This is an early and quite rare Anglicized form of the Old Irish surname "MacRiada" which is more commonly recorded as "Grady" or "Gready". The name derives from the Counties of Mayo and Roscommon. The name probably is a metonymic for a horseman, from the medieval Gaelic "riadh", but this is uncertain. In the 1659 Census of Ireland, the spelling forms are given as Graddy and Gredy, the epicentre of the name being the barony of Middlethird in Co. Tipperary. The name is a relatively early recording in England as shown below. Other recordings include the following: at Chirst Church, Greyfriars, Newgate, London, on May 10th 1672, in the reign of Charles 11 (1660 - 1685), Ambrose Greedy was a christening witness, whilst on September 29th 1707, William Greedy married Ann Millis at St. Mary's Church, Holborn. A famine immigrant of 1846 was Michael Gready, who emigrated to New York on the "John R. Skiddy", a "coffin ship" from Liverpool, on November 4th of that year. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rose Gredie, which was dated May 5th 1605, marriage to Michaell Dickinson, at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, London, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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