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Surname Preece - Meaning and Origin

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Discovering the Footprints of My Ancestry: The Journey of the Preece Surname

iGENEA DNA test served as a historical and cultural journey, unveiling the deeper meanings and historical roots behind my surname, Preece. The study has introduced me to an unexpected heritage trail dating back to medieval times, tracing lines to the enigmatic Celtic tribes, the Welsh nobility, and possibly, the Vikings.

V. Preece

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Preece: What does the surname Preece mean?

The surname Preece is of Old English origin, derived from the word 'preost' which means a 'priest'. It was typically used as a nickname for someone who either acted like a priest or who was employed by a priest. Over time, the pronunciation and spelling of many Old English words changed, leading to the modern form: Preece. It should be understood as an occupational surname, signifying the employment or acting behavior related to priesthood of an individual. This surname is most prevalent in England, particularly the West Midlands. It's worth noting that regional dialects may have accounted for variations in the surname, resulting in multiple derivations of the same original surname, such as Priest, Preist, Press and others.

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Preece: Where does the name Preece come from?

The last name Preece is most commonly found in the United Kingdom. According to USA Census records, it is among the top 200 surnames in the country. Currently, the most concentrated population of people with the last name Preece is in England, followed by Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Australia.

The most probable origin of this name is from the Welsh personal name Price meaning ‘son of Rhys’. The modern spelling of Preece was established in the nineteenth century making this name of relatively recent origin. Other variations may include Pryce, Price, Pritchett, Preciouse, etc.

The British census records from 1881 suggest that Preece was strongly concentrated in the Midlands region, particularly around Shropshire and Cheshire. The name has since spread across England but is still found predominantly in Shropshire, Cheshire, and Herefordshire. Outside of the British Isles, Preece is found in small numbers in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and across Europe.

Today, many people with the last name Preece do not know from where the name originated. However, it’s thought that the family are descendants of the Welsh Price and Rhys families who may have adopted the modern spelling of Preece in the mid-19th century.

Variations of the surname Preece

The surname Preece is derived from Welsh and British ancestry. It has many variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin.

The most common variants are Preec, Pritchett, Price and Pryce. Other variants include Prichart, Preese, Prichitt, Pritchett, Presey, Preci, Prichaird, Prickett, Priz, Precie, Pretchett, Preiss and Prez. All of these variants are derived from an English and Welsh origin.

The earliest version of Preece is the Middle English spelling of 'Pryse', which comes from the Old French word 'preci', meaning 'price'. Due to the 'ce' spelling, it can also be related to the Old German 'pers', meaning 'person'.

The Welsh spelling of Preece is 'Prices', and is related to 'ap Rhys', meaning 'son of Rhys'. The spelling can also be related to 'ap Rhuys', derived from the Welsh personal name 'Rhys'.

The surnames Price and Prichard are thought to have been derived from Preece, but both are mainly thought to have come from the Old French 'preci'.

Price is the most common alternative spelling, and is directly related to the Old French for 'price', 'preci'. Prichard can also be related to the Old French 'preci', and is also found occasionally in Wales.

Other British surnames related to Preece include Pritchett, Preci, Prez and Prickett. These names are derived from the Old French 'preci', Latin 'pretium' and Middle English 'prys'.

The spelling of Preece is still found in many places in Britain, including England and Wales, but the variants and related surnames are more widespread throughout other parts of the UK.

Famous people with the name Preece

  • Dr. Julian Preece: an historian, writer, professor, and Director of Postgraduate Research at the University of South Wales.
  • Lucy Preece: a former women’s international English cricketer.
  • Mike Preece: a highly experienced director of fiction films, documentaries, commercials, and multi-camera entertainment.
  • Simon Preece: a veteran business journalist currently working for Bloomberg News.
  • Mandy Preece: an actress who starred in the British TV series Drop Dead Gorgeous.
  • David Preece: a former professional football goalkeeper who is now a coach and BBC Radio Shropshire pundit.
  • Sir Henry Preece: a former. British Army officer and Liberal politician.
  • Bartley Preece: an Australian former rugby league player.
  • Admiral Sir Edmund Slade Preece: the former Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific fleet in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.
  • Elizabeth Preece: a Welsh writer and dramatist best known for her work on stage and radio.

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