This interesting surname is English. It is of medieval origins being both a patronymic and occupational. The derivation is from the ancient word "greyve", meaning a steward, or originally a person in charge of estates or property, and itself a derivation of the pre 7th century Norse-Viking word "greifi". The modern surname is recorded in a number of spellings including Graveson, Grason, Grayshan, Gration, Grayson, Greyson, and Grayston, and is most widespread in the counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire. In the spellings as Grayveson, Graysoun and Grayveston, the surname is found in the famous Preston Guild Rolls of Lancashire in the15th century. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving rolls and registers of the medieval period include: John Graiveson in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Cumbria in the year 1332, Johannes Grayfson and Mary Grayson in the Poll Tax records of Yorkshire in 1379, whilst Helena Grayson married Matheus Rychardson at Brocklesby, in the county of Lincoln on May 2nd 1545. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Grayveson. This was dated 1327, in the court rolls of the manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward 111rd of England, 1327 - 1377. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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