This interesting surname is almost wholly associated with the Sussex area and then from the late 18th Century. It has been suggested that the name is a development of a Flanders form believed to have been "Griers-marque", however if so, this spelling does not appear in the relative continental records. Furthermore all early holders of the "Graysmark" name have particularly English christian names which would seem to confirm that the "modern" spelling is a variant form. The "Graysmark" spelling appears to be locational, but if so no such place has been identified nor does it "translate" logically. it is our belief that the name is a developed form of the Old English "Graysman" (the friend of the cheerful one), possibly the "link" spelling being "Grayselmor" - John Grayselmor being recorded at Lyminster, Sussex on November 5th 1691. Other recordings include James and Sara Graysmark, christened at Woolavington, (apparently the "home" of the name), on February 19th 1826. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edmund Graysmark, which was dated June 21st 1791, a witness at the christening of his son John at Woolavington, Sussex, during the reign of King George 111, "Farmer George", 1760 - 1820. 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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