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 www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2015
Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree
. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA
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.
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
hello in proud to be a wray too :)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
I thought I was a sterotypical Wray coming from Lancashire England but appears that we are from everywhere and anywhere but Lancashire!
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?