Playce History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Playce is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Playce family lived in south-eastern counties of England. "More probably from a ' place,' or mansion. What is called in other shires a hall, or a court, is frequently known in the south-eastern counties as a ' place.' e.g.: Brasted Place, co. Kent, Wakehurst Place, co. Sussex, Crowhurst Place, co. Surrey." [1]

However, the name is also a reference to Plaise, Normandy, the where the family lived prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The family is "armorially identified with Plaiz, or De Plessetis, a Norman baronial family." [2] This name can be traced to the Old French word plais, which meant an enclosure or coppice surrounded by a fence of living wood.

Early Origins of the Playce family

The surname Playce was first found in various counties throughout ancient Britain as the name "is derived from a geographical locality. 'at the place.' " [3] One of the first records of the family was William de la Place who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. Later, Kirby's Quest listed John atte Place in Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of Edward III.) [4]

Early History of the Playce family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Playce research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1647, 1728, 1665, 1771 and 1854 are included under the topic Early Playce History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Playce Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Playce are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Playce include Place, Plaice, Plaiz, Plaise, Playse, Playses and many more.

Early Notables of the Playce family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Francis Place (1647-1728), English amateur artist, was fifth son of Rowland Place of Dinsdale, co. Durham. He was articled as a lawyer but due to Great Plague...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Playce Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Playce family

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Playce, or a variant listed above: John Place settled in Barbados in 1634; James Place settled in Virginia in 1636; Steven Plaice settled in Barbados in 1654; Thomas Plaice settled in Pennsylvania in 1682.



  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  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. ^ 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.


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