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

Origins Available: French, Welsh

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

The origins of the Welsh name Rees 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 not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Rees has seen various spelling variations: 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 Rees research. Another 245 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 161 and 1615 are included under the topic Early Rees History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Rees

Rees Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Rees settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Andries Rees, who landed in New York in 1664
  • Gwen Rees, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1678-1679
  • Ellin Rees, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1678-1679
  • Ellis Rees, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1678-1679


Rees Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Hans Rees, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1754
  • Jacob Rees, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1760
  • Dietrick Rees, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1764
  • Catherina Rees, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1797
  • Johanes Rees, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1797


Rees Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Elis Rees, who arrived in North America in 1832-1849
  • Conrad Rees, who landed in North America in 1832-1849
  • Johannes Rees, who landed in North America in 1832-1849
  • Johann Werner Rees, who landed in North America in 1832-1849
  • Jenkins Rees, aged 21, landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1838


Rees Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Elizabeth Rees, aged 19, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Marion"
  • Elizabeth Rees, aged 19, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Marion" in 1849
  • Price Rees, aged 33, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "China"
  • Daniel Rees, aged 33, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sea Park"
  • Zacharia Rees, aged 43, a miner, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sea Park"


Rees Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • George Rees, aged 31, a surgeon, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" in 1841
  • Benjamin Rees, aged 31, a blacksmith, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • Hugh Rees, aged 33, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Anne Longton" in 1860
  • Martha Rees, aged 28, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Anne Longton" in 1860
  • Sarah Rees, aged 10, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Anne Longton" in 1860


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  • Griffith Rees, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Indiana, 1952, 1956
  • Frederick P. Rees, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Mercer County, 1900-01
  • Edward Herbert Rees (1886-1969), American Republican politician, Member of Kansas State House of Representatives, 1927-33; Member of Kansas State Senate, 1933-35; U.S. Representative from Kansas 4th District, 1937-61
  • Diane D. Rees, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Colorado, 1972
  • David Rees, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 2008
  • David Rees, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Tioga County, 1857
  • Cleveland Rees, American politician, Member of Georgia State House of Representatives from Webster County, 1937-42; Circuit Judge in Georgia Southwestern Circuit, 1953
  • Caroline B. Rees, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1972
  • Calvin D. Rees Jr., American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oklahoma, 2000 (alternate), 2004
  • Brian M. Rees, American politician, Representative from California 29th District, 1996; Natural Law Candidate for U.S. Senator from California, 1998, 2000

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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. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  6. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Davies, R. R. The Age of Conquest: Wales, 1063-1415. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
  11. ...

The Rees Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rees 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 27 January 2016 at 10:00.

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