A Welsh and German surname of Rice comes from the Celtic words of â€˜rhysâ€™ and â€˜risâ€™ which refers to devotion. In the Welsh language the 'rhys' term can also mean to rush.
Spelling of Rice varies to Reese and Rhys. The German spelling is Reis.
In Wales, Rice is a common name especially in Carmarthenshire county. From there it spread to Devon, Somerset, Hampshire, London area and to Yorkshire and Lancashire counties. In Scotland the Rice surname is mostly in Lanarkshire county. Many from Wales with the Rice surname moved to Canada.
In the United States, Rice families are found chiefly in Massachusetts, New York Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
Famous: John C. Rice (theater actor), Condoleezza Rice (U. S. Secretary of State), Damien Rice (Irish musician), Dan Rice (19th century performer as a clown), Florence Rice (actress), Anne Rice (writer), William Marsh Rice (19th century founder of Rice University), Edmund Rice 17th century founder of Sudbury and Marlborough, Massachusetts), Elliott Warren Rice (Civil War Union general) and Alexander H. Rice Jr. (American explorer of the Amazon River).