History of your Surname
Get access to Rice family records.Start a free trial

Rice Family History

Rice Name Meaning

Welsh: Anglicized pronunciation of one of the most common Welsh personal names Rhys from a form originally meaning ‘rash impetuous’ also spelled Rys and Re(e)s. See also Reese with which it is interchangeable as a result of different Anglicized forms of the Welsh vowel y and also compare Preece and Price . Initial R- in Welsh is voiceless and often spelled Rh- but in English R- is voiced as in the Anglicized surnames Rees and Rice. Welsh y is a short back vowel /ɪ/. In the medieval period the English approximation of this vowel was either /i/ or /e/ lengthened to /i:/ and /e:/. Subsequent sound changes in English produced the alternative pronunciations represented in Rees Preece and Rice Price. The name has also been established in Ireland from an early date. English: either a topographic name for someone who lived in or near a thicket (Middle English ris rice ris from Old English hrīs Old Norse hrís) or a habitational name for someone who came from a place called with this word such as Rise (East Yorkshire). English: perhaps a nickname from Middle English Rys(e) and Re(e)s which when without a preposition could derive from one or other of several Old French and Middle English words including Anglo-Norman French ris ‘laughter smile’ Middle English ris res ‘stem stalk’ in origin the same word as in 2 above and Middle English ris rise rice res Old French ris riz ‘rice’ perhaps a nickname for a rice dealer or a cook. Americanized form of German Reis .

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022

Similar surnames: Bice, Price, Ryce, Nice, Rike, Hice, Wrice, Tice, Rife, Grice

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Rice family from?

You can see how Rice families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Rice family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Rice families were found in USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 1,521 Rice families living in London. This was about 17% of all the recorded Rice's in United Kingdom. London had the highest population of Rice families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Rice surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Rice ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, General Labourer and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the United Kingdom named Rice. 10% of Rice men worked as a General Labourer and 66% of Rice women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Rice were Incapacitated and Private Means. .

View Census Data for Rice | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1939

  • General Labourer
  • Gardener
  • Builders Labourer
  • Incapacitated

Top Female Occupations In 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
  • Housewife
  • Unpaid Domestic
  • Private Means
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Rice family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 916,000 census records available for the last name Rice. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Rice census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Australian census records for Rice

Passenger Lists

There are 84,000 immigration records available for the last name Rice. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Australia, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Rice immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 183,000 military records available for the last name Rice. For the veterans among your Rice ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Rice military records

You've only scratched the surface of Rice family history

Discover More

What is the average Rice lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Rice life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2003. The average life expectancy for Rice in 1940 was 46, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Rice

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Rice family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Rice last name

Search for another surname
Enter last name/surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial