Show ContentsTrice History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Trice history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Trice history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Trice family originally lived in Cornwall. Their name, however, is derived from the Old French word triste, meaning meeting place, and indicates that they lived near a popular meeting place.

Early Origins of the Trice family

The surname Trice was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat at Lords of the Manor of Parc Behan. The main stem of this distinguished Cornish family flourished until the 15th or 16th centuries. It is curious how the evolution of the family motto has been woven around the family surname 'Nec Triste, Nec trepidum', Neither sad nor fearful. This used to be a common practice in the 13th and 14th centuries, particularly in war cries, which frequently held only one word, the family name.

Early History of the Trice family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Trice research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the year 1748 is included under the topic Early Trice History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Trice Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Trist, Triste, Triss, Trisse and others.

Early Notables of the Trice family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Trice Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Trice Ranking

In the United States, the name Trice is the 3,522nd most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [1]

United States Trice migration to the United States +

Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Trice or a variant listed above:

Trice Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Simon Trice, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753 [2]
Trice Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Trice, aged 30, who arrived in New York in 1812 [2]
  • M Trice, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]
  • J Trice, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]

New Zealand Trice 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:

Trice Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Trice, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • William Trice, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • George Trice, aged 23, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • William Trice, aged 23, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • Margaret Trice, aged 23, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Trice (post 1700) +

  • Amelia "Amy" Cutsack Trice (1936-2011), Native American leader from Idaho
  • Tyrone Trice, retired American boxer
  • Obie Trice (b. 1977), American rapper and songwriter
  • Bob Trice (1926-1988), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Johnny "Jack" Trice (1902-1923), the first African-American athlete from Iowa State College to play football, eponym of Jack Trice Stadium
  • Trice J. Harvey (1936-2017), American politician, Member of the California House of Representatives (1986-1996)

HMS Cornwall
  • Geoffrey Frederick Trice, British Chief Engineer Room Artificer aboard the HMS Cornwall (1942) when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [3]

The Trice 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: Nec triste nec trepidum
Motto Translation: Neither sad nor fearful.

Suggested Readings for the name Trice +

  • The Trices of North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama by Olive Lynn Trice Jackson.

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from on Facebook