Greatrakes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestry of the name Greatrakes dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in an area that was referred to as the great ridge. Greatrakes 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. 
Another source postulates that the name was from "Greatorick, from Gayteric, the old form of Catterick, Yorkshire, in which county the name remains common." 
And two sources claim the name is from Great Rocks; a hamlet, Tideswell, Derbyshire.   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." 
And yet another source claims the name is from Greterakes, a place name in the Domesday Book of 1086. 
Early Origins of the Greatrakes family
The surname Greatrakes was first found in Essex where Augustine Brandon and Elizabeth Greatracks, of Westham, Essex married in 1382. 
Early History of the Greatrakes family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greatrakes 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 Greatrakes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Greatrakes Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Greatrakes have been found, including Gratrix, Greatrix, Greatrex, Great-Rex, Greatorix, Greatorex and many more.
Early Notables of the Greatrakes 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 Greatrakes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Greatrakes family to Ireland
Some of the Greatrakes 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 Greatrakes family
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Greatrakes, or a variant listed above: George, Henry and Lawrence Greatrake settled in Delaware in 1813.
|Contemporary Notables of the name Greatrakes (post 1700) ||+|
- William Greatrakes (1723-1781), Irish barrister from Waterford
- Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
- 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)
- Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
- Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)