Last name: Wray

This interesting name is of Old Norse origin, dating from the 8th and 9th Centuries, when much of northern and north-western England was invaded and subsequently settled by Scandinavians. Wray and its variant forms, found mainly as Wra and Wroe, is a locational surname, deriving from any of the places in Lancashire and Cumberland named with the Old Norse "vra", nook, corner, recess, used in placenames to denote a remote valley or isolated place. The places in Lancashire named with this element are Wray, High Wray, Wrayton, and Wrea, all mostly recorded in the 13th Century as "Wra", while in Cumberland there is the place called Wreay, and a place near Carlisle formerly named "peterelwra" (1286), from the river Petteril. Some bearers of the modern surname may derive their name from a topographical use, denoting residence in such a remote and isolated place. One Ralph in le Wra is recorded in Yorkshire in 1260. William Wray and Lucye Montagewe were married in London on April 6th 1580. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Tomas de Wra, which was dated 1196, The Yorkshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Richard 1, "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199, 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

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.

Justin Wray
I'm from Salem, Arkansas. My father is Norman Wray. My grandfather was Olen Wray. Don't really know much past that. If anyone has any info on these people, please email me.

Cheryl Wray
I was born in the UK as a first generation black british girl and Wray is my maiden name with my family being from Jamaica. I can't see how I ended up with a Lancashire name when my father only came to the UK in 1972. It's quite hard to trace your family tree when you've not originated from the UK :-(

Looking for Alex Wray (1881) that lived in glenolden PA in 1920, Married to Katherine

Neave Wray
hello in proud to be a wray too :)

Derek Wray
Hi, I am a Wray, born and raised in the United States, I've been able to trace my roots back to Thomas Wray, born 1762 in North Carolina. I am interested in learning more about my history, and the history of this surname. I have heard conflicting stories( Norse, Anglo Saxon, Norman, etc)... Feel free to email me at to share info.

Finn McCool Wray
Hi Im Finn Wray, my fathers name is David William Fredrick Wray, he was born and bred in London. He immigrated to New Zealand in the early 1950's. (died 2001) I heard stories that i had more family in the U.K from his first marriage i would love to here from you. You can reach me on

Andrew Wray
I thought I was a sterotypical Wray coming from Lancashire England but appears that we are from everywhere and anywhere but Lancashire!

vivien wray

I am a Wray by marriage,my Father in Law was called William and His Brother James,they also had a Sister called Mary (I think) the Family was split up because their Parents died ,Father in the first W War with I am told about 11 other Members of His Family .I was told that the Family were Miner,s from the North of England and my Father in Law ,s Hair was very Dark like my Son Andrew,s .I have two Son,s Stewart and Andrew and a Grandson Jason but He has not been given His Father,s Name and so the Name Wray will come to an end in our Branch of the Family because my Son Andrew will not have any Children.

matthew wray jones

My mother was a wray, I was born in Michigan (detroit) ....any kinfolk?

Josephine Wray
Hi, I was born in Bradford, Yorkshire and immigrated to Canada in the 60's. The rest of the family remained in Yorkshire. I am the last of my line. Both my parents were born in Yorkshire. Interested in hearing from other Wrays. Email

Joe Wray
My great grand pa John immigrated to Philadelphia about 1842 from Derry. Makes sense. There was a Wray killed on Bloody Sunday in Derry. Traced back my line to Edinburgh but because the Reformation a lot of Scots immigrated to Ireland. I live in California and plan to holiday in the UK mostly Scotland in May 2016. Been to Ireland several times and love the lasses. Email:

Richard William Wray
My tracing have been from present day to Moses Wray in America 1700 from there to threw Yorkshire England and the last of the name --maybe the end is Humphery Wray 1328 --if anyone has other developments please contact me at There is one other possible connection Walter de wray 1300 atb

Torrien Jordan Wray
I'm black and I'm a Wray. Yay for family

Mark Thomas Wray
Hi, My Mother was a Wray, We were both born in Birmingham, England. My Grandfather Was Robert Thomas Wray, His Father (George) was from Manchester, England. Just wondering if there are any Wray's in Manchester that I am related to!

Michael Wray
I would like to know more about my last I live in the united States and there's alot of families with last name wray I thinks it neat on how the last was and used to be spelled if there are any more wrays out there feel free to contact me at

Jacob Wray-Kerr
I live in North Yorkshire, England. My great grandfather was born in Edinburgh (Thomas Kerr) who was a sailor in the Royal Navy, my great great grandmother was from Palermo in Sicily and she married my great great grandfather in England who had been a Royal Marine soldier. His father was from Ireland. Many of my ancestors are from Ireland/Northern Ireland (Kelly families) and further back are English but my great grandfather came to England and settled in Yorkshire. Most of my ancestors were either soldiers (Tommy Kerr, Jack Wray), sailors (Kenneth Kerr), farmers (William Kelly) or labourers. Back to our roots in York in North Yorkshire and Middlesbrough where my father's family reside.

LoAnn Wray
Wray here in Michigan. Many in NY... never knew all this very interested in the history

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