This interesting name has two possible origins, both dating from the early medieval period in England. The first is from a nickname, from the Middle English and Old French word "grace", charm, pleasantness, from the Latin "gratia". The second origin is from the female given name "Grace", which was popular during the Middle Ages, and is thought to derive in the first instance from the Old German "grisja", Old French "gris", grey, which is found in Middle English as "grece, greyce". However, the name was soon associated with the adjective "grace" as used in the nickname for a charming, pleasant person. The personal name is first recorded in England in Suffolk in 1188, as "Grecie", and is listed as "Gracia" in 1213 (Surrey). The surname development includes Gilbert Gracye (1296, Sussex) and Adam Grace (1302, Suffolk). One George Grace was an early emigrant to the American colonies, leaving London on the "Globe" in August 1635, bound for Virginia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Grece, which was dated 1275, in the "Northamtonshire Hundred Rolls", 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.
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