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PRICE Family History
This ancient surname has two possible origins, from totally different and (literally) opposing sources. Those 'Price' nameholders with a Welsh ancestry derive from a 14th century developed form of 'ap Rhys' with the prefix 'ap' meaning 'son of', plus the given name 'Rhys', meaning 'fiery warrior'. Perhaps not surprisingly 'Price' is one of Wales most popular surnames, and no doubt this popularity is, or was, also connected with the fact that 'Rhys' was the given name of the last ruler of a fully independent kingdom of Wales, Rhys ap Tewder. He was killed in 1093 whilst unsuccessfully opposing the advancing Norman army...
Price (Variants: Pryce, Prise, Pryse, Preece) It has also been established in Ireland since the 14th century, where it is sometimes a variant of Bryson. Although, one of the most common of Welsh surnames, it is also found very early in parts of England far removed from Welsh influence. Also, perhaps deriving from Middle English nickname, Old French pris meaning ‘excellent, noble, highly valued (person) or price, prize, perhaps as a metonymic occupational name for a fixer of prices. An Americanised spelling of Jewish Preuss or Preis.
The first mention of the Welsh form of Price comes in the 1393 Archives for the City of London, where one Jorwerth ap Reys is listed. However, the Anglo-Norman name appears even earlier where Robert Price is mentioned in the 1297 Earldom of Cornwall Accounts.
British psychic researcher of psychical phenomena, Harry Price (1881-1948) founded The National Laboratory of Psychical Research in 1937. He was most known for his paranormal investigations and exposing fraudulent spiritualist mediums. Although doubted by the sceptical in today’s society, the phenomenon still continues to be investigated.
In 1891, the general population was widespread in England and Wales with 54,107 occurrences and a further 466 in Scotland.
Worcestershire in the West Midlands was a top county with 2,326 occurrences in 1881. In the same year, it was reported that the most common Price occupation in the UK was Farmer, along with Coal Miner and Labourer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Price. A less common occupation for the Price family was Agricultural Labourer.
An English convict from the West Midlands, Samuel Price of Shropshire was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Worcestershire
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
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