Origins Available: French
The surname Gris is a name of ancient French origin. It was a Breton
name given to a person with gray hair. The name Gris is derived from the Old French word "gris," which means "gray," and was often given to someone with gray hair.
Early Origins of the Gris family
The surname Gris was first found in Brittany
where this distinguished family held a family seat
at Motte, and were prominent members of the aristocracy.
Early History of the Gris family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gris research.Another 165 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 178 and 1789 are included under the topic Early Gris History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gris Spelling Variations
Throughout the course of history most surnames have undergone changes for many reasons. During the early development of the French language, a son and father may not have chosen to spell their name the same way. Many are simple spelling changes by a person who gave his name, phonetically, to a scribe, priest, or recorder. Many names held prefixes or suffixes which became optional as they passed through the centuries, or were adopted by different branches to signify either a political or religious adherence. Hence, we have many spelling variations
of this name, Gris some of which are Gris, Griss, Grix, LeGris, Legris, Legriss and many more.
Early Notables of the Gris family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Gris Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gris family to the New World and Oceana
French settlers came early to North American, following in the wake of the explorers, and creating New France. Quebec City, founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain is said to have been the first American site founded as a permanent settlement, rather than as just a commercial outpost. But emigration was slow, in 1643, 109 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 French people in Quebec, and by 1663, when the region was officially made The Royal Colony of New France, by Louis XIV, there still only around 500 settlers. Over 2,000 would arrive during the next decade. Early marriage was desperately encouraged amongst the immigrants. Youths of 18 took fourteen-year-old girls for their wives. The fur trade was developed and attracted immigrants, both noble and commoner from France. By 1675, there were around 7000 French in the colony, and by that same year the Acadian presence in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had reached 500. In 1755, 10,000 French Acadians refused to take an oath of allegiance to England
and were deported to Louisiana. Despite the loss of the Colony to England
, the French people flourished in Lower Canada. Among settlers to North America of the Gris surname were Adrien Legris (1686), Jean Legris (1692 Lépine), and Denis Legris (1728) all arrived in Quebec from Ile-de-France.