Peirce History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Peirce name is an important part of the history of the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Peirce is derived from the baptismal name for the son of Peter. In the religious naming tradition surnames were bestowed in honor of religious figures or church officials. In Europe, the Christian Church was one of the most powerful influences on the formation of given names. Personal names derived from the names of saints, apostles, biblical figures, and missionaries are widespread in most European countries. In the Middle Ages, they became increasingly popular because people believed that the souls of the deceased continued to be involved in this world. They named their children after saints in the hope that the child would be blessed or protected by the saint.

Early Origins of the Peirce family

The surname Peirce was first found in Somerset where one of the first records of the family was listed with an early spelling of the name: Richard Perys, 1 Edward III (during the first year's reign of King Edward III.) The same rolls included Robert Peres; Ralph Peres; and Adam Peres. [1]

Some of the family were also found in Cornwall. "The barton house of Davidstowe, [in the parish of Davistow, Cornwall] which is now inhabited by labourers, and Trehane, now occupied by a farmer, were originally seats of the Pearse family, from whom, together with their estates, they passed in marriage to John Nicholls, Esq. Since that time Davidstowe has again returned to the Pearse family; and, together with the great tithes, is now the property of William Pearse, Esq.. whose residence is at Holwell." [2]

Early History of the Peirce family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Peirce research. Another 110 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1520, 1548, 1615, 1667, 1661, 1667, 1622, 1691, 1674, 1726, 1630, 1694, 1697, 1714, 1719, 1510, 1603, 1629, 1691, 1772, 1845, 1625, 1699, 1612, 1645, 1690 and are included under the topic Early Peirce History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Peirce Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Peirce were recorded, including Pearce, Pierce, Pierse, Pearse, Pears, Peerce, Peers, Peirse and many more.

Early Notables of the Peirce family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Peeris (fl. 1520), English chronicler, clerk in holy orders and secretary to Henry Algernon Percy, fifth earl of Northumberland. Stephen Perse (1548-1615), was founder of the Perse Grammar School at Cambridge and Fellow of Cambridge College. Sir Edmund Peirce or Pierse (died 1667), of Greenwich, Kent and Holborn, Middlesex, was an English politician, Member of Parliament for Maidstone 1661 to 1667...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Peirce Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Peirce Ranking

In the United States, the name Peirce is the 10,034th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Peirce family to Ireland

Some of the Peirce family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 201 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Peirce migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Peirce family emigrate to North America:

Peirce Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • David Peirce, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [4]
  • Eliza Peirce, who landed in Virginia in 1643 [4]
  • Robert Peirce, who arrived in Virginia in 1643 [4]
  • Peter Peirce, who landed in Virginia in 1647 [4]
  • Richard Peirce, who landed in Maryland in 1649 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Peirce Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henry Peirce, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [4]
  • Prudence Peirce, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [4]
  • Tobias Peirce, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [4]
  • Anne Peirce, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [4]
  • James Peirce, who arrived in South Carolina in 1769 [4]
Peirce Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Peirce, aged 38, who arrived in Virginia in 1813 [4]

Australia Peirce migration to Australia +

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

Peirce Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Peirce, English convict who was convicted in Northamptonshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Earl Grey" on 4th October 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • Samuel Peirce, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Stebonheath" in 1849 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Peirce (post 1700) +

  • Hayford Peirce (1942-2020), American writer of science fiction, mysteries, and spy thrillers
  • Thomas Mitchell Peirce (b. 1865), American artist
  • Robert Bruce Fraser Peirce (1843-1898), U.S. Representative from Indiana
  • Benjamin Osgood Peirce (1854-1914), American mathematician, Hollis Chair of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at Harvard (1888-1914)
  • Alzira Peirce Albaugh (1908-2010), born Alzira Handforth Boehm, American political activist, artist and radio announcer
  • Silas Peirce (1793-1879), American grocer and politician, founder of Silas Peirce & Co, in Boston, Massachusetts 1815 which lasted for 111 years
  • Evelyn Peirce (1908-1960), American silent film actress, and into the 1930s
  • Daniel William Peirce (b. 1959), American photographer, author, entrepreneur and philosopher
  • Ebenezer Weaver Peirce (1822-1902), American brigadier general in the Massachusetts militia in the American Civil War
  • Kathleen Peirce (b. 1956), American poet, awarded a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
  • ... (Another 28 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. James P Peirce (b. 1900), English Chief Petty Officer Steward serving for the Royal Navy from Worthing, Sussex, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [7]
Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)
  • Peter Raymond Peirce (1948-1988), American Architect And Student from Perrysburg, Ohio, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died [8]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  3. ^
  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 August 2021). Retrieved from
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STEBONHEATH 1849. Retrieved from
  7. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from
  8. ^ Pan Am Flight 103's victims: A list of those killed 25 years ago | (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook