The birthplace of the surname Spraye is Cornwall
, a rugged peninsula in southwestern England
that is noted for its strong Gaelic traditions. Even though the usage of surnames was common during the Middle Ages, all English people were known only by a single name in early times. The process by which hereditary surnames
came to be used is intriguing. As the number of inhabitants of Europe swelled, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify them. Under the Feudal
System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Although nickname
surnames were rare among the Cornish, they did occasionally adopt names that reflected the physical characteristics or other attributes of the original bearer of the name. The name Spraye is a nickname type of surname for a person who is lively and alert.
Tracing the origin of the name further, we found the name Spraye was originally from the Old English word spray,
of the same meaning.
Early Origins of the Spraye family
The surname Spraye was first found in Cornwall
, at St. Anthony in Roseland, a parish, in the union of Truro, W. division of the hundred
of Powder. "The living is a donative, in the patronage of the family of Spry: the tithes have been commuted for £118. The church, beautifully situated on the border of a navigable lake separating this parish from St. Mawes, contains some handsome monuments to the Spry family, of which one, by Westmacott, is to the memory of Sir Richard Spry, Rear-Admiral of the White." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Alternatively, the family could have originated in Spreyton in Devon.
Early History of the Spraye family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spraye research.Another 243 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1485, 1627, 1612, 1685, 1660 and 1663 are included under the topic Early Spraye History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Spraye Spelling Variations
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England
, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations
often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall
and the rest of England
. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic
language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Spry, Spray, Spre, Spraye, Sprye, Sprey, Sprie and many more.
Early Notables of the Spraye family (pre 1700)
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Spraye Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Spraye family to the New World and Oceana
Study of Passenger and Immigration lists has revealed that among early immigrants bearing the Spraye surname were: William Spry who settled in Virginia in 1648; Oliver Sprye settled in Virginia in 1639; Francis Spry settled in North Carolina in 1701. In Newfoundland, John Spry was a Surgeon of St. John's in 1753.
The Spraye Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Soyez sage et simple
Motto Translation: Be wise and simple.