Recorded in the known spellings of Dracey, Draisey, Draysay, and Draysey, this is either an English locational surname, or possibly a development of the Greek 'Andres' through the medieval French form of 'Dreassi'. If the origin is an English place name, the place itself is 'lost'. This is not in itself unusual, some five thousand or about eight percent of British surnames are known to derive from medieval places of whom the only public reminder in the 20th century is the surviving surname. The translation is 'dry landing area' from the Olde English pre 7th century 'draeg', meaning a narrow spur of land over which boats or timber were 'dragged' to the next convenient water. This is proven by the second element in this surname of 'ey' meaning island. 'Draeg' is found as an element in many places names particularly Drayton, a village name of which there are at least twenty examples, and similarly Draycott, which is almost as popular. We are unable to offer an explanation as to where the village of 'Draegey' or as spelt, was to be found if it existed. The second or French Connection is almost equally obscure. Although examples of the surname recording are to be found in the surviving 18th century church registers of London, there is no indication of a direct French origin. Usually names 'imported' from France between 1580 and 1750 were of Huguenot refugees, but all recordings are most definately 'English'. We are left with a mystery. These early recordings include: Benjamin Draycey, born at Endell Street Hospital, Holborn, on April 12th 1752, Ann Draysey, who married Francis Ross at All Hallows church, London Wall, on October 18th 1789, and Elizabeth Dracey, the daughter of John and Mary Dracey, christened at St Giles Cripplegate, on November 18th 1821.
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