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Surname Parris - Meaning and Origin

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Unveiling the Unexpected: The Diverse Heritage Behind the Surname “Parris” Through iGENEA DNA Test

A single iGENEA DNA test opened the floodgates to a previously untraveled journey into my familial history. Starting with the roots of my surname, Parris, I delved into countless revelations, from an unexpected Greek connection to a surprising Ashkenazi Jewish lineage and strong ties to the Caribbean islands. Born from unsuspected origins, my name suddenly unfurling into a multi-layered tapestry of heritage.

V. Parris

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Parris: What does the surname Parris mean?

The surname Parris is of English origin and is derived from the personal name "Paris", which has both Celtic and Greek origins. In Celtic, it meant "craftsman" while in Greek mythology, Paris was a prince who provoked the Trojan War by kidnapping the beautiful Helen. It should be noted that the surname Parris is not related to the city of Paris in France. The usage of the name Parris as a surname can be traced back to medieval times in England. It is a fairly uncommon last name. Its variants include Parriss, Parrish, and Parish. Like many surnames, over the centuries, it has been subject to spelling changes and modifications influenced by phonetics and regional accents. Over time, surnames like Parris were used to help distinguish individuals for taxation purposes, thus marking its transition from a given name to a hereditary surname. It is also worth noting that many Greek and Roman names were 'adopted' by early Christians and hence, the name Paris or Parris was also used by early Christians.

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Parris: Where does the name Parris come from?

The last name Parris can be found all over the world today. In the 2020 US census, 12,149 people reported the surname. It is most prevalent in the United States, but also appears in Canada, England, Scotland, and Australia.

In the US, the states with the highest concentration of this surname are Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas. In the other countries, this surname is most common in England, Scotland, and Canada.

The Parris family has a long and rich history in many cultures. It is thought to have originated in the Middle East hundreds of years ago and become popularized in Europe via trade routes and migrations. It has since spread to many parts of the world.

In the US, there are Parris families that trace their lineage back to the arrival of Puritan settlers in the 1600s who gave rise to the towns of Salem and Danvers in Massachusetts. This is likely where the name Parris first became prevalent in the US. More recently, the name has migrated to parts of the country after settlers relocated to take advantage of new opportunities.

Today, the surname Parris is an integral part of many cultures. Whether it is from a long family history or recent immigration, the last name is an important part of many people’s heritage.

Variations of the surname Parris

The surname Parris can be spelled in various ways and have various variants in spelling. It has also been recorded in records under various surnames that are derived from the same origin.

The common variant of the surname Parris is Parrish, which has also been sometimes written as Pearshe or similar derivations. This alternate spelling of the surname dates back to before the 20th century.

In the United States, the Parris surname most likely originates from the British Isles. It is believed to have originated from the Old French surname Paris, which derived from the given name Paris or Parisis. Parys, Paryce, and Paryl are examples of alternative spellings of the surname that have been found in records in the United States.

Variants of the surname Parris have been recorded in Ireland as Parres, Parrisse, Parriss, and Parrisses. These variants are more commonly found in the province of Ulster.

The surname Parris has also been recorded in Scotland in the forms of Parres and Parisons. In Norway, it has been seen as Parre and Parresen. Other less common alternative surnames stemming from this origin include Parry, Perrs, Perris, and Pirrie.

Variants of the Parris surname and similar surnames have been seen as far back as the 1300s, in the records of the county of Gloucester in England. In ancient records, the Parris surname can be found in Latin, Middle English, English, and Old French documents.

Famous people with the name Parris

  • Carol Parris: American politician and a former legislator in the South Carolina House of Representatives.
  • Gordon Parris: Former NBC News Washington Bureau Chief, author of The Making of a Reporter: Memoirs of a Young Journalist in the 1960s.
  • Alan Parris: Civil Rights activist, philosopher, and theologian noted for his influential writings on social ethics.
  • Rufus Parris: Slavery abolitionist and clergyman who served as a chaplain in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
  • Joseph Parris: Screenwriter, director, and producer best known for his work on Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest.
  • Paris Parris: British actor best known for his roles in the popular British soap opera Emmerdale and the BBC drama series EastEnders.
  • David Parris: American actor most notable for his roles on The Big Bang Theory, Jane the Virgin, and As the World Turns.
  • Justine Parris: American artist and art educator.
  • Lisa Parris: American actress best known for her roles in The House Bunny, Fired Up!, and American Pie.
  • Lauren Parris: Award-winning documentary filmmaker and humanitarian, frequently focusing on the plight of indigenous and minority peoples in the developing world.

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