Origin of the Name Gray
The ancient history of the name Gray
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name Gray
include Grey and Greye. 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 these countries. Examples of such are a Robert de Gray and a John Gray, of Oxfordshire, who were recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England , in the year 1273.
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.
Gray is also an anglicized name of the native Gaelic MacCathailRiabhaigh Sept who were located in Longford and Leitrim. This Gaelic name was more often anglicized as Culreavy.
The Gray 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 Gray descendants.