Greatorex History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Greatorex is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived in an area that was referred to as the great ridge. Greatorex is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, or in this case a ridge. [1]

Another source postulates that the name was from "Greatorick, from Gayteric, the old form of Catterick, Yorkshire, in which county the name remains common." [2]

And two sources claim the name is from Great Rocks; a hamlet, Tideswell, Derbyshire. [3] [4] This latter source dives into more detail: "the Derbyshire name of Greatorex is evidently derived from Great Rocks, a hamlet in the parish of Wormhill. Greatrix and Gratrix are now Lancashire forms of the name." [4]

And yet another source claims the name is from Greterakes, a place name in the Domesday Book of 1086. [5]

Early Origins of the Greatorex family

The surname Greatorex was first found in Essex where Augustine Brandon and Elizabeth Greatracks, of Westham, Essex married in 1382. [6]

Early History of the Greatorex family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greatorex research. Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1647, 1659, 1697, 1743, 1625, 1675, 1712, 1629, 1683, 1629, 1628, 1683 and 1666 are included under the topic Early Greatorex History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Greatorex Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Greatorex has been spelled many different ways, including Gratrix, Greatrix, Greatrex, Great-Rex, Greatorix, Greatorex and many more.

Early Notables of the Greatorex family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Ralph Greatorex (c.1625-1675), an English mathematical instrument maker and apprentice of London clockmaker Elias Allen, his name appears in Pepys's Diary. His date of death is uncertain as the Dictionary of National Biography claims he died as late as 1712. Valentine Greatrakes (1629-1683), whose name...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Greatorex Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Greatorex family to Ireland

Some of the Greatorex family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 75 words (5 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 Greatorex family

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Greatorexs to arrive in North America: George, Henry and Lawrence Greatrake settled in Delaware in 1813.


Contemporary Notables of the name Greatorex (post 1700) +

  • Eliza Pratt Greatorex (1819-1897), Irish-born American artist who was affiliated with the Hudson River School, the second woman to be elected an associate of the National Academy of Design
  • Eleanor Greatorex (1854-1917), American painter and illustrator, his "Portrait of Mrs. John Gellatly", (1890-1897) is featured at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Henry Wellington Greatorex (1816-1858), English-born, American musician from Burton upon Trent, son of Thomas Greatorex
  • Thomas Greatorex (1758-1831), English composer, astronomer and mathematician, principal organist of Westminster Abbey, Fellow of the Royal Society [7]
  • Ralph Greatorex (d. 1712), English mathematical instrument maker of the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields [7]
  • Theophilus Greatorex (1864-1933), English cricketer for Middlesex (1883-1892)
  • Louis Greatorex (b. 1996), English actor, known for his role as Lawrence in the Last Tango in Halifax, since 2012
  • Ken Greatorex (b. 1936), English rugby league footballer for the Featherstone Rovers (1958-1968)
  • Jonathan Greatorex (b. 1970), English music educator and consumer advocate
  • Wilfred Greatorex (1921-2002), English television and film writer, script editor and producer, best known as the creator of Secret Army, 1990, Plane Makers and its sequel The Power Game, Hine, Brett, Man At The Top, Man From Haven and The Inheritors
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  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)
  7. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020


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