Early Origins of the Gentray family
The surname Gentray was first found in Hampshire
, where they held a family seat
since the Norman invasion
of 1066. The name Gentray comes from the Old French word "gent," meaning "well-born" or "noble." CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
It could be a literal name, referring to someone who actually was well-born, or it may have been an ironic nickname, for someone who put on airs of aristocracy.
One of the oldest records of the family was found in Winmarleigh, a township in Lancashire with one of the older spellings used by the family. "In the reign of Henry III. lived a Gregory de Winnerlie or de Wimerlegh. In the 17th of Edward III., [(17th year of Edward III's reign)]Robert de Plesyngton received a fine from Thomas le Gentyll and his wife and son, for a moiety of the manor of Wynmerles." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Other early record of the family were found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273: William le Gentil in Yorkshire and Robert le Gentill, or Gentyl in Wiltshire. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) John le Gentyl, was listed in Somerset during the first year of Edward III's reign CITATION[CLOSE]
Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print. and in the 4th year of Edward II's reign William le Gentil was listed on the Patent Roll. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Agnes Gentildoghter and Johannes Gentill. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Early History of the Gentray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gentray research.Another 165 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1202 and 1242 are included under the topic Early Gentray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gentray 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 Gentray family name include Gentle, Gentles, Gentile, Jentle, Gentry and others.
Early Notables of the Gentray family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Gentray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gentray family to Ireland
Some of the Gentray family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 115 words (8 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 Gentray family to the New World and Oceana
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 Gentray family to immigrate North America: Jean Gentil, who came to Louisiana in 1719; at the tender age of 19; as well as Jacques Gentil, who arrived in Louisiana a year later. Many others were to follow, including Andrew Gentle, who arrived in New York in 1812 and Elizabeth Gentry, who arrived in New York in 1862.