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PIERCE Family History
The English roots of this surname derive from the personal name 'Peter' (which, in turn, derives from the Greek for 'rock'). In medieval England it was more usually written as 'Piers'.
Piers has French origins and is closely related to 'Pierre', and was introduced to Britain by the Norman French at the time of the Conquest in 1066. There are at least sixteen different spellings of the surname which include Pierce, Pearce, Piers, Peers, Peres, Pearson and Pierson.
It was originally a patronymic name, meaning 'son of Peter' or 'son of Piers', and it became fixed as a hereditary surname in England by around 1400. Early bearers of the name include Richard Perys who lived in Somerset during the early 14th century, and Magota Peres-wyf, who was recorded on the 1379 Poll Tax of Yorkshire.
In Wales however, it may in some cases be a variation of 'Price', in that certain occurrences of the surname developed from the surname 'Prees' which is a contraction of the Welsh patronymic phrase 'ap Rhys' meaning 'son of Rhys'.
Mac Piarais is an Anglo-Irish variation of the surname found mainly in east Leinster.
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