The surname of REESE was of Welsh origin, a baptismal name 'the son of Rhys'. Early records of the name mention Rees (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. William Rees of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Edward Reece of the County of Herefordshire, registered at Oxford University in 1601. Thomas ap Reese, 1606, was listed in the Wills at Chester. John Rhys and Mary Williams were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1790. Giles Reece (combmaker) of Chester was listed in the Chester Wills in the year 1647. A notable person of the name was Lloyd Frederick Rees (1895-1988) the Australian artist. He worked on his paintings in Sydney and in 1917 he travelled to Europe for two years. When he returned to Australia he held his first exhibition, and his later years were spent capturing the pearly light of Sydney and Tasmania with his oils. The name is also spelt REESE, RICE and REECE. A notable member of the name mentions James Rice (1843-82) who was the English novelist born in Northampton. He studied at Queen's College, Cambridge, drifted into literature, and was proprietor and editor of 'Once a Week' (1868-72). From 1872 he was involved in writing novels with Sir Walter Besant. This Old Welsh personal name meaning 'Fiery Warrior' was the name of the last ruler of an independent kingdom of Wales, Rhys ap Tewder who died in 1093 unsuccessfully opposing the last Norman advance. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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