Price Surname Genealogy

Price and Pryce are surnames common among those of Welsh
ancestry, as they are an anglicized form of the Welsh patronymic ap
meaning “son of Rhys.” Rhys also left the surnames Rees, Rice and
Preece. Pryce continues to be a variant spelling of Price.

Price Resources on

Select Price Ancestry

Wales. The Prices of Rhiwlas in present day Gwynedd have an ap Rhys lineage dating back to the 11th century. Rhys ap Meredydd (Rhys Fawr) fought for Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field in 1485 and was suitably rewarded. The Price spelling was adopted sometime around 1600. This family remained influential in what was then Merionethshire until the 20th century.

The Pryces
of Montgomeryshire
with Rhys who was slain during the Wars of
the Roses in 1469. The line continued
various sheriffs during the 16th and 17th centuries and Sir John Pryce
of Newton Hall, MP and baronet,
and ended in 1791. However
, Montgomeryshire continued to be an outpost for the
Pryce name. Elsewhere the Price spelling had become the norm.

By the
19th century, more Welsh Prices were to be found in Glamorgan in south
Wales. Thomas Price was one of the three partners in the
Dowlais inronworks in the 1760’s (said to have been the largest in the
world at that time). Many Prices remained in the area.

England. Prices crossed the border into England:

  • Prices from Montgomeryshire settled in
    Shropshire in the 16th century. Thomas Price was vicar of
    Shrewsbury and
    his son, the Rev. Thomas Price, was chaplain to Charles I before he
  • while Robert Price from
    Denbighshire, a prominent lawyer and judge, acquired the Foxley estate in Herefordshire in
    1691. His descendant
    Sir Uvedale Price wrote with some persuasion about architecture and
    design a
    hundred years later.

The Prices of Trengwainton in Cornwall
descended from the Welsh
plantation owners in Jamaica. Many of them served in the British
army. Dennis Price was a film and TV actor in the 1950’s and

also emerged, independently of the Welsh, as a surname in southeast
England. It is thought possibly to have derived there from the
Old French
pris and denoted someone who set prices.

By the time of the 1881 census, the largest number of Prices in
England was in Staffordshire and Lancashire.

America. John

came to Jamestown in Virginia either in 1611 or 1620. His
were Virginia planters until the time of the Civil War

One line under Captain John Price
migrated to Kentucky in the 1790’s.
Samuel W. Price, born there, was a Union General during the
Civil War. He, however, lost his sight in
his later
years. Other Price lines were to be
found in Missouri.
Price became Governor of Missouri in 1852.
Known to his troops as “Old Pap,” he ended up a General on the
Confederate side
in the Civil War. His two sons Edwin and
Celsus were both colonels in the Confederate army.

Francis Price from Wales
was an army captain
in the English capture of Jamaica in 1655.
He stayed on and his descendants grew wealthy from Rose Hall and
their other
Jamaican sugar plantations.

Welsh Pryces were reported in Jamaica in the
1850’s. George Pryce left Jamaica for
America as a young man in the 1880’s and graduated as a young “black”
doctor in
Tennessee. He went on to found Pryce’s
Pharmacy in Los Angeles, a drugstore on the corner of Pryce Street
which is run
by his grandson today.

Canada. William Price was a
pioneer of the Canadian lumber trade. Coming from an impoverished
family in London, he arrived in Quebec in 1810 as a young man with a
mandate to
supply lumber for the British navy. In the succeeding years, his
became synonymous with the development of the Seguenay region as a
producer. The family pulp and paper empire continued into the
century. The old company headquarters, Price House, is today a
in Quebec City and the location of the Quebec Premier’s official

Price Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Price Names

Richard Price was a
Welsh moral and political philosopher of the 18th century..
Thomas Price, known by his
bardic name Carnhuanawc, was a Welsh historian of the
early 19th century.
William Price was a pioneer of
the Canadian lumber trade in the early 19th century.
William Price was a 19th
century physician and eccentric, best known today for his promotion of
Vincent Price was an American
actor known for his performances in horror movies.
Dick Price was co-founder in
1962 of the Esalen Institute in California.
Jonathan Pryce is a well-known
Welsh stage actor who has made his name in musicals.
Nick Price from Zimbabwe is one
of the leading golfers of the world.

Select Prices Today

  • 106,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in London)
  • 88,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 42,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)


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