The Welsh surname Rice, also found in Ireland England and Scotland is of patronymic originderiving from the Welsh personal names, Rhys, meaning “ardor.”It originates from the pre 7th century Olde English personal name Ris or Rhys, meaning "ardour or sometimes "fiery warrior". The name first appears as "Hris" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles for the county of Cambridgeshire, in the year 1052, and as Rees in the Domesday Book of Cheshire, dated 1086. It was also the name borne by the last ruler of an independent Kingdom of Wales, Rhys ap Tewder, who died in 1093, after unsuccessfully opposing the Norman advance.
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