Grayston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Among the clans of the Scottish/English Borderlands, the Strathclyde Britons were the first to use the name Grayston. It is derived from Grier, a pet form of the given name Gregory, which means watchful.

Early Origins of the Grayston family

The surname Grayston was first found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhùn Phris), a Southern area, bordering on England that today forms part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

"The Griersons of Lag, Dumfriesshire, claim descent from Gilbert, second son of Malcolm, dominus de MacGregor, who is said to have died in 1374, but, says Col. Fergusson, 'there is no evidence or foundation for the story commonly current that this family was an offshoot of the Highland family of MacGregor.' " [1]

Early History of the Grayston family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grayston research. Another 321 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1411, 1411, 1429, 1451, 1232, 1502, 1526, 1557, 1671, 1704, 1547, 1590, 1564, 1657, 1733, 1408, 1608, 1623, 1654, 1655, 1677, 1760, 1709 and 1711 are included under the topic Early Grayston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grayston Spelling Variations

Medieval Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. This is due to the fact that scribes in that era spelled according to the sound of words, rather than any set of rules. Grayston has been spelled Grierson, Greson, Greyson, Grayson, Greirson and others.

Early Notables of the Grayston family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was John Grierson or Grisson (died 1564?), a Scottish Dominican who is believed to have been from the family of Grierson of Lag in Dumfriesshire. [2] Sir Robert Grierson of Lag (1657-1733), was 1st Baronet of Baronets of Lag & Rockhall, Dumfriesshire. He was "persecutor of the covenanters, was descended from an old Dumfriesshire family which claimed as an ancestor the highland chief Malcolm, lord of Macgregor, the friend and ally of Robert Bruce. The lands of Lag are said to have been bestowed on Gilbert Grierson by Henry, earl of...
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Grayston Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Grayston family to Ireland

Some of the Grayston family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Grayston migration to the United States +

Many Scots were left with few options other than to leave their homeland for the colonies across the Atlantic. Some of these families fought to defend their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. Others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these families have recently been able to rediscover their roots through Clan societies and other Scottish organizations. Among them:

Grayston Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Grayston, who landed in New York in 1847 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Grayston (post 1700) +

  • Grayston "Bill" Ives (b. 1948), British composer and choral director


The Grayston 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: Hoc securior
Motto Translation: Safer by this.


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ 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)


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