The English surname Place is a topographic name for someone who lived in the main market square of a town or village, from the Middle English or Old French term place. The name may also derive from the Middle English or Old French term plaise meaning “plaice, or flatfish,” hence an occupational name for a fisherman or a seller of these fish. References to the name date to the 13th Century and include William de la Place of Lincoln in 1276, Richard de la Pleyse of Somerest in 1277. The name is first recorded in the New World in 1634 when John Place emigrated to Barbados in the Caribbean. Today there are approximately 7,000 bearers of the name Place in the United States. A notable bearer of the name was the 19th Century English social reformer Francis Place.
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