This rare patronymic name is of English medieval origins, and is a variant of the surname Graveson. Its original derivation is from the Norse-Viking "Greifi", meaning "a steward" or agent, one in charge of property, an occupational name. In its "modern" forms of Grayshan, Grayshon, Grayston, Gration, etc., the background is exclusively Yorkshire and Lancashire, areas of Norse influence, and the spelling has developed as a result of local dialect. But whatever its origins, it is a very early surname in its own right and the early recordings include John Graiveson of Cumbria in the 1332 Pipe Rolls, Thomas Grayson in the 1426 Friary Rolls of York, Mary Gration of Barnston, Yorkshire in 1730, whilst Jeremiah Grayshan is a witness at Gildersome, Leeds on February 1st 1818. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Grayreson, which was dated 1327, The court Rolls of Wakefield, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward 111, "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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017