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My Rice Connections

By Michael W. Caughey

Andrew (Andy) Rice is my wife's brother in law. He was a bricklayer who built his own home (a bungalow) on the Serpentine Road, Belfast. He is buried with his wife, Margaret (Gretta) Morgan, at Carnmoney Cemetery, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, Ireland.
This name is common in Leinster and Munster but is most numerous in Ulster,where its main centres are in counties Antrim and Armagh. The name is Welsh in origin and was previously Rhys, which means 'ardour', and many in Ulster will be of Welsh stock.
However, the Oriel name O'Maolchraoibhe (from craobh, meaning 'branch') was also for some unknown reason widely anglicised as Rice, as well as, more understandably, Mulcreevy, Mulgrew and Grew. Most of the Rices of Co. Armagh will be of this origin.
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