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About the study
Whilst the study is aimed to cover the name world-wide, most of my data is regarding England and Wales, with a significant portion of that from Yorkshire. As people seek help with their GRAY relatives, the data I uncover myself, or receive from them, helps build this store of data.
The GRAY ONS web-site has been set up and it is being used to publicise the findings from the study.
This is a one-name study at its very early stages and any help would be very welcome - no matter how much or what.
* English: nickname for someone with GRAY hair or a GRAY beard, from Old English 'GRAY'. In Scotland and Ireland it has been used as a translation of various Gaelic surnames derived from riabhach 'brindled', 'GRAY' (see Reavey). In North America this name has assimilated names with similar meaning from other European languages.
* English and Scottish (of Norman origin): habitational name from GRAYE in Calvados, France, named from the Gallo-Roman personal name Gratus, meaning 'welcome', 'pleasing' + the locative suffix -acum.
* French and Swiss French: habitational name from GRAY in Haute-Sa?and Le GRAY in Seine-Maritime, both in France, or from GRAY-la-ville in Switzerland, or a regional name from the Swiss canton of Graub?
History of the name
Distribution of the name
According to the US census data held by Ancestry.com, the numbers of GRAYs were 3,558 in 1840, 59,387 in 1880 and 33,331 in 1920. (I've yet to understand the significant decrease between 1880 and 1920). From that web-site, I've obtained the numbers per state in each of those years.
Building trees is a slow process and is mainly done in support of questions raised by others about their family.