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Gray is a name, who ancestors come from the noble Boernician clans of the Scottish-English border region. It is a name for a person who had gray hair. In Scotland, the surname Gray actually came from two different derivations. As a nickname, it came from the Gaelic word riabhach, which means gray. As a habitational name, it derived from the place named Graye, in Calvados. This place-name came from the Gallo-Roman personal name, Gratus, which means welcome or pleasing. Gray is therefore a nickname and a habitation name, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames.

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The surname Gray was first found in Northumberland, with Anschatel Groy of Haute Saone, Normandy, who fought with William the Conqueror in 1066 AD. After the conquest, Anschatel Groy settled in Chillingham, Northumberland. He was from the department of Haute Saone called Gray, sometimes Groy, or Croy, in Normandy. From this house sprang the Grays of Suffolk, Kent, Tankerville, and Stamford. Some of the earliest records of the name include: Richard de Grey (born c. 1140); and his son, Sir Henry de Grey of Grays Thurrock, Essex (1155-1219), a favourite courtier of King John of England; and his son, Richard de Grey (died 1271) of Codnor, Derbyshire, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in 1258; and his brother Sir John de Grey (died 1266), an English soldier and High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire (1238-1239) and of High Sheriff of Herefordshire (1252-1253). John de Gray (died 1214) was Bishop of Norwich in Norfolk, and later became Archbishop of Canterbury, but was never confirmed. Backworth in Northumberland was home to one branch of the family. "This place formerly belonged to Tynemouth priory, and afterwards to the Grey family, by whom it was sold to the late Duke of Northumberland, for £95,000." [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Barcombe in Sussex was another ancient family seat. "It comprises 3106 acres, whereof 305 are common or waste; and is bounded on the east by the river Ouse, on which is a flour-mill that has existed since the Conquest, and has been for more than a century in the possession of the family of Mr. Russell Gray, who has also established an extensive oilmill at an expense of £10,000." [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Boernician names that evolved in the largely preliterate Middle Ages are often marked by considerable spelling variations. Gray has been spelled Gray, Grey, Groy, Croy, Graye and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gray research. Another 237 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1248, 1250, 1296, 1390, 1469, 1445, 1387, 1439, 1416, 1490, 1451, 1501, 1454, 1505, 1490, 1505, 1590, 1660, 1599, 1673, 1611, 1676, 1660, 1676, 1623, 1657, 1674, 1621, 1622 and are included under the topic Early Gray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Notable among the family at this time was Andrew Gray, 1st Lord Gray (c.1390-1469), a Scottish nobleman, politician and diplomat; Sir Andrew Gray (d. 1445) of Fowlis, Perthshire; Sir John Grey KG (c.1387-1439), English nobleman and soldier; Edmund Grey (1416-1490), English nobleman; Thomas Grey KG (1451-1501), 7th Baron Ferrers of Groby...

Another 156 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Gray family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Boernician-Scottish Clan families who came to North America were Loyalists who went north to Canada after the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border went on to found two of the world's great nations. This century, families with Scottish roots have rediscovered their heritage through highland games and clan societies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Gray or a variant listed above:

Gray Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Abraham Gray, who landed in America in 1620
  • Stephen Gray, who landed in Maryland in 1634-1641
  • Francis Gray who settled in Virginia in 1635 with his wife Alice
  • Tha Gray, who landed in Virginia in 1638
  • Alice Gray, who landed in Virginia in 1650
  • ...

Gray Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Sarah Gray, who landed in Virginia in 1722

Gray Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Walter Gray, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • William Gray, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1813
  • Zachariah Gray, who landed in New York in 1834
  • Adam Gray, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1836
  • Adolph Gray, aged 36, arrived in Missouri in 1840
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Gray Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. James Gray U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 200 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. John Gray U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. John Gray U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 [4]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. Joseph Gray U.E. (b. 1729) born in Massachusetts, USA from Boston, Massachusetts, USA who settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia c. 1784 he died in 1803, married to Mary Gerrish they had 13 children [5]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. Justus Gray U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 [6]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • ...

