Graveley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Graveley family

The surname Graveley was first found in Hertfordshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Graveley which were held by five Norman nobles, the Bishop of Bayeux, Robert Gernon, William d'Eu, Gosbert de Beauvais and Peter de Valognes who were recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. Their under-tenants were Peter, Adam and Godfrey. There is now a 17th century farmhouse on the site.

Early History of the Graveley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Graveley research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1296, and 1339 are included under the topic Early Graveley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Graveley Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gravely, Graveley and others.

Early Notables of the Graveley family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Graveley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Graveley family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: settlers were recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled on the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Boston, to Virginia, to Florida, and to the islands..


Contemporary Notables of the name Graveley (post 1700) +

  • The Honourable Richard Thomas Graveley (1932-2012), Canadian Justice of the Superior Court


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)


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