This unusual name is Scottish in origin and locational from either the place called "Balgray" in Angus, old recorded spellings of which are "Bagra" and "Bagro", or from "Bagra" near Banff. The meaning and derivation of the placename is the small fort or castle, from the Gaelic "beag", small and "rath" or "raith", fort. One "John Bagray" is recorded as a baker in Edinburgh in 1625 (Register of Marriages in Edinburgh 1595 - 1750) and the Privy Council Records of Scotland show that a complaint was registered to the Council by a John Baigrie of Lugns, East Lothuian, in 1634. In England, the name first appears in London in the record of the christening of "Jane Baigrie" on the 8th September 1781, St. George in the East Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Bagray, messenger-at-arms in Aberdeen, which was dated 1569, Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, during the reign of King James VI of Scotland, 1567 - 1625. 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.
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