Carray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Carray surname is thought to be derived from the manor of Carrey, near Lisieux, Normandy. Some instances of this name come from Welsh and Cornish origins and are variations of the name Carew. Most of the Irish variations of this name are Anglicized forms of the Gaelic O Ciardha.

Early Origins of the Carray family

The surname Carray was first found in Somerset, at Castle Cary, a market town and civil parish in south Somerset. The place dates back to at least the Domesday Book where it was listed as Cari [1] and later in 1237, the place was recorded as Castelkary. It is generally believed that the castle was built by Walter of Douai (c.1046-1107), a Norman knight. The place was named after the River Cary. [2]

John Cary (d. 1395?), was an early English judge, son of Sir John Cary, (d.1371), knight, bailiff of the forest of Selwood in Wiltshire, knight of the shire for Devon in 1362 and 1368. The young John Cary was created Chief Baron of the Exchequer 5 Nov. 1386, but two years later was impeached. "He was condemned to death, but the sentence having been commuted for one of banishment, he was transported to Waterford and confined within a circuit of two miles round the city. He died about 1395 or 1396. His estates at Torrington and Cockington, which had been confiscated, were restored to his son, probably in 1402." [3]

Again in Devon, we find "the extensive parish of St. Giles-in-the-Wood, so called to distinguish it from St. Giles-in-the-Heath, which lies on the borders of Cornwall, and which contains the manor of Cary, reputedly the original home of the Cary family." [4]

"Castle Cary probably derived its name from an ancient castle originally belonging to a lord of the name of Carey, which was defended against King Stephen by its owner, Lord Lovell, one of whose descendants having embraced the cause of the deposed monarch, Richard II., it became forfeited to the crown. " [5]

Also in early days, the family was found at Leppington in the East Riding of Yorkshire. "The Carey family formerly possessed a castellated mansion here, and a member of it was created Baron Carey, of Leppington, in 1622, but the title became extinct about the period of the Restoration. " [5] Other early records were found in Guernsey.

Early History of the Carray family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carray research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1205, 1242, 1348, 1645, 1662, 1393, 1288, 1524, 1596, 1575, 1633, 1622, 1629, 1580, 1666, 1608, 1677, 1610, 1643, 1615, 1688, 1624, 1658, 1634, 1663, 1659, 1663, 1656, 1694, 1681, 1689, 1693, 1694, 1633, 1610, 1643, 1610, 1622, 1621 and are included under the topic Early Carray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Carray Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Carray have been found, including Carey, Carrie, Carrey, Cary and others.

Early Notables of the Carray family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Carey, Baily of Guernsey; Henry Carey (circa 1524-1596), 1st Baron Hunsdon, an English army officer, diplomat, and politician, and a nephew of Anne Boleyn; Henry Carey, 1st Viscount Falkland (c. 1575-1633), an English landowner and politician, Lord Deputy of Ireland (1622-1629); Henry Carey, 1st Earl of Dover (ca.1580-1666), an English peer; John Carey, 2nd Earl of Dover (1608-1677), an English peer; Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland (c. 1610-1643), an English author and politician, he fought on...
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Carray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Carray family to Ireland

Some of the Carray family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 193 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Carray family

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Carray were among those contributors: James Cary, who came to Charlestown, MA in 1639; Miles Cary, who arrived in Virginia, from Bristol in 1645, and served as Burgess from 1660-1665; Christopher Cary, a servant sent from Bristol to Virginia in 1665.



  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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