Grayn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Grayn is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having 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 Grayn family

The surname Grayn 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 Grayn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grayn 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 Grayn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grayn Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Grayn family name include Grain, Grayne, Grayn, Graynson, Grainson, Granson and others.

Early Notables of the Grayn family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Grayn family to Ireland

Some of the Grayn 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 Grayn family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Grayn surname or a spelling variation of the name include: 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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