This is a rare and interesting name, with the modern variants Graves(t)on, Grays(t)on(e), Grayshan and Gra(y)s(h)on, of English medieval origin, prevalent, as a variant of the name Graveson, in Leeds, Yorkshire. In its present form it is the patronymic (son of) from the Middle English 12th Century "greyve", the Old Norse "greifi", meaning a steward, or a person in charge of property, and would therefore be described as an occupational name. In the modern idiom the variants include Grayson, Grason, Grayshon, Graveston. Amongst the recorded examples in Yorkshire are, Mary Gration who married William Boynton on March 31st 1730 at Barmston, and Esther Gration the daughter of Joseph Gration was christened on 7th January 1793 at Pudsey. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Grayveson, which was dated 1327, in the "Court Rolls of Wakefield", Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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