This name was perhaps from GRAY, a town in the department of Haute-Saone, France, and the name was brought into England and Scotland in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker. The first of the name recorded in Scotland was Hugo de Gray, 1248. John Gray, mayor of Berwick witnessed a gift of land to the Hospital of Soltre in 1250. William Gray was a charter witness at Newton of Ayr, circa 1280, and Huwe Grey was a juror on an inquest at Berwick in 1296. The land of Molyne was leased to one Ibbote Gray in 1376, and John Gray was rector of the church of Ferne in Angus in 1394. Peter le Grey of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William Knevett and Katherine Gray were married in London in 1523. Edward Whitaker Gray (1748-1806) was the English botanist and physician. In 1773 he was appointed librarian to the College of Physicians and in 1787 became keeper of the natural history collections at the British Museum. An interesting member of the name was Elisha Gray (1835-1901) the American Inventor born in Barnesville, Ohio. He was a manufacturer of telegraphic apparatus, his firm became the Western Electric Company. His 60 patents included a multiplex telegraph. He also claimed the invention of the telephone, but lost the patent rights to Alexander Graham Bell after a long legal battle in the US Supreme Court.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
Registered at Carse, County Forfar.
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