Gainsbray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Gainsbray family
The surname Gainsbray 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 Gainsbray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gainsbray research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1166, 1177, 1714, 1307, 1302 and 1307 are included under the topic Early Gainsbray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gainsbray Spelling Variations
Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Gainsbray family name include Gainsborough, Gainsborrow, Gainsbrow, Gainsbro, Gainsbrough, Gaynsborough, Gaynsbro, Gainsbrow, Gainsboro, Gaynsborrow, Gainsbury, Gainsbry, Gainsberry, Gainsbrook and many more.
Early Notables of the Gainsbray 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 Gainsbray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gainsbray family
To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Gainsbray family to immigrate North America: James Gainsbrooke settled in Virginia in 1658.
Related Stories +
- ^ 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)