Origin of the Name MacGray
The origin of the name MacGray
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. Variants of McGray include, Gray, McGrey and Grey. This is a nickname meaning 'the gray', from a person with this colour of hair. Originating in Haute-Saone, France this family came to England and Scotland with William the Conqueror. This name is of Anglo-Norman descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland , Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout the above islands. Examples of such are a Robert de Gray, of Oxfordshire, who was recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England , in the year 1273 and a John Gray was also recorded in this ancient document, in the same year. A Peter Gray was made a 'Freeman of York', in the reign of Edward II, and a Hugo de Gray, Scotland , was a witness to a charter by Walter de Lundin, in the year 1248. In Ireland this name is sometimes used as the anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Cathail Riabhaigh Sept that was located in County Longford, where Culreavy is another variant.
The MacGray coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all MacGray descendants.