Gray Family History
ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Gray
include Grey and Greye. This is a nickname meaning 'the gray', from a person with this colour of hair. Originating in Haute-Saone, France, this family came to England and Scotland with William the Conqueror. This name is of Anglo-Norman descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout these countries. Examples of such are a Robert de Gray and a John Gray, of Oxfordshire, who were recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England, in the year 1273.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century. During the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Ireland was colonized by the English Crown with this period marking the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. This period brought an influx of settlers into the country but, unlike the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century that resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
Gray is also an anglicized name of the native Gaelic MacCathailRiabhaigh Sept who were located in Longford and Leitrim. This Gaelic name was more often anglicized as Culreavy.The Gray
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Gray