Last name: Ray

This is a surname with one of the most ancient origins. It derives from an Olde British word 'ea' pronounced 'ay' and describes someone who lived by a stream. More pragmatically it probably referred to somebody who lived on dry land by a stream, since before the days of land drainage to find 'dry land' was vital. It is true that some nameholders particularly those who originate in the Sussex - Kent region of England, may derive from the town of Rye, which means what it says - 'the place where corn was grown'. In Early English the descriptive phrase was 'aet paere ea' (at the island) which by the Middle ages had become 'at ther ee', and thence was further shortened to 'atte rie' and hence the modern surname which can be found as Ray, Rea, Reay, Wrey, Raye, and even Nye, formerly 'atten ea'! Examples of early recordings include William atte Rea in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, William bith Ree in the 1293 rolls of Worcester, and John atte Reye in the Essex Rolls of 1327. The Coat of Arms granted in Northumberland has the blazon of a blue field, a plate between three silver crescents. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de la Reye, which was dated 1279, in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as 'The hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017

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prince kumar ray
my father surname is ray and he was migrated from what is my real origin

What is the BEST webside for surname research?

My great-grandfather was also native american Emmet Ray

Janie Ray Payne
Our last name was from Cherokee Indian descent. My grandfather, Martin Ray, came over on the Trail of Tears from North Carolina to Oklahoma.

Rachael Ray
I always thought it was native American because my grandfather, Monte Ray, and his dad and so forth are all native American from Cherokee. I'm really curious to know if that's the real origin or if it's something else.

Morgan Ray

I am Morgan Ray and I am interested in this


My GGG Grandfather was a Ray. I am a black woman. They were Dr William Dunn Ray (Gggg graandfather) and Robert Templeton Ray he fathered a child with Elvira Royal. I thought from that side it was Irish

james allen ray

Interesting I was adopted by Dennis James Ray and my mother Melinda Ann ray, who was a pressley before she was Wed. All of my father's family have a reddish colored hair if not red . Interesting

Eric Ray
I am Eric Ray & this is very interesting. Other pages on websites say The Ray's in Scotland were sworn protectors of some very notable clans.

hi I'm jossie ray

Sierra Ray
Hi I'm Sierra Ray

Joshua Cody (the Hammer) Ray
What's up I'm from oklahoma I'm an mma fighter! I don't know much at all about my family and love to know more my dad's name was Kenneth Ray he was born in New York Any body have any info I wou l do love to hear it

Rodney Ray
My dad, Walker "Corky" Ray was born in Oklahoma and that is where I was raised (born in Kansas but didn't stay long). Dad was a pretty good storyteller. His mantra was "never let the truth get in the way of a good story". Hence, he said our first family member was kicked out of England for tax evasion. :-) Also, he said we were distant relatives of the infamous Dalton Gang, shot and killed in Coffeyville KS at the turn of the last century. I'm actually looking for any legitimate connection to the Scottish Clan MacRae.

Ivan MacRea
I looked up my family tree and your in it Rodney.

Ivan MacRea
im part of that clan we have a meeting on june 23rd every year at Glasgow city hall you should come visit

jordan ray
Newcastle going back to 1800's but Northumberland is where we came from I think

Emma Ray
Hi fellow Rays

Kathy Trout
My Great-Grandfather was John J. Ray born in 1850. My Grandfather was Hester Hiram Ray born in 1890. The Ray name is fascinating. This is my Mothers family. My Grandpa once told me that he was Dutch, French, Spanish and Irish. He and his children were all short, dark complextion and brown/green eyes.

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