Pray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Pray surname comes from the word Latin "praetor," and was a term used for a reeve, the chief magistrate or bailiff of a district. Additionally, the name could have meant "leader." The Pretorius variant is a common Afrikaans surname which is unique to South Africa.

Early Origins of the Pray family

The surname Pray was first found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The family name was first referenced in the year 1150 when Willelmus Pretor held estates in that shire. Later, Robertus Preter was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Gloucestershire in 1208. [1]

By the 16th century, early spelling variations of the name appeared in Germany including Jacob Praetorius the Elder (c. 1520-1586), the German organist and composer. He was the first of many listed in this century, but how the English and German families are related is unknown. Moreover how the South African variant Pretorius became so popular there is again unknown.

Early History of the Pray family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pray research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Pray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pray Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Prater, Preater, Prather, Pretor, Prether and many more.

Early Notables of the Pray family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Pray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Pray migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pray Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Quentin Pray, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1645 [2]
  • Richard Pray, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1645 [2]
  • John Pray, who landed in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1657 [2]
  • Ephraim Pray, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1680 [2]
Pray Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hugh Pray, aged 30, who arrived in New York in 1812 [2]
  • Alvin Pray, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [2]
  • Ignacio Pray, aged 26, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1850 [2]
  • Atwill Pray, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]

Canada Pray migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pray Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Pray U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Pray (post 1700) +

  • Isaac Clark Pray (1813-1869), American author and playwright
  • Irving R. Pray, American football coach at Louisiana State University
  • W. Steven Pray, American pharmacist and academic, recipient of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy's Henry Cade Memorial Award (2008)
  • Doug Pray, American documentary film director, cinematographer, and editor
  • Jack Pray (1872-1948), Scottish footballer
  • György Pray (1723-1801), Hungarian Jesuit abbot and canon

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X on Facebook
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate