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The story of the name Grey begins with a family in the Boernician tribe of the ancient Scottish-English border region. Grey is a name for a person who had gray hair. In Scotland, the surname Grey actually came from two different derivations. As a nickname, it came from the Gaelic word riabhach, which means gray. As a habitational name, it derived from the place named Graye, in Calvados. This place-name came from the Gallo-Roman personal name, Gratus, which means welcome or pleasing. Grey is therefore a nickname and a habitation name, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames.

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The surname Grey was first found in Northumberland, with Anschatel Groy of Haute Saone, Normandy, who fought with William the Conqueror in 1066 AD. After the conquest, Anschatel Groy settled in Chillingham, Northumberland. He was from the department of Haute Saone called Gray, sometimes Groy, or Croy, in Normandy. From this house sprang the Grays of Suffolk, Kent, Tankerville, and Stamford. Some of the earliest records of the name include: Richard de Grey (born c. 1140); and his son, Sir Henry de Grey of Grays Thurrock, Essex (1155-1219), a favourite courtier of King John of England; and his son, Richard de Grey (died 1271) of Codnor, Derbyshire, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in 1258; and his brother Sir John de Grey (died 1266), an English soldier and High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire (1238-1239) and of High Sheriff of Herefordshire (1252-1253). John de Gray (died 1214) was Bishop of Norwich in Norfolk, and later became Archbishop of Canterbury, but was never confirmed. Backworth in Northumberland was home to one branch of the family. "This place formerly belonged to Tynemouth priory, and afterwards to the Grey family, by whom it was sold to the late Duke of Northumberland, for 95,000." [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Barcombe in Sussex was another ancient family seat. "It comprises 3106 acres, whereof 305 are common or waste; and is bounded on the east by the river Ouse, on which is a flour-mill that has existed since the Conquest, and has been for more than a century in the possession of the family of Mr. Russell Gray, who has also established an extensive oilmill at an expense of 10,000." [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

A lack of rules and the tendency of scribes to spell according to the sound of the word plagued medieval spelling. Not surprisingly, an enormous number of spelling variations appeared. Grey has been written Gray, Grey, Groy, Croy, Graye and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grey research. Another 237 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1248, 1250, 1296, 1390, 1469, 1445, 1387, 1439, 1416, 1490, 1451, 1501, 1454, 1505, 1490, 1505, 1590, 1660, 1599, 1673, 1611, 1676, 1660, 1676, 1623, 1657, 1674, 1621, 1622 and are included under the topic Early Grey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Notable among the family at this time was Andrew Gray, 1st Lord Gray (c.1390-1469), a Scottish nobleman, politician and diplomat; Sir Andrew Gray (d. 1445) of Fowlis, Perthshire; Sir John Grey KG (c.1387-1439), English nobleman and soldier; Edmund Grey (1416-1490), English nobleman; Thomas Grey KG (1451-1501), 7th Baron Ferrers of Groby...

Another 156 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Grey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Grey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Many Scots crossed the Atlantic for North America hoping to escape poverty, as well as persecution. Much of their heritage was lost along the way and overtime. This century, however, Clan societies and highland games have allowed many ancestral Scots to recover their birthright. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Grey arrived in North America very early:

Grey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Daniel Grey settled in Virginia in 1654

Grey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Daniel Grey, aged 38, a carpenter, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Salus" in 1833
  • Mary Grey, aged 39, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Salus" in 1833
  • Maria Grey, aged 20, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Perseus" in 1834
  • Nancy Grey, aged 50, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Perseus" in 1834
  • John Grey, aged 20, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Perseus" in 1834
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Grey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Grey, a miner, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Edward Grey arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839
  • Henry Grey arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839
  • Margaret Grey arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Abberton" in 1846
  • Elizabeth Grey arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bussorah Merchant" in 1848
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Grey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Benjamin Grey landed in Wanganui, New Zealand in 1843
  • George Grey landed in New Zealand in 1843
  • Benjamin Grey arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aloe" in 1863
  • Robert Grey arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aloe" in 1863
  • Thomas Grey arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Pegasus" in 1865
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  • William H. Grey, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Arkansas, 1868, 1872
  • Tom Grey, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from California 12th District, 1988
  • Ruth Grey, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Jersey, 1956
  • O. H. Grey, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Nevada, 1900
  • Norman Grey, American Republican politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for New Jersey, 1912
  • Mike Grey, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oklahoma, 1956
  • Mrs. John Wesley Grey, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1932
  • Jeffrey W. Grey, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Virginia 6th District, 1996
  • James Grey, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Governor of Georgia, 1966
  • J. C. Grey, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives, 1925-26, 1949-54
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Grey Historic Events



Halifax Explosion

  • Mr. Thomas G. Grey (1844-1917), Canadian resident from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917 but later died due to injuries
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Citations



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  2. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  3. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  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. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  6. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Grey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Grey Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 14 March 2016 at 14:31.

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