This interesting surname, with variant spellings Gregori and Grigorey, derives from the medieval male given name Gregory, itself coming from the Greek Gregorius, a derivative of "gregorien", to be awake or watchful. The name was borne by tow fathers of the Orthodox Church, St. Gregory Nazianzene (circa 325-390) and St. Gregory of Nyssa (circa 331-395), but it was St. Gregory the Great, first Pope of the name, who spread its popularity in Western Europe where it remained in widespread use up to the time of the Reformation. One, Willelmus fillius (son of) Gregorii was noted in "Documents relating to the Danelaw", Lincolnshire, (1143). Several early Scottish bishops bore the name including Gregorius Episcopus de Ros, (1171). One, John Grigory, witness, was noted in the 1280, "Assize Court Rolls of Somerset", and a John Gregory in the 1296 "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex". Among the several notable namebearers mentioned in "The Dictionary of National Biography" are James Gregory (1638-1675) first professor of mathematics at Edinburgh 1674, and David Gregory, (1661-1708), appointed Savilian professor of astronomy at Oxford 1691. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter Gregory, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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