Rice Family History
The Rice ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name Rice in Ireland is of two very different origins. The Rices of Oriel, now found chiefly in Counties Louth and Armagh are Gaelic, being called O'Maolcraoibhe in Irish. In County Down families of the name were known both as Mulcreevy and Rice. The Rices of Munster are Welsh in origin, Rhys being their name in Wales. Though never numerous, from the fourteenth century onwards they were influential in Counties Limerick and Kerry. Many appear in town life as Provosts, Mayors and Sheriffs of Limerick, Cork and Waterford and as landed proprietors in Counties Limerick and Kerry, where they settled near Dingle. The name Rice also has associations with the city of Galway. A pilot traditionally believed to have accompanied Christopher Columbus on his voyage of discovery and even to have sailed to America on his own, was Rice de Galvey alias Penrise. In modern times the name Rice is widespread throughout all four Provinces in Ireland.The Rice family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Rice descendants.