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About the study
This study was committed to once I thought I had an understanding of the extent of the WRAY name.
I intended to cover the RAY spelling as well, but as is often the way I began to see some variants, including WRA, WREA, WROE, and from the Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames, WROE. RAY also has a variant RAE.
I intend that the Study should unearth as much information as is available, but in the period Sep 1837 - Dec 1974 there have been 16,977 births to that name in England & Wales alone and 11,556 Marriages in the same period. The name exists in Scotland and in the US and Canada so these will form additional names to be explored before extending further. Of course any information relevant to the study will be garnered and used.
There are 807 instances of the Wray name in the Irish 1911 census.
An update to mid November 2016.
Yorkshire has the greatest number of WRAYS recorded in the 1881 census, West Riding - 2921, East Riding - 1424, North Riding - 1132, and Lancashire - 1665.
As can be gathered from the extent of the WRAY surname some focusing has been necessary. My own family can be traced to the East End of London. More than 1,000 people are recorded in the 1881 census in the London boroughs. The most recent census for the Greater London area amounts to some 2,000 persons.
That area of London's East End comprises, working outwards from the CIty, the London Boroughs of Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham and Havering; The East of London Family History Society is acive in that area. That part of the list which is within the County of Middlesex had 1181 persons in the 1881 census. Those places which bring to mind the 'East End' are mainly in Tower Hamlets: Bethnal Green, Bow, Isle of Dogs, Limehouse, Mile End, Poplar, Spitalfields, Stepney, Wapping and Whitechapel.
My focus has therefore been centred on those places around which my ancestors can be detected moving from street to street. My endeavour is to sort out which holders of the surname are related and to find where their ancestors came from and where, as in my case their descendants went to.