The English surname Prince is a nickname from the Middle English, Old French term prince (Latin princeps), denoting someone who behaved in a regal manner or who had won the title in some contest of skill. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Prince, which was dated 1177, in the "Pipe Rolls of Cumberland." other early recordings include: Robert le Prins, recorded in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, and Willelmus Prynce, in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. In 1418, John Prince, a priest in St. Michael's Church, Norwich, was noted in the Norfolk County Records. The name is first recorded in the New World in Plymouth Massachusetts where Thomas Prince settled in 1621. Today there are 44,000 bearers of the name Prince in the United States.
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