Gainsberray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Gainsberray family
The surname Gainsberray was first found in Lincolnshire at Gainsborough, town in the West Lindsey district that dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Gainesburg and literally meant "stronghold of a man called Gegn" having derived from the Old English personal name + "burh."  Conjecturally, the family is descended from Rainald, tenant of the lordship of Gainsborough listed in the Domesday Book.  Gainsborough was one of the capital cities of Mercia during the Anglo-Saxon period, and another reference claims the town's origin is from Gaini (Ganni) an ancient Anglo-Saxon tribe.
The famed English portrait and landscape artist Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) born in Sudbury, Suffolk, the youngest son of John Gainsborough, a weaver and maker of woolen goods. His birthplace, Gainsborough's House is now a museum and gallery.
Early History of the Gainsberray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gainsberray research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1166, 1177, 1714, 1307, 1302 and 1307 are included under the topic Early Gainsberray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gainsberray Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Gainsborough, Gainsborrow, Gainsbrow, Gainsbro, Gainsbrough, Gaynsborough, Gaynsbro, Gainsbrow, Gainsboro, Gaynsborrow, Gainsbury, Gainsbry, GainsBerry, Gainsbrook and many more.
Early Notables of the Gainsberray family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Gainsborough (died 1307), English prelate, Bishop of Worcester (1302-1307.) "He was a Franciscan, who is first known as the divinity lecturer of the Franciscans at Oxford. His position seems to have suggested to Edward I that he should be employed as an ambassador to Philip IV of France, with whom the English king wished to be at peace...
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gainsberray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gainsberray family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Gainsberray name or one of its variants: James Gainsbrooke settled in Virginia in 1658.
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)