Graen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Graen is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived on the Isle of Grain in Kent, or possible from the French, Graine; a personal name. [1] Two other sources note the Kent [2] [3] connection, but we need to explore the possible French influence more. The Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Richard de Grana in Normandy 1180-1195 [4] and so this may be the source for some of the family.

Early Origins of the Graen family

The surname Graen was first found in Yorkshire where William del Greyn was listed as holding lands in the Subsidy Rolls of 1297. Years later, John atte Grelne was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1327 and William Grayne was found in the Assize Rolls for Yorkshire in 1362. The name literally means "dweller at the inlet, or at the fork of a river.' [5]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 also include many entries for the name in the Grayneson form: Willelmus de Grayne; Walterus Grayne; Thomas Grayne; Johannes Grayneson; Ricardus Grayneson; Robertus Grayneson; and many more. The Howdenshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Willelmus Grayne, husband; and Alanus Grayne, orewster. [6]

Early History of the Graen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Graen research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1362, 1379, 1455, 1487, 1616, 1667, 1629, 1697, 1616 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Graen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Graen Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Graen has been spelled many different ways, including Grain, Grayne, Grayn, Graynson, Grainson, Granson and others.

Early Notables of the Graen family (pre 1700)

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Graen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Graen family to Ireland

Some of the Graen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 62 words (4 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 Graen family

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Graens to arrive in North America: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..



  1. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  4. ^ 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)
  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)


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