Show ContentsGreat'rex History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Great'rex comes from the family having resided in an area that was referred to as the great ridge. Great'rex is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, or in this case a ridge. [1]

Another source postulates that the name was from "Greatorick, from Gayteric, the old form of Catterick, Yorkshire, in which county the name remains common." [2]

And two sources claim the name is from Great Rocks; a hamlet, Tideswell, Derbyshire. [3] [4] This latter source dives into more detail: "the Derbyshire name of Greatorex is evidently derived from Great Rocks, a hamlet in the parish of Wormhill. Greatrix and Gratrix are now Lancashire forms of the name." [4]

And yet another source claims the name is from Greterakes, a place name in the Domesday Book of 1086. [5]

Early Origins of the Great'rex family

The surname Great'rex was first found in Essex where Augustine Brandon and Elizabeth Greatracks, of Westham, Essex married in 1382. [6]

Early History of the Great'rex family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Great'rex research. Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1647, 1659, 1697, 1743, 1625, 1675, 1712, 1629, 1683, 1629, 1628, 1683 and 1666 are included under the topic Early Great'rex History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Great'rex Spelling Variations

Great'rex has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Gratrix, Greatrix, Greatrex, Great-Rex, Greatorix, Greatorex and many more.

Early Notables of the Great'rex family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Ralph Greatorex (c.1625-1675), an English mathematical instrument maker and apprentice of London clockmaker Elias Allen, his name appears in Pepys's Diary. His date of death is uncertain as the Dictionary of National Biography claims he died as late as 1712. Valentine Greatrakes (1629-1683), whose name...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Great'rex Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Great'rex family to Ireland

Some of the Great'rex family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 75 words (5 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 Great'rex family

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Great'rexs to arrive on North American shores: George, Henry and Lawrence Greatrake settled in Delaware in 1813.

Contemporary Notables of the name Great'rex (post 1700) +

  • Stanley "Stan" Greatrex, English professional motorcycle speedway rider in the 1930s, National League Champion in 1938
  • Neil Greatrex (b. 1951), English former miner, trade unionist, and the former president of the Union of Democratic Mineworkers (UDM); he was found guilty of embezzlement
  • John Greatrex (b. 1936), English cricketer for Norfolk in the 1970s
  • Thomas James "Tom" Greatrex (b. 1974), British Labour Party politician, Shadow Minister for Energy (2011-2015), Member of Parliament for Rutherglen and Hamilton West (2010-2015)
  • Tim Greatrex, British television executive

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. 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)
  3. Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  4. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) on Facebook