Graven History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Graven comes from when the family resided at Craven, a district in North Yorkshire which traces back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Crave. [1] Craven is thought to come from an old Brythonic word, a precursor of the Welsh word "craf" or "garlic." [2]

Early Origins of the Graven family

The surname Graven was first found in North Yorkshire (West Riding) at Craven where "the surname has for centuries been very strongly represented. " [3]

One of the first records of the name was found here, specifically John de Crauene who was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1166. [4] The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed the following: Agnes de Craven; Johannes de Crauen; and Roger de Craven. Robert de Craven was rector of Bolton-juxta-Bowland in 1304. [3]

Some of the family were also found at Great Washbourn in Gloucestershire. "It comprises 650 acres, the whole, with the exception of about 100 acres, the property of the Craven family." [5]

And another branch was found at Winwick in Northamptonshire. "The church is in the early English style, with a tower, and contains some handsome monuments of the Craven family. Some remains of an old mansion in the parish have been converted into a farmhouse." [5]

The Irish McRaven variant is actually an Anglicization of the Irish name Mac Crabhain and was found chiefly in Louth-Monaghan. [6]

Early History of the Graven family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Graven research. Another 158 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1166, 1332, 1664, 1608, 1697, 1610, 1770, 1825, 1585, 1618, 1610, 1618, 1608, 1697, 1623, 1636, 1668, 1711, 1702 and 1711 are included under the topic Early Graven History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Graven Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Graven include Craven, Cravene, Cravin, Cravine, Craevin and many more.

Early Notables of the Graven family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir William Craven (c. 1585-1618), an English merchant, Lord Mayor of London in 1610 (perhaps 1618.) Some people believe that the story of Dick Whittington is based on Craven's career, and he is sometime referred to as "Aptrick's Dick Whittington." William Craven, 1st Earl of Craven (1608-1697), was an...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Graven Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Graven family to Ireland

Some of the Graven family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Graven migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Graven Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • R G Graven, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Graven (post 1700) +

  • Robert Graven (b. 1962), American professional baseball player
  • Terrance Graven, American San Francisco artist
  • Henry Norman Graven (1893-1970), United States federal judge
  • Marion Finney Graven (b. 1901), American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1948 [8]
  • Henry N. Graven (b. 1893), American politician, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Iowa, 1944- [8]
  • David Graven, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 1960, 1964 (alternate) [8]
  • Otto Frank Graven (b. 1975), professional drifter from Kimberley, South Africa


The Graven Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtus in actione consistit
Motto Translation: Virtue consists in action.


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, More Irish Families. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0)
  7. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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