Gravely History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gravely family

The surname Gravely 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 Gravely family

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

Gravely Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Gravely family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Gravely 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 Gravely (post 1700) +

  • Benjamin Franklin Gravely (1876-1953), American inventor of Gravely Tractor
  • Samuel Lee Gravely Jr., (1922-2004), African-American Navy Vice Admiral, recipient of the Legion of Merit (2) and Bronze Star, eponym of the USS Gravely (DDG-107)
  • Joseph Jackson Gravely (1828-1872), nineteenth century American politician, lawyer and teacher
  • Tracy Gravely (b. 1968), former American all star linebacker in the Canadian Football League
  • Brigadier-General William Seymour Gravely (1888-1956), American Commanding Officer 37th Flying Training Wing (1945) [2]
  • Peyton Gravely, American politician, Delegate to Virginia secession convention, 1861 [3]
  • Melvin J. Gravely, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Ohio 16th District, 1988 [3]
  • Lloyd Lee Gravely (b. 1889), American Democrat politician, Mayor of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, 1925-28; Member of North Carolina State Senate 6th District, 1929-32, 1935 [3]
  • Joseph Jackson Gravely (1828-1872), American Republican politician, Member of Virginia State House of Delegates, 1853-54; Member of Missouri State Senate, 1862-64; Lieutenant Governor of Missouri, 1871-72 [3]
  • Edward E. Gravely, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1972 [3]
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 11) William Gravely. Retrieved from
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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