This surname is of Greek origin GREGORIOS, which is a derivative of Gregorein, meaning to be awake or watchful, but at an early date the Latin form GREGORIUS was associated by folk etymology with Grex, meaning flock or herd. This corresponded with the Christian image of the good shepherd, and several early bishops adopted this name as appropriate to their calling. The Greek name was borne in the early Christian centuries by two fathers of the orthodox church, St. Gregory Nazianzene (c.325-90) and St. Gregory of Nyssa (c.331-95). Another eminent member of the name was Saint Gregory (240-332) the 'Illuminator', said to have been of the royal Persian race of Arsacidae, who became patriach of Armenia. Later the name was adopted by sixteen popes starting with Gregory the Great (c.540-604). A particularly influential pope was Gregory XV (1765-1623). He established the still-used procedure for papal elections, set up the congregation of the Propagation of the Faith, and canonized Francis Xavier, Ignatius Loyola and Teresa of Avila, among others. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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