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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The origins of the Welsh name Reece 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.

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Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Reece have included Rees, Reece, Rhys, Ap Rhys and others.

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. [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reece research. Another 245 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 161 and 1615 are included under the topic Early Reece History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Reece Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The Welsh began to emigrate to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s in search of land, work, and freedom. Those that arrived helped shape the industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. The records regarding immigration and passenger show a number of people bearing the name Reece:

Reece Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Gennet Reece, who arrived in America in 1654-1679
  • Roger Reece, who landed in America in 1654-1679
  • Ann Reece, who landed in New England in 1662
  • Henry Reece settled in Nevis in 1663 along with Jane
  • Richard Reece settled in New England in 1668


Reece Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Matthew Reece, aged 17, landed in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Jacob Reece, aged 49, landed in Pennsylvania in 1738

Reece Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John Reece, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1828
  • William Reece, who arrived in Alabama in 1858
  • Barbara, Jacob, Mathew, Thomas and William Reece all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870

Reece Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. Alexander Reece U.E. who settled in Cumberland Bay, Queens County, New Brunswick c. 1784

Reece Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Charles Reece, Jr., English convict from Worcester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • Eleanor Reece, aged 24, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Marion" in 1849

Reece Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • George Reece arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1864
  • Martha Reece arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1864
  • Emma Reece arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1864
  • Edwin Reece arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1864
  • William Reece arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1864


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  • W. K. Reece, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Georgia, 1920
  • Timothy T. Reece, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 8th District, 2002
  • Thomas Reece, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1996, 2000
  • Philip Reece, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County 31st District, 1907
  • Norman H. Reece, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from California 7th District, 1996, 1998; Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 2008
  • Matthew A. Reece Jr., American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from West Virginia, 1960
  • Louise Goff Reece (1898-1970), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from Tennessee 1st District, 1961-63; Member of Republican National Committee from Tennessee, 1967
  • Marynell Reece, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Kansas, 1996
  • Jasper N. Reece (d. 1902), American Republican politician, Adjutant General of Illinois, 1891-93, 1897-1902; appointed 1891, 1897
  • J. W. Reece, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1916

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  • The Reeces of Worcester, Mass. by Louise Elise Jackson Wilder.
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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.

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

Other References

  1. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  6. Rowlands, John, John Rowlands and Sheila Rowlands. Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1999. Print. (ISBN 080631620).
  7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Reece Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Reece 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 6 April 2016 at 16:06.

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