Awtray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Awtray was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Awtray family lived in Sussex at Moor House, Petworth, not far from Battle Abbey.  Hawtrie is an adaptation of Hauterive, Normandy, the name of which literally means high river.
"In recording the foundation of Heryngham Priory by William Dawtree, the Monasticon thus speaks: 'The latin word 'Ripa,' was in Norman writings generally meant for a river, without relation to 'Ripa' a bank. The Romans called it 'Haultrey.' There was an ancient family of knights, owners of much lands in these parts, and of fair possessions, even in the very bosom of the 'high stream' from which they took their name, and were called 'De Haul-trey.' "The ancient house" here alluded to was the stem of many important branches, the most flourishing of which was that planted in the county of Sussex, at Moor House in Petworth, not very far from Battle Abbey itself. It produced a series of knightly generations, which held the highest rank in their country, and intermarried with its noblest families. " 
Early Origins of the Awtray family
The surname Awtray was first found in Sussex where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Heringham. Soon after the Domesday Book survey, a census initiated by Duke William of Normandy after his conquest of England in 1066 A.D., the family built Heringham Priory.  The first Norman noble to settle was from Hauterive, probably assuming the cognate 'de Hauterive'. He came from the arrondisement of Alencon in Normandy. It is most likely a corruption of the Norman Hauterive which produced the family name but, strangely, Dawtry and Dealtry have also been attributed to the same source, this from a Latinization of the location of their estates in Sussex, i.e., De Alta Ripa, a high bank or cliff. The Dawtries, the main house of which is in Petworth parish, are one and the same as the Hawtries.
Early History of the Awtray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Awtray research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1659, 1758 and 1767 are included under the topic Early Awtray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Awtray Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Hawtre, Hawtree, Hawtrie, Dawtre, Dawtree, Dawtrie, Hawtrey, Haultrey, Dealtre, Dealtrie, Dawtrey, Dawtry, Daltry, Haltry, Haltrie and many more.
Early Notables of the Awtray family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Dawtrey, Esq. of Moor House, Doddinghurst, died s. p. in 1758, having bequeated his estates to (the son of his sister Sarah) his nephew, and heir, Richard Luther,, Esq. of Myles's, in Essex, who m. Charlotte, daughter of Dr. Hugh Chamberlen, the famous Court Physician, temp. Queen Anne, and-died at Vicars Hill, Hants, in 1767...
Migration of the Awtray family
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Awtray or a variant listed above: John Dawtres who settled in Virginia in 1636; William Dawtrey settled in Barbados in 1683.