Reiss History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origin of the proud surname Reiss can be traced to the historic kingdom of Bohemia, which is now part of the Czech Republic. In the Middle Ages, many of the Bohemians were a part of the Holy Roman Empire, which was characterized by the Feudal System. Before this era, people were known only by a single name. However, as the population increased and travel became more prevalent, it became necessary for people to adopt a second name to identify themselves. Many people, such as the Reiss family, adopted the name of their feudal occupation as their surname. The name goes back to the mediaeval German "ris" or "risle," which meant literally "branch" or "twig,"and the surname was an occupational name for a wood carver.

Early Origins of the Reiss family

The surname Reiss was first found in Bohemia, where the name came from humble beginnings but gained a significant reputation for its contribution to the emerging mediaeval society. They later became more prominent as many branches of the same house acquired distant estates and branches, some in foreign countries, always elevating their social status by their great contributions to society. Chronicles first mention Clesse Reysse of Mainz in 1444, and Leonhart Reiser of Nuremberg in 1443. The name goes back to the mediaeval German "ris" or "risle," which meant literally "branch" or "twig." Reisser could also refer to a wood carver.

Early History of the Reiss family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reiss research. Another 140 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1505, 1606, 1645, 1870, and 1897 are included under the topic Early Reiss History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Reiss Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Reis, Reisle (Bavaria, Swabia), Reiss, Reisse, Riess, Ries, Reise, Reisz, Reiser, Reisser, Riser, Reysse, Reys, Reyss, Rice, Ris, Risse, Rise, Risle and many more.

Early Notables of the Reiss family (pre 1700)

Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Reiss Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Reiss Ranking

In the United States, the name Reiss is the 4,956th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [1]


United States Reiss migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Reiss Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Conrad Reiss, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1748 [2]
  • Hans Reiss, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1749 [2]
  • Martin Reiss, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1749 [2]
  • Zachary Reiss, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1751 [2]
  • Johan Reiss, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1751 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Reiss Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Reiss, who landed in Texas in 1844 [2]
  • Valentin Reiss, who landed in Texas in 1846 [2]
  • Frederick Reiss, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1855 [2]
  • Henry Reiss, who arrived in Mississippi in 1858 [2]
  • John Reiss, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1860 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Reiss Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Caroline Reiss, aged 15, who arrived in New York, NY in 1902 [2]
  • Anton Reiss, aged 18, who landed in New York, NY in 1902 [2]
  • Ulrich Reiss, aged 8, who arrived in New York, NY in 1902 [2]
  • Jacob Reiss, who landed in Alabama in 1915 [2]

Australia Reiss migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Reiss Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Fried. Wm. Reiss, aged 20, a miller, who arrived in South Australia in 1848 aboard the ship "Alfred" [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Reiss (post 1700) +

  • Mike Reiss (b. 1959), American television comedy writer perhaps best known as show-runner, writer and producer for the animated series The Simpsons
  • James Reiss (b. 1941), award-winning American poet
  • Howard Reiss (b. 1922), Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Bob Reiss (b. 1951), American author of nonfiction and fiction books
  • Mary S. Reiss, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Jersey, 1956 [4]
  • Joseph Reiss, American Republican politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Queens County 6th District, 1932 [4]
  • Jerry Milborne Reiss (b. 1937), American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from California 16th District, 1990 [4]
  • F. W. Reiss, American Republican politician, Chair of Randolph County Republican Party, 1949 [4]
  • Elaine Reiss, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 2008 [4]
  • Bonnie Reiss, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 2000 [4]
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ALFRED 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Alfred.htm
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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