What is the origin of the last name Pearce?

The surname Pearce, of English origin, derives from the medieval given name Piers or Peter, which in turn came from the Greek name Petros, meaning "rock" or "stone." Piers evolved into various forms and spellings, including Pearson, Pierson, and Pearce, with the latter becoming more common in the southwest region of England. Over time, the name spread throughout the British Isles and beyond, carried by migrations and colonization. Today, the surname Pearce can often be traced back to its English roots and is frequently found in English-speaking countries around the world.

Countries of origin for the last name Pearce

The last name Pearce has English origins and is derived from the medieval male given name Piers or Peter. It is a patronymic surname, indicating that it was originally used to identify the descendants of a specific person.

The name Piers itself is derived from the Old French name Piers, a form of Pierre, which is the French equivalent of Peter. Peter comes from the Greek name Petros, meaning “rock” or “stone.” It is a name that holds religious significance, as it is the name given to Simon by Jesus in the New Testament.

Pearce is a fairly common surname, particularly in English-speaking countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. It is ranked as the 1,042nd most common surname in the United States, and it is estimated that there are over 50,000 people in the country who bear this surname. However, the concentration of individuals with the Pearce surname is higher in certain states, such as Texas, California, Florida, and New York.

Throughout history, individuals with the surname Pearce have contributed to various fields. For example, Sir Francis Pearce was a prominent English judge in the 18th century, known for his legal expertise. Additionally, Major General Harold Pearce was an American military officer who served during World War II. These individuals, among many others, have helped shape the reputation and history of the Pearce surname.

The surname Pearce also has variant spellings, including Pierce and Pearse. These variations may have originated from regional and dialectal differences, as well as clerical errors and changes made during immigration and documentation processes.

Today, many individuals with the last name Pearce continue to explore their genealogy and connect with their roots. There are numerous online platforms and resources available that can assist in tracing the lineage and history of the Pearce surname. These resources include public records, historical documents, and DNA testing services.

The meaning and history of the last name Pearce are rooted in English origins and have connections to the names Piers and Peter. While the precise origin of the first individual to bear this name cannot be determined with certainty, the name has a long and rich history that continues to be explored and appreciated by individuals with the Pearce surname.

Interesting facts about the last name Pearce

  • The surname Pearce is of English origin and is derived from the Old French word “Pers” or “Pierce,” meaning “son of Peter.”
  • It is a patronymic surname, indicating the descendants of a man named Peter or Pierre.
  • The surname Pearce is quite common in different variations across the English-speaking world, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States.
  • One theory suggests that the name Pearce first appeared in the 13th century in Cornwall, England.
  • Another possibility is that it originated in Wales, where the name ap Piers (meaning “son of Peter”) was Anglicized to Pearce.
  • The spelling of the surname Pearce has varied over time, with variations such as Pierce, Pearse, and Pears also being used.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Pearce include the British Olympic diver Tom Daley (Thomas Robert Daley-Pearce), American actor Guy Pearce (Guy Edward Pearce), and Australian cricketer Steve Pearce (Stephen Wayne Pearce).
  • The Pearce family name has been associated with various coats of arms, reflecting the noble and chivalrous history of the surname.
  • The surname Pearce has been passed down through generations, symbolizing continuity and familial ties.
  • Researching family history and genealogy can provide individuals with a deeper understanding of their connection to the surname Pearce and its historical significance.

Name Rank


There are around 31060 people with the last name Pearce in the US

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