Origin of the Name Wray
The ancient history of the name Wray
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. The name Wray is usually of English origin and is of locational origin, being derived from several places named Wra, Wroe, Wray, Wrea, or Wreay, especially in the northern part of England. This name is derived from an old Norse word meaning 'a corner' or 'a nook', indicating a remote valley or an isolated place. Over the centuries names were changed according to how they sounded and were pronounced with the same name often being both spelled and pronounced differently in neighbouring towns and cities.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century. It was the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that marked the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. While the influx of settlers in the wake of the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
Wray can also be a variant of the names Rea and McCrea that are more usually anglicized forms of the Gaelic MacCraith sept found in Ulster. When Gaelic names were anglicized during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries they were often changed to Anglo equivalents that sounded most like their original Gaelic name.
The Wray 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 Wray descendants.