What is the origin of the last name Reece?

The last name Reece has an ancient origin, deriving from the medieval Welsh personal name Rhys, meaning "ardor" or "passion." Rhys evolved as a surname in Wales during the Middle Ages, becoming Reece through the anglicization process. It is also influenced by the Old English name Rice, meaning "powerful ruler." Over time, variations such as Reese and Rhys emerged, but Reece remains a prominent variant, keeping alive the proud Welsh heritage and evoking a legacy of fiery determination and leadership.

Countries of origin for the last name Reece

The last name REECE has several origins and variations, but its meaning remains consistent across different regions and historical periods. The following analysis explores the etymology and historical significance of the name REECE in the context of the United States.

The name REECE is derived from the Welsh surname “ap Rhys,” which means “son of Rhys.” In Welsh patronymic naming traditions, “ap” indicates “son of,” followed by the father’s name. Rhys is a common given name in Wales, derived from the Old Welsh term “rīs,” meaning “enthusiasm” or “ardor.” Therefore, the surname REECE signifies a connection to a male ancestor named Rhys, emphasizing the paternal lineage.

The spelling variations of REECE include RICE, REES, and REESE, among others. These variations reflect linguistic changes over time, as well as regional and dialectal differences in pronunciation and spelling conventions. These alternatives, while distinct in form, ultimately share the same etymological origin as REECE.

In the United States, the name REECE has been present since colonial times, introduced primarily by Welsh immigrants. Welsh settlers arrived in various regions, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York, in the early 18th century. Over time, the REECE family spread across the country through migration and resettlement, contributing to the diversity of surnames and establishing their presence in American history.

The historical records provide glimpses into notable individuals carrying the REECE surname. However, it is crucial to note that specific individuals neither define the name’s meaning nor create a comprehensive narrative of the surname’s significance. Instead, the surname REECE represents a vast network of familial connections, transcending individual achievements.

The popularity of the surname REECE has grown steadily over the years. In the United States, it ranks among the top 1,000 surnames, indicating its frequent occurrence and prevalence in American society. The name’s continued usage and transmission through generations demonstrate its endurance and resilience, as families proudly pass down their ancestral identity.

While the analysis of the REECE surname offers valuable insights into its etymology and historical presence, it is important to recognize the vast and intricate tapestry of human history that extends beyond documented records and individual experiences. The exploration of surnames invites us to reflect upon the interconnectedness of our shared past and the stories that remain untold, encouraging a sense of curiosity and wonder about the origins and legacies of our names.

Interesting facts about the last name Reece

  • The surname Reece is of Welsh origin and is derived from the personal name Rheis.
  • It is believed to have originated from the Old Welsh word “Rhys” meaning “enthusiasm” or “ardor.”
  • The name Reece is frequently found in Wales, particularly in the southern parts such as Pembrokeshire and Glamorgan.
  • Variant spellings of the surname include Reese, Rhys, and Reece.
  • Reece is a relatively common surname in the United States and Canada, with a significant number of individuals of Welsh descent carrying the name.
  • The name Reece has also gained popularity as a first name, particularly in English-speaking countries.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Reece include American retired professional basketball player and Olympic gold medalist Nancy Lieberman, British Paralympic swimmer Stephanie “Maisie” Summers-Newton, and Welsh professional rugby player Rhys Webb.
  • The Reece surname has been in existence for centuries, with records of its usage dating back to medieval times.
  • The popularity of the surname Reece may have been influenced by its association with the Welsh royal family, as the name Rhys was once a common name among Welsh rulers.
  • The Reece surname is a testament to the rich cultural heritage and history of Wales, continuing to be passed down through generations.

Name Rank


There are around 24145 people with the last name Reece in the US

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