Recorded in many forms including Gras, Grasner, Graser (German), Grace and Grass (English), Grassick, Gracey, and Gracie (Scottish and Irish), Legras, Grassot, Gassin (French), Grassi and Grasso (Italian) and Grasna believed to be Polish-German, this interesting name has two possible origins. The first and most likely is topographical. It describes either somebody who lived by or who owned a stretch of particularly sweet pasture or meadowland, or who came from one of the various places in Europe called "Gras", which had the same meaning. The second is a baptismal name, from Old French "grace", meaning charm, itself from the Roman Latin "gratia", and usually found in the first name and surname Grace. This is often an overlap with the pre 7th century German word "grisja", meaning grey, which may have been a nickname for a grey haired person, and is found in medieval English as "greyce", hence the confusion. The personal name is first recorded in England where the records pre-date every other country. This was in the year1188 as "Grecie", and later as "Gracia" in 1213. The surname is later and early recordings include Gilbert Gracye of Sussex, England, in 1296, Adam Grace of Suffolk, in 1302, Abelin Graslin of Leonburg, Germany, in 1381, and Hans Gras from Eglisau, also Germany, in 1439. Later recordings include Johannes Jacobus Grasner of Landau, Bayern, Germany, on March 23rd 1694. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Henry Grece, which was dated 1275, in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Northamptonshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307.
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