Recorded as Gravatt, Gravet, Gravat, Bavey, Gravie, Gravy, Grevet, and possibly others, this is an English surname, but one of medieval French origins. It is rare, and seems to be a diminutive of the personal name Greville, in effect "Little Grev". However it is also possible that it is a diminutive of the 7th century Olde French word "grue" meaning a crane, as in the bird, which like Greville was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It was used as a nickname for a tall, thin, person. About one in five of all surnames are of nickname origins, and there seems no reason why this should not be one of them, although some doubt does remain. The surname is well recorded in the surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London from Elizabethan times. These recordings include Barabara Gravatt, the daughter of John Gravatt, who was christened at the church of St Martin Ludgate, on October 29th 1587, Lawrence Gravey, who married Ann Lister at St Giles Cripplegate, on May 21st 1643, and Anne Grevatt, the daughter of James Grevatt, who was christened at St Mary Lambeth, on November 23rd 1834.
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