Race History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The origins of the Welsh name Race go back to those ancient Celts known as the Britons that once occupied the hills and Moors of Wales. This old Welsh surname is from the Welsh personal name Rhys, which also took the forms Rice and Rees.   This name was originally derived from the Old Welsh forename Ris, which means ardour. 
Early Origins of the Race family
The surname Race was first found in Carmarthenshire (Welsh: Sir Gaerfyrddin), located in Southwest Wales, one of thirteen historic counties and presently one of the principal area in Wales. Sir Elidir Dhu who flourished temp. Richard I., was the direct descendant of the family of Rees of Killymaenllwyd, county Carmarthen. 
The name Rees appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 in Cheshire  and later as a forename, Resus filius Griffini was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Devon in 1178. Griffinus filius Res, or Ris was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Shropshire and Gloucestershire in 1198. In Lincolnshire, William Res was found in the Curia Regis Rolls for 1203 and later, John Rees was listed in the Feet of Fines for Suffolk in 1288. Later again, Walter Rys was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Worcestershire in 1327. 
"In 1115, Grufydd ab Rhys, Prince of South Wales, took sanctuary in the church of Aberdaron, from the treachery of Grufydd ab Cynan, sovereign of North Wales, who intended to deliver him into the hands of the English monarch, Henry I. The young prince escaped with his partisans by night, and set forward on his journey to the deep forest of Strath Towy, in South Wales, where, having collected the adherents of his family, he commenced hostilities against the Norman and Flemish settlers. " 
Later Cheshire, England became a stronghold for the family as the Wills at Chester listed: Thomas ap-Reese, 1606; Thomas Rees, of Tybroughton, 1647; and Giles Reece, coinmaker, of Chester. 
Early History of the Race family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Race research. Another 162 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1615, 1601, 1607, 1606, 1647, 1541, 1624 and 1616 are included under the topic Early Race History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Race Spelling Variations
There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Race have included Rees, Reece, Rhys, Ap Rhys and others.
Early Notables of the Race family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Edmund Prys (c. 1541-1624), Welsh translator of the psalms into Welsh verse, son of Sion (John) ap Rhys of Tyddyn Du in the parish of Maen Twrog, Merionethshire. Prys was a skilful composer in the strict Welsh metres, and took an active part in the bardic life of his time. 
Lewys Dwnn or more properly Lewys ap Rhys ap Owain (d. 1616?), was "Deputy-Herald for Wales, derived his accepted surname from...
In the United States, the name Race is the 4,921st most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. 
North America in the 1800s and 1900s saw the arrival of many Welsh people hoping to share in the wealth of land, work, and freedom that they felt North America held. Those who made the journey often attained those expectations, but only through an enormous amount of hard work, perseverance, and often a bout of good luck. These immigrants helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and culture of both Canada and the United States. Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Race:
Race Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Race Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Race Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
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:
Race Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Spes melioris aevi
Motto Translation: The hope of a better age.