Gey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Gey arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Gey family lived in Surrey. Their name, however, derives from their place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Gaye le Manche, France. [1]

Alternatively, the name could have been derived from the Old French "gal" meaning "full of joy, lighthearted" [2]

Early Origins of the Gey family

The surname Gey was first found in Surrey where Oswald le Gay was listed in the Pipe Rolls there in 1176. A few years later, Gilbert Gay was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1191.

Other early records include: Hilda de Gay in the Pipe Rolls for Oxfordshire in 1192; and William de Gaia in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1203. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Adam le Gay, Oxfordshire; and Robert le Gay, Oxfordshire. [2]

And in Somerset, William Gay was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [3]

In Scotland, the first record of the family was "John Gy, chaplain in Dundee, 1452, [who] may be John Gy who appears as presbyter in Brechin, 1458." [4]

The celebrated Beggars' Opera was written in 1727 by John Gay, who was said to have been instigated to its production by a feeling of annoyance at having been offered a court appointment which he regarded as beneath him. [5]

Early History of the Gey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gey research. Another 181 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1086, 1176, 1191, 1191, 1203, 1420, 1452, 1685, 1732, 1685, 1732 and 1728 are included under the topic Early Gey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gey Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Gay, Gaye and others.

Early Notables of the Gey family (pre 1700)

Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gey Ranking

In France, the name Gey is the 4,463rd most popular surname with an estimated 1,500 - 2,000 people with that name. [6]

Migration of the Gey family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Gey or a variant listed above: James Gay who settled in Virginia in 1623; followed by William in 1630; William Gay settled in Barbados in 1670; John and Abell Gay settled in Barbados in 1685.



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ Grove, Sir George, A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (AD. 1450-1889) London: Macmillan1902, Print, 2 Vols
  6. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/


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