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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Place family come from? What is the English Place family crest and coat of arms? When did the Place family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Place family history?

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Place family name to the British Isles. They lived in Norfolk. Their name, however, is a reference to Plaise, Normandy, the where the family lived prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. This name can be traced to the Old French word plais, which meant an enclosure or coppice surrounded by a fence of living wood.


A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Place, Plaice, Plaiz, Plaise, Playse, Playses and many more.

First found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Place research. Another 201 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1771 and 1854 are included under the topic Early Place History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 23 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Place Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Place or a variant listed above:

Place Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Place settled in Barbados in 1634
  • John Place, aged 22, landed in St Christopher in 1634
  • James Place settled in Virginia in 1636
  • James Place, who arrived in Virginia in 1636
  • Mary Place, who arrived in Virginia in 1636

Place Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Rowland Place, who landed in Virginia in 1713
  • Lorentz Place, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1742

Place Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Godfred Place, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1856
  • Catalina Place, aged 19, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1858
  • Elizabeth Place, aged 59, landed in New York in 1862
  • Rees Place, aged 17, arrived in New York in 1862
  • William Place, aged 15, arrived in New York in 1862

Place Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Lewis Halvorson Place, who arrived in Wisconsin in 1910

Place Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Place, aged 37, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Amazon"


  • Etta Place (b. 1878), companion of the American outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • Mary Kay Place (b. 1947), American actress, singer, director and screen writer
  • Robert M. Place (b. 1947), American artist
  • Rear-Admiral Basil Charles Godfrey Place (1921-1994), British sailor awarded the Victoria Cross during WWII
  • Ullin Place (1924-2000), British philosopher and psychologist


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  1. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  6. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  7. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Place Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Place 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 13 December 2014 at 18:47.

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