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Surname Parrish - Meaning and Origin

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Parrish: What does the surname Parrish mean?

The surname Parrish is of English origin and is derived from the Middle English term "parish," which in turn comes from the Old French "paroisse." The term initially referenced someone who lived near a church. Over time, it evolved to denote an ecclesiastical district. Therefore, the last name Parrish typically signifies a person who hailed from or lived near a 'parish,' a term used to indicate a specific church territory or jurisdiction. Furthermore, the name could also imply that an ancestor served a significant role within a parish, such as a clergyman or church official. This surname is found throughout England and other English-speaking countries. It is important to note that variations in spelling of the surname exist, including Parish, Pariss, Parris, among others.

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Parrish: Where does the name Parrish come from?

The last name Parrish is found in countries around the world, including the United States, where it is one of the more common surnames. In the United States, it is found most heavily concentrated in the southern states of Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. In the 2010 US Census, over 28,000 people reported the Parrish surname. Beyond the US, it can also be found in Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, among other countries.

The origin of the last name Parrish is believed to be a patronymic one, meaning the surname likely derives from the name of a person's father. It is thought that Parrish may have derived from the Welsh name “Ap-Harry”, which means “son of Harry”. Traceable records show the name was first used as a last name in the 14th century when one John Ap-Harry became John Parrish in Monmouthshire, South Wales.

Outside of Wales, the Parrish name seems to have spread farther in the late 19th century, with many immigrants coming to the United States from England, Scotland, and Ireland. Today, the last name continues to be used widely, whether spelled Parrish, Parris, or, more rarely, Pariss.

Variations of the surname Parrish

The surname Parrish is an English, Welsh, and Irish surname of topographic origin deriving from the Old French "parage" meaning "enclosed area". The variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin for this surname include: Parry, Parr, Parrott, Perey, Pirie, Pearcy, Pearce, Peirce, Peers, Percival, Piercy, Pearsall, Pearse, Peacock, Parfrey, Parfitt, Parkes, Parks, Paris, Parise, and Pariseau.

Although there are many variant spellings, they all derive from the same root word. In England Parrish is more commonly found in the counties of Devon and Dorset, but also can be found in other counties throughout the United Kingdom as well as parts of Ireland. In Wales it is more commonly found in the counties of Monmouthshire, Glamorgan, and Carmarthen.

The name Parrish can also be found in the United States, where early immigrants of the 17th and 18th centuries used it as a variant spelling of Parry. As such, Parrish families can be found all along the eastern seaboard, from New England to Virginia, but they spread to other parts of the country including the midwest and southern states.

As a combination of two or more of these variant spellings, surnames such as Parrysh, Pearcy, Parris, and Parkes are also found. Some of the descendants of the original Parrish immigrants have changed or shortened their surname to Banks, Park, Pierce, Peacock, and even Par.

Famous people with the name Parrish

  • Joe Parrish: Famed broadcaster and radio personality who gained fame as a deejay for BBC's popular Radio 1
  • Peyton Parrish: Emmy Award-winning actress, known for roles in the television shows Friends and The Middle
  • Jeff Parrish: Professional baseball player and four-time All-Star, who spent most of his career with the Seattle Mariners
  • Sydney Parrish: Olympic diver and four-time medalist, who represented the United States at the 2008 Beijing Games
  • Chris Parrish: Two-time World Series champion pitcher, who prominently competed for the San Francisco Giants
  • Mabel Parrish: American author and poet, best known for her novels Midnight Angel and Heart's Journey
  • Alex Parrish: Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, whose hits include "Do You Remind Me" and "Unnoticed Love"
  • David Parrish: Actor and producer, best known for starring in the Fox sitcom American Dad!
  • Lee Parrish: Hall of Fame basketball player, who was an All-American at UCLA and earned two MVP awards in the ABA
  • Amy Parrish: Award-winning author and public speaker, known for her nonfiction work, The Bonfire of Lives

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