Gray Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • George Gray, aged 60, a farmer, arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Edinburgh" in 1815
  • Isobel Gray, aged 43, arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Edinburgh" in 1815
  • Isobel Gray, aged 18, arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Edinburgh" in 1815
  • Margaret Gray, aged 14, arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Edinburgh" in 1815
  • Ann Gray, aged 13, arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Edinburgh" in 1815
  • ...

Gray Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Robert Gray, English convict from Essex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Austen Gray, English convict from Durham, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Thomas Gray, a carpenter, arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Thomas Gray, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • William Gray, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • ...

Gray Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • George Gray landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Benjamin Gray, aged 23, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • Emma Gray, aged 21, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • Joseph Gray, aged 1, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • Christina Gray, aged 22, a servant, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
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  • Duncan Montgomery Gray Jr., (1926-2016), American cleric, the 7th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi
  • William "Bill" Mason Gray (1929-2016), American Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (CSU)
  • Coleen Gray (1922-2015), born Doris Bernice Jensen, an American actress, best known for her roles in the films Nightmare Alley (1947), Red River (1948), and The Killing (1956)
  • Freddie Carlos Gray Jr. (1989-2015), African-American man arrested by the Baltimore Police Department for possessing what the police alleged was an illegal switchblade; he fell into a coma and was taken to a trauma center and later died
  • Major-General Carl Raymond Jr. Gray (1889-1955), American Administrator of Veterans Affairs (1947-1953)
  • Harry Barkus Gray (b. 1935), American chemist awarded the Priestley Medal in 1991, The Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry and the Wolf Prize in Chemistry in 2004
  • Gordon Gray (1909-1982), American recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Bowman Gray Sr. (1874-1935), American former president and chairman of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
  • Carl R. Gray (1867-1939), American president of the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) 1920-1937
  • George William Gray CBE, FRS (b. 1926), Professor of Organic Chemistry who was instrumental in developing the long-lasting materials which made liquid crystal displays possible
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Gray Historic Events



Arrow Air Flight 1285

  • Mr. Christopher Gray (b. 1966), American Specialist 4th Class from Alvarado, Texas, USA who died in the crash of Arrow Air Flight 1285 on December 12, 1985 in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada

Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. Whit William Gray, British Assistant Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Mr. Arthur Gray, British Assistant Saloon Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Miss Mary Gray (1909-1914), American Second Class Passenger from Terre Haute, Wisconsin, United States who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Mr. Edwin Gray (1889-1914), Canadian Second Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Mrs. Madeline Gray (1880-1914), née Shirt American Second Class Passenger from Terre Haute, Wisconsin, United States who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914

Halifax Explosion

Hillcrest Coal Mine

  • Mr. James F Gray (1874-1914), Canadian Miner from Nova Scotia, Canada who worked in the Hillcrest Coal Mine, Alberta, Canada and died in the mine collapse on June 19 1914

HMS Hood

  • Mr. John C Gray (b. 1922), English Ordinary Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Richmond, Surrey, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Alfred E E Gray (b. 1902), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Southwark, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Colin Alexander Gray, British Marine, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Dennis Gray, "Dolly" British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Henry Harold Gray, British Chief Engine Artificer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died during the sinking

RMS Lusitania

  • Master Stuart James Gray, American 2nd Class passenger from Los Angeles, California, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mrs. Terence Florence Gray, American 2nd Class passenger from Los Angeles, California, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mr. James Paul Gray, American 2nd Class passenger from Oakland, California, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping on an overturned collapsible
  • Mr. Robert Duncan Gray, English 2nd Class passenger residing in Brooklyn, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
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  • Direct Ancestors of the Parker and Gray Families by Elizabeth Gray Parker.
  • A Family History, Gray-Avery and Related Families by Lewis and Ruby Gray.
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Gray Clan Badge
Gray Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...

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Septs of the Distinguished Name Gray
Gray, Graye, Grays, Groy and more.

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Citations



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X

Other References

  1. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  4. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  7. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  10. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Gray Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gray Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 August 2016 at 10:24.

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