Taylor, Hancock and Parrish families of Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia

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Table of Contents

History of the Parrish name

 From very ancient history it can be ascertained that the name parisii can be found as far back as 250 b.c. they were a celtic clan that lived in paris, france. Roman invasion scattered them different places. The parisii spelling gradually gave way to de paris. (from Paris) A Foucher de paris was one of the knights that accompanied william the conqueror on his invasion of england in 1066. The almost continuous presence of the french preposition "de" followed by various spellings of paris clearly indicates that the first to use the "de Paris" designation did so to distinguish himself from others in the vicinity with the same given name. It further appears that the french character of the name begins to disappear in england in the 13th and 14th centuries probably because of the unpopularity of englishmen retaining french-sounding names during periods of hostility between the english and and french. The french "de" seems to have disappeared first and then later the letter "h" was added to form the surname Parish. The fact that church districts in england at the time were called parishes may also have had some influence on the name formation.

A Parrish descendant in Georgia takes issue with this theory. "This is a variant spelling of the name Paris, which in england and Scotland designated an immigrant from Paris, france. It definitely is not from the church district called parish, as this would not be a specific identifying word where there were so many priases in each shire or county."

Early english chancery records for the years 1385-1467 give the following variations of the paris surname as: Paryce, parys, paryse and paryssh.

From bardsley's dictionary the following names appear: wilhemus de paryseh and thomas de paryshe of yorkshire in 1379 and majorie de paryshe of yorkshire in 1455; robert de paris of hertfordshire, ralph de paris of kent, roger de paris of london, and johannes paris of yorkshire in 1573. Recorded elsewhere was a robert parris, son of thomas parris, gentleman, of hitchen, herfordshire, who was granted use of arms on 15 june 1573.

From surnames of scotland by black we find: Guerusse de paris, london 1158, lotyn de paris, lincholnshire 1273 and richard de paris, essex 1276.

In Scotland, walter de paris witnessed a charter; john de paris rendered homage to the english crown in ayshire 1296; william de parys witnessed a deed in aberdeen 1283; john of paris was witness in dumbartoon 1506 and elspet paris of west lothian was judged guilty of witchcraft in 1624.

Family tradition has always said that parrish and parish were two different families. Research tells us that this is just a "family story." Perhaps the best example is a document in Paris, Il. My great grandfather's wife was relinquishing her dowers rights in an inheritance. In that one document he is william paris, william parish and william parrish.

So, check all spellings!!


This web site produced 16 Jul 2007 by Personal Ancestral File, a product of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

updated 16 July, 2007 Copyright© 1999 - 2007 by John R. Taylor

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