Parris Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Parris 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 Parris Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Parris Ranking

In the United States, the name Parris is the 2,331st most popular surname with an estimated 12,435 people with that name. [6]

United States Parris migration to the United States +

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 settled in Massachusetts in 1635
  • Arundell Parris, who landed in Virginia in 1642 [7]
  • Arrundill Parris, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [7]
  • John Parris, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Parris Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Parris, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [7]
  • Thomas Parris, who landed in Virginia in 1707 [7]
Parris Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Stephen Parris, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1856 [7]
  • William T Parris, who arrived in Arkansas in 1874 [7]

Australia Parris migration to Australia +

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

Parris Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Caroline Parris, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Cygnet" in 1836 [8]
  • Stephen Parris, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Cygnet" in 1836 [8]

New Zealand Parris 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:

Parris Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Emily Parris, aged 23, a housemaid, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Queen of the North" in 1874

West Indies Parris migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [9]
Parris Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Edward Parris, who settled in Barbados in 1680

Contemporary Notables of the name Parris (post 1700) +

  • Rebecca Parris (1951-2018), American jazz singer
  • 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
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Rudy Parris (1945-1985), American Captain from Hopkinsville, Kentucky, USA who died in the Arrow Air Flight 1285 crash [10]

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Cygnet arrived Holdfast Bay, Adealide Sept. 11, 1836. Retrieved from
  10. American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from on Facebook