Dorray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Dorray is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Dorray family lived in Herefordshire. The family settled in Dore in that county, and it is from this location that their surname derives.
Early Origins of the Dorray family
The surname Dorray was first found in Herefordshire at Dore Abbey, a former Cistercian abbey in the village of Abbey Dore in the Golden Valley. The abbey was founded in 1147 by Robert fitzHarold of Ewyas, the Lord of Ewyas Harold, and derives it name from the River Dore, a Celtic river-name meaning "the waters." 
"This parish derives its name from its situation on the river Dore, and from an abbey of White or Cistercian monks, founded here in the reign of Stephen, by Robert, son of Harold, Lord of Ewyas, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Edmund." 
Dore is also a village in South Yorkshire which is listed in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle c. 829 when King Egbert of Wessex led his army to the village to receive the submission of King Eanred of Northumbria. Some claim that Egbert became the first king of England at Dore. Today the "Dore Stone," located on the village green commemorates King Egbert's victory.
Early History of the Dorray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dorray research. Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dorray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dorray 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 Dore, Dorey, Dory, Dorie, Doar, Doare, Doore, Doorey, Doorie and many more.
Early Notables of the Dorray family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Dorray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dorray family to Ireland
Some of the Dorray family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dorray 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 Dorray or a variant listed above: James Dore who settled in Virginia in the year 1621; one year after the arrival of the "Mayflower"; followed by James in 1774; Mrs. Dore arrived in Norfolk Virginia in 1820 with her child.
Related Stories +
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.