Rice History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Welsh name Rice 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 Rice family

The surname Rice 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, where they held a family seat from very early times.

Early History of the Rice family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rice research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1548, 1579, 1637, 1715 and are included under the topic Early Rice History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rice Spelling Variations

Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Rice name over the years has been spelled Rice, Rees, Rhys and others.

Early Notables of the Rice family (pre 1700)

Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rice Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Rice family to Ireland

Some of the Rice family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 110 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Rice migration to the United States +

Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Rice:

Rice Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Rice who settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Ann Rice, aged 23, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [1]
  • Edmund Rice (c.1594–1663), English Deacon in the Puritan Church, born in Stanstead, Suffolk, who immigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1638
  • John Rice, who settled in Virginia in 1639
  • Richard Rice, who settled in Virginia in 1650
Rice Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Carleton Rice, who landed in Virginia in 1717 [1]
  • Daniel Rice, who landed in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania in 1764 [1]
Rice Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ally Rice, who landed in New London, Connecticut in 1811 [1]
  • Biddy Rice, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812 [1]
  • Charles Rice, aged 36, who arrived in Maryland in 1812 [1]
  • Canlan Rice, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1816 [1]
  • Bridget Rice, aged 6, who landed in New York, NY in 1855 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Rice migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rice Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • David Rice, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Benjamin Rice, who arrived in Anapolis (Annapolis), Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Beriah Rice, who landed in Anapolis (Annapolis), Nova Scotia in 1760
Rice Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Rice, aged 39, a servant, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Catherine Rice, aged 23, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Ann & Mary" from Cork, Ireland
  • Ann Rice, aged 18, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Ann & Mary" from Cork, Ireland
  • John Rice, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Mary Rice, aged 24, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Dorcas Savage" from Belfast, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Rice migration to Australia +

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

Rice Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Rice, British convict who was convicted in Chester, Cheshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [2]
  • Mr. William Rice, (b. 1796), aged 19, English groom who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Mr. John Rice, Canadian covict who was convicted in Kingston, Ontario, Canada for 14 years, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 16th January 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Mr.Henry Rice, (b. 1793), aged 26, Irish farm labourer who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for life for burglary, transported aboard the "Bencoolen" on 24th April 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia before being transferred to Tasmania via the "Admiral Cockburn", he died in 1829 [5]
  • Thomas Rice, English convict from Somerset, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Rice migration to New Zealand +

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:

Rice Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Rice, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • Mr. Michael Rice, British settler, as the 2nd Detachment of New Zealand Corps of Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Minerva" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th October 1847 [7]
  • Mr. Robert Rice, (b. 1836), aged 22, Irish labourer from County Down travelling from London aboard the ship "Strathallan" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st January 1859 [8]
  • Mr. Hans Rice, (b. 1841), aged 21, Irish farm labourer from County Down travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd May 1862 [8]
  • Mr. Edward Rice, (b. 1826), aged 36, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Rice (post 1700) +

  • Condoleezza Rice (b. 1954), American professor, diplomat, author, and national security expert, 66th United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor from 2001 to 2005
  • Kenneth Earl "Ken" Rice (1939-2020), American professional AFL football offensive tackle for the Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, and the Miami Dolphins (1961-1967)
  • Dorothy P. Rice (1922-2017), American health statistician, Director of the National Center for Health Statistics from 1976 to 1982
  • Bonny "Mack" Rice (1933-2016), also known as Sir Mack Rice, an American songwriter and singer
  • William Rice (1939-2016), American food editor for The Washington Post, Food & Wine and critic at the Chicago Tribune
  • Elmer Rice (1892-1967), American dramatist awarded the 1929 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
  • John C. Rice (1858-1915), American born Broadway stage actor who is credited with performing the first onscreen kiss
  • Stuart Alan Rice (b. 1932), American theoretical chemist and physical chemist who received the National Medal of Science in 1999
  • Susan Elizabeth Rice (b. 1964), American foreign policy advisor and United States Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Alexander Hamilton Rice (1875-1956), American physician, geographer, geologist and explorer
  • ... (Another 263 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Edward Rice, British Fireman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [9]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Clara Evelyn  Rice, Canadian resident from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [10]
  • Mr. Frank D.  Rice, Canadian resident from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [10]
HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Desmond Maxwell Rice (1924-1941), Australian Stoker 3rd Class from Elwood, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [11]
HMS Cornwall
  • Geoffrey Frederick Rice, British Chief Engineer Room Artificer aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [12]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Herbert F Rice (b. 1917), English Stoker 2nd Class serving for the Royal Navy from Birmingham, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [13]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. John Henry Rice, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [14]
  • Mr. Francis Rice, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [14]
RMS Lusitania
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. John Reginald Rice (d. 1912), aged 25, English Clerk from Crosby, Lancashire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett [16]
  • Mr. Charles Rice (d. 1912), aged 32, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [16]
  • Mrs. Margaret Rice (d. 1912), (née Norton), aged 39, Irish Third Class passenger from Athlone, Westmeath who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett [16]
  • Master Albert Rice (d. 1912), aged 10, Irish Third Class passenger from Athlone, Westmeath who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [16]
  • Master George Hugh Rice (d. 1912), aged 8, Irish Third Class passenger from Athlone, Westmeath who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [16]
  • ... (Another 3 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
USS Arizona
  • Mr. William Albert Rice, American Seaman Second Class from Washington, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [17]


The Rice Motto +

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: Secret et hardi
Motto Translation: Secret and bold.


Suggested Readings for the name Rice +

  • 147 A Genealogical Register of Edmund Rice Descendants by Lowther Ellis, Henry Rice (1717-1818), the Pioneer Tennessee Gristmiller and his Twelve Children by Melvin Weaver Little.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bencoolen
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Argyle voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1831 with 251 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/argyle/1831
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  10. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  11. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  12. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  13. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  14. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  15. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  16. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  17. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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