Le gray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Le gray was first used as a surname by the descendants of a people of ancient Scotland called the Boernicians. Le gray is a name for a person who had gray hair. In Scotland, the surname Le gray 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. Le gray is therefore a nickname and a habitation name, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames.
Early Origins of the Le gray family
The surname Le gray 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." 
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." 
Important Dates for the Le gray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Le gray research. Another 119 words (8 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 Le gray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Le gray Spelling Variations
Spelling rules had not yet evolved in medieval Scotland, some names dating from that era often appear many different ways. Some spelling variations of Le gray include Gray, Grey, Groy, Croy, Graye and others.
Early Notables of the Le gray family (pre 1700)
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, 1st Earl of Huntingdon, and 1st Marquess of Dorset, an English nobleman and courtier; George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent (1454-1505), the son of Edmund Grey, 1st Earl of Kent and Lady Katherine Percy, was the Second Earl of Kent from 1490 to 1505; Nicholas Grey (c.1590-1660), English headmaster of...
Another 106 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Le gray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Le gray family to Ireland
Some of the Le gray family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 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 Le gray family
The Boernician-Scottish people who came to North America were often nearly penniless when they arrived, and brought very few personal effects with them. Much Scottish heritage was lost in the process, and it is only this century that highland games, Clan societies, and other patriotic Scottish organizations have helped the ancestors of Scots to rediscover their national legacy. Le grays were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: Francis Gray who settled in Virginia in 1635 with his wife Alice; Robert Gray settled in Barbados in 1680 with his wife and servants; David, Edward, Henry, James, John, Joseph, Martha, Patrick, Richard, Samual, Thomas and William Gray, all settled in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.
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- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.